Past, Present & Future Overview

After 14 years Joel Vandroogenbroock returns with a new Brainticket album. Swiss based Brainticket released a trio of classic Krautrock albums in the early 70's: Cottonwood Hill (1971), Psychonaut (1972) & Celestial Ocean (1974). On this new album Joel is backed by Hedersleben 1. This album was recorded back to back with Hedersleben's Upgoer.

Joel Vandroogenbroock - Keyboards/Flute/Sitar
Kephera Moon - Keyboards/Vocals.
Bryce Shelton - Bass
Nicky Garratt - Guitars
Jason Willar - Drums
Kysten Bean - Voclas/Guitar

The Reviews for Past, Present & Future

Bought this based on Nicky Garratt playing guitar, and wow, never expected this at all, what an excellent, excellent album, nothing like his muted punk riffs of yore, unless of course you could consider his guitar playing on 1982's Sensitive Boys an hint a where he would eventually travel to. A real Brainticket to the station of headmusic.

Greg Wagner - Amazon - USA

Cannot believe this - an all-new Brainticket release. When I saw the advertisement / notice for this title at first, I assumed it was going to be a 2-CD but it is, in fact of seventy-five minutes duration + available on a 2-vinyl album. Tracks here that I happen to favor (the most) are "Dancing On The Volcano - Part 1" and the out-standing twenty-one minute "Dancing On The Volcano - Part 2", the awesome "Singularity", the stunning "Egyptian Gods Of The Sky" (true progressive art rock gem, to say the least) and "Brainticket Blues" which in all honestly (to me) sounds as though it could actually be maybe a lost track from the 'Cottonwood' or 'Psychonaut' sessions. Those five cuts that I just mention tally up to a total of 48 minutes - and quite easily -could have- been the entire disc. Also enjoyed "Riding The Comet" which has a cosmic vibe to it. Noticed that vocalist Kyrsten Bean (Hedersleben) sounds incredibly like Carole Muriel. Rest of this CD's stellar line-up: Joel Vandroogenbroeck - organ, synthesizer, sitar, piano & flute, Nick Garratt (UK Subs) - guitar, Bryce Shelton (Hollow Mirrors) - bass and Jason Willer (UK Subs) - drums. Guaranteed to bring the bearer many wonderfully galactic spins in their CD players for some time to come. This is true aural pleasure. Highly recommended.

Mike Reed - Vine Voice - USA

Fifteen long years since Alchemic Universe escaped from Planet Brainticket, finally, Joel and Co (mainly vocalist Kephera Moon, former UK Subs! axeman Nicky Garratt, drummer Jason Willer and keyboardist Jugrgen Engler) log-in with Past, Present & Future (2015). An exhausting trip of over 70 minutes, including 2-parter Dancing On The Volcano garnering an opening 30, Brainticket re-awaken the gods of Ramses via crystallised pieces of Swiss kraut-rock. Recalling intergalactic trips from heady days long gone when sitar and synths were kings (CELESTIAL OCEAN, COTTONWOODHILL, et al), Joel reaches for the stars for instrumental Reality Of Dreams, while there was an 007 feel by way of Proto Alchemy. In the mystic words of Kephera (with help from Kyrsten Bean as guest), exotica and female narration of a cinematic scale represent the retro-fried closing triumvirate of Singularity, Egyptian Gods Of The Sky and the cool Brainticket Blues. Mind over matter, with extensive listens to PP&F, BRAINTICKET will book you aboard to sit aside them before they set their sonic synths for the heart of the sun.

MC Strong - Progressive Rock Archives - USA

It's hard to believe that Brainticket came out with a new album, Past, Present & Future. Joel Vandroogenbroeck gets help, this time, with members of Die Krupps, UK Subs, and Nik Turner's band, as well as some Oakland, California musicians (this album was recorded in Oakland, with parts also in Joel Vandroogenbroeck's own Pinar Studio in Mexico, where he resides). I guess I saw that coming anyways, with the Space Rock Invasion tour that included them, Huw-Lloyd Langton from Hawkwind, and Nektar. I am in totally disbelief about Kyrsten Bean (I now know for sure, she just posted on the comments section of my review!), she's an absolute dead ringer for Carole Muriel! It's as if Carole Muriel was under an assumed name, which would be absolutely silly if she did, but Kyrsten Bean is a separate person. It's been 15 years since the last offering Alchemic Universe, while welcomed by many, many disliked the techno leanings. Here on Past, Present & Future the techno has been completely ditched in favor of real drums. Past, Present & Future sounds like it should be a semi-compilation with previously released material and new stuff, but it's 100% all brand new material. The title is appropriate for a different reason as you get elements of the old Brainticket, reminders of Cottonwoodhill, Psychonaut, and Celestial Ocean without being total rehashes, while bringing something new to the table. The two part "Dancing on the Volcano" is nothing short of amazing, particularly the over 20 minute "Part 2" where they get into a funky jam, and then mellow out in a more ambient section, then some really nice flute playing from Joel Vandroogenbroeck. "Reality of Dreams" has more of an Indian flavor, thanks to the use of sitar. "Proto Alchemy" is an instrumental, guitar-driven prog piece with some spacy synths in parts. "East Moon" features some nice piano passages, as well as some great prog rock passages, while "Singularity" is a rather upbeat number with some ethereal female voices to go with it. "Egyptian Gods of the Sky" has an Egyptian feel to it, bringing to mind Celestial Ocean, complete with spoken words from Kyrsten Bean (as mentioned sounding undeniably like Carole Muriel). Then there's "Brainticket Blues". Something completely new to Brainticket: them not taking themselves seriously! It's their own take on the blues, nothing like BB King or Muddy Waters (or Eric Clapton's venture into the blues), with flute from Joel Vandroogenbroeck, and more of that Celestial Ocean-type, Carole Muriel-like spoken word from Kyrsten Bean, but it's still blues, as only Brainticket can do. This is what I've waited for. It's really worth getting!

Benjamin Miler - Amazon - USA

Belgian flutist and pianist Joel Vandroogenbroeck is an important representative of the progressive movements from Germany since the early ’70s, beginning with the formation of the legendary krautrock band Brainticket. Taking inspiration from the innovative spirit of early krautrock bands such as Amon Duul II, Can and Tangerine Dream, Joel Vandroogenbroeck also incorporated the knowledge he acquired at an early age through classical studies and an exponential state of love for jazz and its unique progressions. He would first appear on vinyl with the Columbia Records Eje Thelin Quintet LP ?So Far, released in 1963 and full of the hard-bop sound that had dominated jazz in the first half of the ’60s. One year later, he would appear again with Eje’s band, creating a live record captured at the Deutschen Jazz Festival in Frankfurt, Germany on May 6th, 1964. These were the initial imprints of an individual who would help define the electronic and rock influences that are still affecting contemporary music. Quincy Jones recognized his talents as well, taking him on tour all over the world with his Orchestra. These previous experiences touring with some of the worlds leading jazz musicians and taking up studio session residence with jazz, soul and funk groups through the ’60s was an important process for the design of Brainticket, blending some of the most sophisticated, exotic and dynamic pieces that the krautrock movement produced. The earliest formation and the core to the band featured Joel Vandroogenbroeck on organ and flute along with guitarist Ron Byer and drummer Wolfgang Paap. The trio would expand the group before the 1970 release of their debut LP Cottonwoodhill on the Italian imprint Hallelujah, with the label adding the controversial print on the inside jacket: “Advice: After listening to this record your friends won’t know you anymore. Warning: Only listen once a day to this record. Your brain might be destroyed! Hallelujah Records takes no responsability.” This was in no means a part of Joel’s message nor did it have intention to be included on the album, added by the label from the association of drugs towards the records release by media and the counter-culture of the time. Regardless of these types of potential road blocks, the group charged through and presented futuristic sounds for the world to bridge together under. Brainticket would re-release Cottonwoodhill a year later with the German based label Bellaphon and these are the prints that circulate widely, helping the band reach a level of popularity in Europe that propelled them to even greater heights with the follow-up LP’s Psychonaut and Celestial Ocean. 1973’s Celestial Ocean is a high-mark in the entire progressive rock movement of the ’70s and was given life by the help of the long-standing imprint RCA Victor. Prints were made available in record stores across Italy and Germany at the time of its initial release and it was met with a lot of praise from fans and critics around the world. The packaging on the cover is incredible, adding to the legacy that Nektar, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and many other prog bands were bringing to the world of album art at that time. Joel Vandroogenbroeck would embark on many paths after these first Brainticket records and it’s all a documentation very worthy of ones time. The popularity of Brainticket has strengthened around the world in many ways in the 21st century and it’s beautiful to see Joel Vandroogenbroeck activate the band once again to offer important reissues and more importantly, new recordings. Teaming up with Cleopatra Records for the stunning 4-disc box set The Vintage Anthology 1971-1980, the first three Brainticket LP’s were featured in their entirety along with rarities and outtakes. The label also launched the Space Rock Invasion DVD on September 3rd, 2011, showcasing the newer line-up Joel has been working with in this era of his life. Staying on board with the team at Cleopatra, Joel Vandroogenbroeck and his newly organized Brainticket are back with a phenomenal album in Past, Present & Future and it brings back the musical vibrancy of his first three Brainticket records of the ’70s. Joel Vandroogenbroeck brought on board an exceptionally talented group of musicians to help bring his vision to life that includes Nicky Garratt, Jürgen Engler, Jason Willer, Kephera Moon and others. Past, Present & Future has been pressed on both CD and deluxe 180-gram 2LP vinyl, with a running time set at an impressive 75 minutes. Without giving too much away, this album is brilliant from front to back and really captures the integrity and density of Brainticket at their origins. The mastering and overall quality of the mix is in the most superb state you can hear from Brainticket, bringing forth the modes of their past worlds and updating it with the innovation in recording technology that’s occurred since. Modes of the middle east and other regions find footing, creating a kaleidoscope of sonic impressions that slips into the mind with bliss and power. Past, Present & Future is marvelous progressive rock music and we highly recommend looking further into this one in 2015.

Erik Otis - Soundcolor Vibration
I must admit I rather enjoy seeing artists from the “Golden-Days” either still active musically or become active once again after a protracted absence. Such is the case with Swiss Krautrockers Brainticket. Their first album was released in 1971 which was then followed by two more albums in the seventies, then two in the eighties and finally one in 2000, then the long break till now. Past Present & Future is their seventh release and as such picks up where the others left off with only slight modernization. The authentic psychedelic, space-rock feel is all over these nine-tracks. The seventy-five minutes of music is infused with spacey synthesizers, hypnotic pounding rhythms, lonely organs, flutes, hushed trippy vocals and, well, you get the point. This is music for the floating mind. Most of these compositions are in the six or seven minute range with one epic length twenty-one minute track. The tunes weave their way through various spacey segments with cymbals taking the focus while other instruments seem to noodle away in the background. The mood is filled with minor notes, minor chords and little structure. This is certainly true of the longer song but even the shorter more “composed” pieces go from organized and structured moments to more jamming segments to ultimately total improvisation and then back again. As such the album’s title is totally apt as the music does indeed reflect much of the past, certainly the present and even perhaps something of the future. Fans of bands such as Hawkwind, Ozric Tentacles or any of the classic Krautrockers of the seventies will find much to enjoy with the music on display here. If that’s your thing, you have been notified. Act accordingly.
Jerry Lucky - The Progressive Rock Files - Canada

Hedersleben now call themselves Brainticket! You might say. But of course Brainticket is still and especially the Belgian Joel Vandroogenbroeck, but this is no longer living in his home country quite some time now. The early 70s of last century, he founded his Brainticket any case in Switzerland, has quickly become the only constant in the group and took the band name then go anywhere with, where he stayed a long time. A good 15 years after the publication of the last Brainticket album (" Alchemic Universe ") Vandroogenbroeck sets now in the spring of 2015, the seventh studio album by his band before. And this is - as indicated above - identical to the formation that the first Hedersleben album (see " Upgoer ") has recorded. Obviously it was previously already live on tour together. Has remixed "Past, Present & Future" by the way none other than Jürgen Engler of the Krupps.

In musical respects Vandroogenbroeck here goes far back into his own musical past. A spacey psychedelic Retroprog can be found on "Past, Present & Future," the music clearly approaching (or it builds), which is found on the first three Brainticket albums. Vandroogenbroecks gurgling and swirling electronic organ is at the center of the musical scene. There are also all sorts of Electronic Flow, hissing, roaring and buzzing, no further keyboard sounds, Nicky Garratt's whining and harder-rocking electric guitar and the powerful rhythm section. Not infrequently also be heard the voices of the two female band members.

A kind of retro space rock is the result, voluminous, earthy, psychedelic and sometimes slightly herbaceous, just like a blend of the historic psych-prog à la Brainticket and the modern Herb space rock of Hedersleben. The whole thing is very varied and above all very authentic from the speakers. The typical Brainticket hypnotically repetitive moment duck missing any more (you can hear the long "Dancing on a volcano" that constantly reminded of the band's classic "Brain Ticket" from their debut in this respect), such as exotic moments (the sitar deposits " Reality of Dreams ") so Vandroogenbroecks Flute, freer cosmic bizarre Electronics tissue and various alienated, mysterious esoteric-Stim inlays. Sometimes what is offered is rocking a little harder, jazzy keys runs are woven, hymn-symphonic retro keyboard pads or lyrical, dreamy piano deposits (just listen to "East moon"). In the long "Dance on a volcano" jamming the music once something free-format then.

"Past, Present & Future" is an amazingly successful and entertaining remarks Joel Vandroogenbroecks, although musically speaking little new processed (but that probably does not want to), but fans of the first three Brainticket-works (maybe the music of Hedersleben) should make quite a bit of fun in the special and friends of Spacig-Psychedelic-herbaceous-Retroprogressivem in general. Then you could get from me even more!

Achim Brelling - Babyblaue Prog reviews - Germany

In 2015, Cleopatra Records reissued fabled experimental Krautrock band, Brainticket's 1973 album, Celestial Ocean. However, keyboardist and flutist Joel Vandroogenbroeck has abided by a slow pace when releasing subsequent material for mass consumption. Known as a risqué unit that mirrored some of the avant musings evidenced by fellow 70s ensembles, Can and Amon Duul, the musicians are back in action with a rather urbane and radiantly produced musical statement.

Highlighted by thrusting grooves, layered electronics, and ethereal flute passages, the ensemble also projects a dynamic gait via buoyant jamming and trancelike psychedelics. Moreover, Kyrsten Bean and Kephera Moon's vocals are often modulated into liquefying vocoder type effects, casting a pleasantly bizarre additive to the grand schema as Vandroogenbroeck's silvery and resonating organ parts are periodically fitted with jazzy inflections.

The musicians finalize the album with a slowly paced blues motif, simply titled "Brainticket Blues." Again, the vocalists' liquefied voices abet the neo-ambient electronica vibe, paralleling the leader's soulful flute lines, crisp organ parts and streaming electronics treatments. They grind out an easygoing disposition with lyricism pertaining to the rings of Saturn, space-rocking and other intergalactic connotations. Indeed, it's a cosmic blues augmented Nicky Garratt's sliding guitar notes that generate a transcendental dreamscape component. And while this band doesn't possess the voluminous recorded output of its peers, the musicians always give it their best shot while taking pride in producing qualitative frameworks and provocative outcomes. Thus, Past, Present & Future is an appropriate title since the musicians merge and reinvent patterns or stylistic tendencies from various musical eras while also instilling a freshly concocted solar wind into the big picture.
Personnel: Joel Vandroogenbroeck: organ, piano, synthesizers, sitar & flute; Bryce Shelton: bass & 8-string bass; Jason Willer: drums & percussion; Nicky Garratt: acoustic & electric guitars; Kyrsten Bean: vocals & electric guitar; Kephera Moon: vocals & keyboards.

Glenn Astarita - All About Jazz - USA

The case of Brainticket is one of the most special for ProgRocks.gr, because they could theoretically be worth presenting new movement a name with a history of nearly 50 years is more than low.

It all started in 1968 by the jazz / soul shape Dee Dee Barry And The Movements with leader of the Swiss based Belgian polyorganista (basically flutist), Joel Vandroogenbroeck. Following the explosion of progressive experimental psychedelia, the Brainticket formed then not only been one of the brightest and most unique krautrock bands, but there were also pioneers of that sound, combining vast psychedelic / space with trippy prog form of a mutating experimental concept, as it appeared in each tray of the inspirations of genius and uncompromising music like Vandroogenbroeck.

The first three releases, "Cottonwoodhill" (1971), "Psychonaut" (1972) and "Celestial Ocean" (1974), collected all the elements of the myth of Brainticket. Asserting the primacy of the most extreme psychedelic recordings in rock, the original (not just for the season) ethnic mysticism was influential even less psych version of the purely orchestral, different and beautiful "Adventure" (1980) and "Voyage" (1982 ) that followed.

The Brainticket reappeared 18 years after the electronic "Alchemic Universe" (2000), but abstained quality and aesthetic of the greatness of their previous works, as those of mediocrity. The news circulating the fifth disc of Brainticket 44 years after their debut was reasonable to deal with prejudice. In "Past, Present & Future" o Vandroogenbroeck partnered with Kephera Moon (Dragontime, Hedersleben), the Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps) and with experienced punk musicians like Nicky Garratt (UK Subs), Geoff Myles (Stormtrooper, Chelsea , The Smart) and Jason Willer (UK Subs, Alaric, Cross Stitched Eyes). All of them (with Vandroogenbroeck) found the band of a single Nik Turner, the instigator of this coexistence, who described the new album Brainticket as: "a sonic journey that has been set to push the sonic boundaries into the astral plane and beyond! ".Hyperbole?

... Into the astral plane and beyond!

History has shown that record returns after a long absence assemble high probability of failure, let alone whether they are legendary figures. Time is relentless and the music is constantly progressing, like the sound aesthetics, the current modern trends, the data at the executive level, etc. Noticing the sad picture of many giants of the 70s today, fears for the seventh album by Brainticket was justified. Yet, they were overcome finally completed long before the hearing of the starting "Dancing On The Volcano, Part 1", which by hypnotic groovy krautrock mutates into spaced out prog and then it starts the lengthy second part of "Dancing On The Volcano". This is a rare krautrock epic, intensely rhythmic and dance funk character highest level before the ambient «emptying" in the middle and oriental melodic closure dominated the charmers flute Vandroogenbroeck.

If the good things stop here, no one would complain I think. Yet they continue to typically psychedelic and oriental "Reality Of Dreams" and the (surprisingly?) More directly prog / space "Proto Alchemy" and "Riding The Comet".The biggest surprise for every connoisseur of Brainticket comes in masterpiece "East Moon", not so much for the film right atmosphere but because of the leading role of klasikotropis melody keys that strategically gives the torch to explosive prog riff of "Singularity", the which is the heaviest track of the album.

The music of Brainticket had never so much weight on guitars and here it seems that for the first time in the course of the great band satisfy the balance between wind, electronics and electric sounds. The Jürgen Engler doing a bit of everything (synth, talk-box, guitar, keyboards) contributes significantly to that and Nicky Garratt if anything amazes with pithy playing the guitar, and the excellent drummer Jason Willer, Chosen of Nik Turner and he. The most impressive however presence here is none other than the Kephera Moon, who plays keyboards and sings in a unique way, where appropriate. And this, because the spirit of the album "requires" at several points the lyrics 'just' be recited, as in mystical "Egyptian Gods Of The Sky" (direct reference to "Celestial Ocean"), where the Moon is transformed into a priestess and nails the narrative, just as the obsessive and sexy performance in all expected groovy "Brainticket Blues", which closes the album.

The Joel Vandroogenbroeck managed to erect an amazing band of experienced and very talented musicians to compose pieces that combine experimental with catchy element and the occult with funky, bridging the krautrock tradition -to which is partially responsible and idios- with the music of today. This is denoted as intended in the title and implemented so impressive in various ways to track, supported and lyrics. Traveling back and forth in time is transferring timeless musical elements, suggesting the coveted time dianysmatikotita in a future match between man and technology.Source of philosophical concerns leader of Brainticket here is obviously the book of Ray Kurzweil "The Singularity Is Near", the first book in which the term was based mellontologikos "singularity".

The "Past, Present & Future" is a very interesting proposal for space / cosmic music of tomorrow, without drains timeless recipes, but also to innovate without investing in inspiration, energy and completely successful production of Engler, even if risking (rather successful eventually) with diversity. The jewels in the discography of Brainticket is now six. No exaggeration Mr. Turner.

Kaltsas Dimitris - Prog Rocks - Greece

Total return

In the years 2015 and fifteen years after the disappointing "Alchemic Universe" or if you want 33 years after the "Voyage", the last notable record their attempt, the Swiss Brainticket reappear with claims and knocking on our door to our ears. I admit that with this band discography I have stayed in very good impressions of the first classical triad, somewhere in the early polyakousmenis 70s.Since then I always tried to learn the news, but more something was not pulled in particular.This movement but has something extra, which deserves a great deal. The "Past, Present & Future" is what will make you listen to everything once more, will accompany some special moments, you'll take with you for listening 'on the road', will make you hear colors and see sounds, as they said and older.

Since the beginning of the hearing is understood that in this movement we have an abstract and rapid passage through a grid of electronic and physical images. The inaugural "Dancing On The Volcano, Part 1" the nine-minute duration puts us well on fluttering sound space, followed by the twenty minutes and put "Dancing On The Volcano, Part 2", where the band has time and comfort natural feel to stretch skillfully throughout krautrock available as kaleidoscopic rocket with female vocals enhance Traveler thought. Then comes the "Reality Of Dreams" with well played sitar, while in "Proto Alchemy" have the heavy guitar riff accompanied by small electronic sounds.Here we had a guitar scream of agony, monotonous and simultaneously so successfully appealing and somewhat so continues the "Riding The Comet". To piano takes the baton to "East Moon", giving a different feel to the hearing and creates a bit of a let's say more improvisational mood, and therefore we see and hear a different side of the band here. The old good Brainticket come to "Singularity" with smothered voice on the guitar with strong percussion to go up and down and this sweet sensation of "Miss" is now conscious and irrevocable. As we reach the end we feel that we see the roots of this creature and this is visible in the "Egyptian Gods Of The Sky". To previously created today ... with this seductive slow, relaxed mood and these little horns miracles to be submitted to the majestic and imperative interpretation of Kephera Moon. In this seven-minute song we have what happens in most psychedelic album, as evil tale with unexpected end before the "Brainticket Blues" which is exactly what the title says the measures of the band.

The Brainticket show to incorporate any music exists, and the experience and the story anyway have. Besides, the album title says it clearly: "Past, Present & Future". Very interesting proposal from a band that came back very strongly with this movement to remind us of the glorious past, to coordinate our present but above all, to take us in the future!

Bon voyage!

Costas Rokas - Prog Rocks - Greece

Psychedelia and a lot more show up on this release. Overall it’s space rock or progressive rock, though. Comparisons to Hawkwind are at times valid, but I hear everything from Nektar to Curved Air on this. I like the album a lot. I’ve done our standard track by track review, but I’ll say that this really is the kind of thing that works better as one long work than a bunch of individual songs. Purchase it and spin it that way. You’ll want to thank me for the advice, but it’s not necessary. Just enjoy it.


Track by Track Review


Dancing on the Volcano Part 1
Electronic sounds open this and it powers out into some killer space rock. It’s high energy and classy. It’s also still electronic more than it is anything else. There’s a dramatic, slower, poetry reading section later that definitely makes me think of Hawkwind quite a bit. A weird space jam ensues before they move out to more rocking space sounds. Flute wanders over the top of a space jam beyond there.


Dancing on the Volcano Part 2
This instrumental comes in with mellower space jamming. It has a very free form kind of mode early. It eventually shifts out to driving, hard edged space rock that really rocks. It drops way down to very mellow sounds as it continues forward. With flute dancing over the top, this has some great melodic elements and is builds outward. It eventually angles toward more rocking sounds, but never rises completely up. The piece is over 21 minutes in length.


Reality of Dreams
Starting with some pure psychedelia, the cut works through a number of different sections. It’s really a great combination of psychedelic rock, space music and prog, with each of those dominating at different times.


Proto Alchemy
A mid-tempo number, this space rocker has a harder edge than some of the rest. Still, the melodic elements and general textures keep it spacey. Like most space rock, not much changes quickly, but it does change. There is an especially mellow bit right at the end.


Riding the Comet
This has a lot of energy with keys and drums driving the start. Somehow, to me, it has some elements of surf guitar music, but it’s also not far removed from something like Nektar. In many ways, this is the most blatantly mainstream prog piece here. It’s still got some definite Hawkwind space built into it, though. It has some mostly spoken vocals later. This is quite a cool tune.


East Moon
Piano drives the start of this cut. That piano continues prominently as the song moves forward. While much of this instrumental is definitely the space rock one expects, it does work toward jazz at points.


I love the killer driving riff on the start of this one. It works out toward more science fiction based space prog. There are a number of shifts and changes going on with this tune. It’s a killer rocker.


Egyptian Gods of the Sky
Suitably Egyptian in sound, this prog rocker is very tasty. It’s theatrical, dramatic and quite rocking. It’s still got plenty of space melody in the mix, too.


Brainticket Blues
Blues combines with psychedelia and space rock on this killer retro textured tune. The flute adds quite a bit to this piece.

G.W.Hill - Music Street Journal - USA

The Psychedelic rock band Brainticket was founded in the early 1970s by the Belgian multi-instrumentalist Joel Vandroogenbroeck. It evolved out of founded in 1967 Soul Jazz Band "Barry Window and the Movements" (singer Barry Window from Basel, Switzerland), whose members Joël Vandroogenbroeck, Ron Bryer and Wolfgang Paap together with some like-minded southern German Krautrock musicians formed a new international combo. Brain tickets first album Cottonwood Hill is reputedly the setting of an LSD trip and is still regarded as one of the psychedelischsten albums ever. Now Vandroogenbroeck brought an exceptionally talented group of musicians and artists on board. The longtime guitarist for the UK Subs, Nicky Garratt, offers most guitars on the album, with additional production and instrumentation by Jürgen Engler of the German band Die Krupps. In addition, drummer Jason Willer & vocalist / keyboardist Kephera Moon, both of Hawkwind co-founder Nik Turner Band and others. The brand new studio album with ambitious and melodically sophisticated compositions of the band since its extraordinary debut album "Cottonwood Hill" from 1970! This is the album to which Brainticket fans have been waiting a long time, an album that honors the past, extends the future, and is ready to enjoy the moment ! to be

Krautrock - World - Germany
With its mind- frying freakouts, Brainticket’s 1971 debut album Cottonwoodhill stands as an all-time psych classic. This latest album is presented as ‘Krautrock’, which might have been true when classically trained jazz pianist Joel Vandroogenbroek started out. However, as later albums showed before he retired the name in 1982, there was more stirring here as he forged his strain of cosmic jazz-prog. Now he’s re-emerged as a sophisticated new creature on this first Brainticket album since returning in 2011. Vandroogenbroek has surrounded himself with different line-ups on every Brainticket album. Co-conspirators here include two new female singers and UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt, mixed by Die Krupps’ Jurgen Engler. The sound on tracks such as the 20-minute-plus Dancing On A Volcano is rich, dense and multi-textured, straying into vibrant early 70s-style psych- prog, while flutes and sitars drape the hallucinogenic Reality Of Dreams. Only the motorik of Riding The Comet could be called Krautrock, but boxes should be irrelevant when dealing with such widescreen, multi-hued visions.
Prog Mag - UK

After being banned for glorifying drugs, Brainticket’s mindblowing 1971 debut album might have been lost forever had LA’s Cleopatra label not excavated and reissued it. They sustained the ensuing buzz by releasing subsequent early 70s sets by the group, including Psychonaut and Celestial Ocean.

Brainticket has always been classically trained, Belgian-born jazz pianist Joel Vandroogenbroek and whoever’s sailing with him at the time. After retiring the name in 1982, he exhumed it for 2000’s Alchemical Universe and now returns with a new line-up including singers Kyrsten Bean and Kephera Moon, plus, somewhat bizarrely, UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt, who also co-writes.

It’s the first Brainticket album to benefit from modern studio technology, Vandroogenbroek making the most of new textural enhancements on the epic cosmic jazz fry-up Dancing On A Volcano and sitar-stroked Reality Of Dreams. Rather than the “krautrock” trailered on the package (which really only drives the sleek Riding The Comet), Brainticket seem more intent on courting exotically conceived strains of early 70s prog (Singularity), luminescent sound painting (Egyptian Gods Of The Night Sky) and intergalactic prog-jazz (East Moon). The acid might have worn off, but Brainticket can still provide a uniquely heady experience.

Record Collector Magazine - UK

It’s been 15 years since the last new Brainticket album – Alchemic Universe, released in 2000. Fast forward to 2011 and Brainticket founder and ship commander Joel Vandroogenbroeck teamed up with members of Farflung and Pressurehed, plus Abby Travis on vocals to join the Cleopatra Records sponsored Space Rock Invasion tour that brought Brainticket, Nektar and a solo acoustic Huw Lloyd-Langton to the U.S. I caught the tour in Cleveland I am not exaggerating when I say that Joel and company put on one of the best live performances I have ever seen (CLICK HERE for some YouTube videos). I also had the opportunity to interview Joel, who indicated that he was hoping all the activity and visibility would result in an album of new material.

It took almost four years but it’s finally arrived. Vandroogenbroeck isn’t joined by the musicians who accompanied him on tour in 2011, but instead we have the excellent Hedersleben, the same band who backed Nik Turner on this past year’s U.S. tour: Nicky Garratt on guitar, Bryce Shelton on bass, Jason Willer on drums, Kyrsten Bean on guitar and vocals, and Kephera Moon on keyboards and vocals. Maybe this is Cleopatra Records new Space Rock house band? And of course we have Joel on organ, piano, synthesizers, sitar and flute.

Past, Present & Future includes 9 tracks and clocks in at 75 minutes of music. The album opens with the two part, 30 minute Dancing On A Volcano. The band lay down a funky rocking groove over which either Bean or Moon take on the Carole Muriel role reciting otherworldly spoken word narratives, which alternate with spaced out Prog-Kosmiche keys and bubbling synth effects. Near the end of part one we descend into a darkly contemplative passage with classic Prog and spacey keys, a beautiful flowing flute solo and trippy guitar. It’s like a combination of early 70s Brainticket, Meddle era Pink Floyd and even a wee bit of Genesis. Part two starts off with freeform jamming and sound exploration before launching into a reprise of the Funk-Rock that opened the set. But this time we’re in more overtly Prog infused Space Rock territory, with head boppin’ and hip shakin’ grooves that leave plenty of room for jamming exploration by the individual musicians. About halfway through we transition to a dreamily introspective theme, with flowing soundscape waves, heavenly keys, lulling atmospherics, and an Ambient-Jazz vibe. And when the flute takes the melodic lead it feels like the deep space Jazz soundtrack to some 60s film. Absolutely fantastic. If these 30 minutes were the entire album I’d be satisfied. But there’s more…

Joel’s magic sitar leads the way on the Psychedelic Space-Raga rocking Reality of Dreams. Proto Alchemy is a majestically plodding Space-Prog instrumental with a cool combination of doomy bassline and Jazz jamming keys. Riding the Comet starts off like the perfect theme song to an old sci-fi TV show, before morphing into a good time swinging slab of cosmic dancefloor fun. East Moon consists of grandiose, concert piano led symphonic rock. Singularity alternates between high intensity Space-Prog with alien efx’d spoken word and hypnotically dreamy melodic segments. Egyptian Gods Of The Night Sky has a Book of the Dead type narrative theme, with music that is both Psychedelically dreamy and hauntingly dissonant, making for an alluring blend of Kosmiche and Avant-Prog. Finally, Brainticket Blues is precisely that… sultry Blues with a jazzy cosmic edge.

In summary, Brainticket 2015 mines territory that will be familiar to fans of the 70s albums, but have not contented themselves with a mere retro experience. Vandroogenbroeck has collaborated with an ace ensemble of musicians to create music that draws on the past but is heavily informed by many of years of experience since. I think its damn good.

Jerry Krantz - Aural Innovations USA

I just knew a new Brainticket album would come my way. After all there was the Space Rock Invasion tour that included them, Huw-Lloyd Langton (ex-Hawkwind), and Nektar, so it was time a new Brainticket album came our way. After all 15 years passed since the last one, Alchemic Universe, while welcomed by many, many did not take to well to its techno leaning. I'm happy to report with Past, Present & Future, the techno approach has thankfully been ditched, in favor of real drums, again! Members of Die Krupps, UK Sub, and Nik Turner's band are in this version of Brainticket, along with (naturally) Joel Vandroogenbroeck, now 76. It's Brainticket, I hear elements of the Brainticket of old, like Cottonwoodhill, Psychonaut, and Celestial Ocean, but they don't rehash that, and bring in something new as well. I also love the production, no loudness wars that make listening a headache regardless of quality (go listen to Eloy's The Tides Return Forever or Ocean 2, great music, but that loudness war makes listening to them a headache due to unnecessary volume). Also the fact the music doesn't sound overly contemporary, but not overly retro either (I do hear both analog and digital synths). Kephera Moon sounds so unbelievably like Carole Muriel you'd think it was her under an assumed name. Just one listen to "Dancing on the Volcano Part 1" or "Egyptian Gods of the Sky" and you'll see what I mean! "Dancing on the Volcano Part 2" features an extended funky jam that gives way to an ambient part, and some nice flute playing from Joel Vandroogenbroeck. "Reality of Dreams" has a more Eastern feel to it, complete with sitar. A couple cuts venture more into '70s-like prog instrumentals like "Reality of Dreams" and "Proto Alchemy", while "Egyptian Gods of the Sky" will remind you of Celestial Ocean with the spoken dialog and Egyptian theme. Then there's "Brainticket Blues" I get a kick off! Blues does Brainticket style, you will never mistake this for BB King or Muddy Waters. First you have Joel Vandroogenbroeck's flute playing. Then you have Kephera Moon's spoken dialog sounding like Carole Muriel, and it sounded like it was lifted right off Celestial Ocean. You obviously hear the blues style, but nothing like regular straight-up blues (which usually bores me). Usually Brainticket takes themselves seriously, but "Brainticket Blues" shows that rare not-so-serious side. To see 2015 gets started off with some this good, I'm happy to see a new Brainticket album. Just what I needed, and if you like Brainticket, this one should be in your collection.

Progarchives - USA
Fifteen long years since Alchemic Universe escaped from Planet Brainticket, finally, Joel and Co (mainly vocalist Kephera Moon, former UK Subs! axeman Nicky Garratt, drummer Jason Willer and keyboardist Jugrgen Engler) log-in with Past, Present & Future (2015). An exhausting trip of over 70 minutes, including 2-parter Dancing On The Volcano garnering an opening 30, Brainticket re-awaken the gods of Ramses via crystallised pieces of Swiss kraut-rock. Recalling intergalactic trips from heady days long gone when sitar and synths were kings (CELESTIAL OCEAN, COTTONWOODHILL, et al), Joel reaches for the stars for instrumental Reality Of Dreams, while there was an 007 feel by way of Proto Alchemy. In the mystic words of Kephera (with help from Kyrsten Bean as guest), exotica and female narration of a cinematic scale represent the retro-fried closing triumvirate of Singularity, Egyptian Gods Of The Sky and the cool Brainticket Blues. Mind over matter, with extensive listens to PP&F, BRAINTICKET will book you aboard to sit aside them before they set their sonic synths for the heart of the sun.
Progarchives - USA
For those following along at home, and even more so for fans of a) Brainticket and b) delirious Swiss Krautrock, yes, it has been over 14 years since the band released a new studio album! I know, right! Brianticket founder and leader, Joel Vandroogenbroeck may well have opened his recording career with Brainticket in 1970 with a trio of albums that bounced off the presses like they were going out of fashion - Cottonwoodhill, Psychonaut (1971), and Celestial Ocean (1973); the latter now re-released this month also as a 2-CD deluxe edition version of the masterpiece album, that now comes accompanied by a rare live concert from the same year - but he then slowed his musical roll down to just over an album a decade thereafter! The brand new Brainticket album is Past Present & Future, which begins with an epic 2-part composition that has to be heard to be believed. Maybe it took him 14 years to get this one song, ‘Dancing On A Volcano’ just right, who knows, but it is most certainly one hell of a way to open; and reintroduce Brainticket and Vandroogenbroeck back to the musical fold. Listening to Past Present & Future, it’s easy to identify that this new studio recording has got to easily be one of Vandroogenbroeck’s most accomplished, most ambitious, most sophisticated of works. Evoking the familiar rhythms and melodies of his past work, yet expanding into whole new horizons beyond the scope of what he might well have only dreamt he had been able to accomplish back in the 70’s, the new album dips and sways, skips and holds its ground, but never stumbles. Incorporating the musical sensation of moving back and forth through time, the unity of man and technology, inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity Is Near, that premise of Machines become human, humans become machines is brought to the fore here as both a conceptual warning - and a damning promise.
CD Reviews - USA

German Krautrock (mixture of rock and electronic music) band, Brainticket originated in the early seventies by Joel Vandroogenbroeck. He was the "youngest jazz pianist" to earn the Art Tatum award at age fifteen and toured Europe as a member of the Quincy Jones Orchestra. Vandroogenbroeck became interested in the Krautrock sound created by the band Tangerine Dream and decided to start a band of his own called Brainticket. They released three albums in four years and developed an underground following before disbanding in 1974. They regrouped again in the early eighties to record two albums, but was quickly put on hiatus. One more Brainticket album appeared in 2000, as Cleopatra Records found interest in the band, releasing a four-CD box set entitled "The Vintage Anthology." Now, fifteen years later, the latest formation of Brainticket is releasing a new album "Past Present & Future."

The new nine-song release begins with the two-part progressive rock adventure "Dancing On A Volcano," which totals 30 minutes long. The talking sound clips, mixed with the outstanding musicianship takes your mind on a journey with the worldly feel of "Reality Of Dreams" and the space-rock of "Riding The Comet." The dream-like vocals of "Singularity" is a nice contrast to the hard rock rhythm of the song. The album finishes up with the seventies-style blues of "Brainticket Blues" that closes the album with a timeless rock feel. The new album was released on February 17th through Cleopatra Records.

JP'S Music Blog - USA

Krautrock pioneers reveal tracklist for first studio album in 15 years.

Founder Joel Vandroogenbroeck is joined on the record by longtime UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt and musician and producer Jurgen Engler from German industrial outfit Die Krupps. Drummer Jason Willer and singer/keyboardist Kephera Moon, both from Hawkwind co-founder Nik Turner’s band, complete the lineup.

Vandroogenbroeck says of album opener Dancing On The Volcano: “From the original Brainticket rhythm, destiny has led us to the South East Asia meditative, mature philosophic concept of life. The last movement of the piece leads us to the sensation of dancing, moving, fully present, living time again.”

Prog Magazine - UK
Unglaublich. Vandroogenbroeck muss das gleiche Zeug rauchen wie vor fast 45 Jahren.
Damals stand 1971 auf den Kalendern, als der Belgier mit seiner Mischung aus Kraut, Psychedelic, Space, Elektronik und leichtem Jazz mit Cottonwoodhill das Tor zu geheimen Regionen des menschlichen Gehirns öffnete. Die beiden Folgealben Psychonaut & Celestial Ocean schlossen gemäßigter daran an und dann war erst mal Ruhe mit Brainticket. Es folgten zwei Alben in den Achtzigern und 2000 "Alchemic Universe". Nach nun fast fünfzehn Jahren Pause gibt es mit "Past Present & Future" endlich wieder eine Scheibe der Band.
Wobei sich das Wort Band allerdings auf Joël Vandroogenbroeck beschränkt, denn nun ist auch Carole Muriel nicht mehr im Line-up. Aber keine Bange, auch auf "Past Present & Future" gibt es mit Kyrsten Bean wieder diese hypnotische Narrator-Stimme, die Joëls Kompositionen diesen unverwechselbaren Touch gibt. Bryce Shelton, Kephera Moon, Jason Willer sowie Nick Garratt sind bekannt von den kalifornischen(!) Krautrockern Hedersleben, ja eigentlich ist es sogar die komplette Band.
Dass Vandroogenbroeck gerne auf 'neue' Musiker setzt mag verwundern, denn Brainticket ist auf allen Scheiben als Brainticket zu erkennen. Das zeigt, dass er eindeutig das Brain ist. Und der Mann ist 77 Jahre alt, da kann es auch durchaus sein, dass die Begleiter früherer Tage die jetzigen anders verbringen.
Da Nomen oft Omen sind, ist auch der Plattentitel nicht schlecht gewählt. Die beiden Tracks "Dancing On A Volcano" und da besonders der Zwanzigminüter "Part 2" sind eindeutig past as past can be. Es werden eindeutig Sequenzen aus "Cottonwoodhill" ("Brainticket, Pt. 1") herangezogen und in das Jetzt übertragen. Dieser quirlige, die Gehirnsynapsen durcheinander wirbelnde Drive ist auch heute einfach nur genial.
Auch die bekannte Flöte und die Sitar, Vandroogenbroeck Markenzeichen, sind auf "Past Present & Future" vorhanden. Wie durch ein Wurmloch werden verschiedene musikalische Galaxien erreicht - indisch meditative ("Reality Of Dreams") oder doomige, mit einer floydigen Quintessenz ("Proto Alchemy"). Spacig geht es zu und in "East Moon" leitet ein Piano gekonnt über in eine fast orchestrale Fusion aus Prog und Jazz, um schließlich klimpernd in eine Art Ewigkeit abzudriften.
Großes ägyptisches Kino hält "Egyptian Gods Of The Sky" bereit. Äußerst stimmungsvoll kann man die Pyramiden im Sonnenuntergang vor dem geistigen Auge sehen. Geheimnisvoll erzählt die Stimme Geheimnisvolles aus dem Orient. Aber es gibt auch (wieder) eine Bluesnummer auf dem Album. Jedoch sollte man von Brainticket keinen Zwölftakter wie vor biersabbernden Bluesjüngern im Club erwarten. Die üblichen Zutaten der Band sind allesamt vorhanden: dezenter Synthie, Flöte und natürlich Frau Narrator. Und es ist mehr als logisch, dass sie des Öfteren »what have we done?« stoisch ins Mikro haucht. Als wolle sie uns sagen, dass Blues eigentlich nicht das ureigene Metier der Band ist. Aber, das Stück heißt "Brainticket Blues" und es fügt sich perfekt und harmonisch in Vandroogenbroecks Kosmos ein.
Auch 2015 steht Brainticket den älteren Sachen aus den Siebzigern in nichts nach. Das schwere Orgelrollen, die sparsamen und immer dienlich verwendeten Weltraumsynties, die meditative Flöte und die erzählende Stimme...
Joël Vandroogenbroeck hat gut daran getan, seiner Sache treu zu bleiben. Diese Symbiose aus Psychedelic, Prog und Kraut ist einfach an nichts gebunden. Vielleicht an die Fantasie aber sicher nicht an die Zeit. Die Reise durch Raum und Dimensionen nimmt auf Zeit keine Rücksicht. Und so kann "Past Present & Future" durchaus neben dem Siebzigertriple bestehen. Möge die Zeit auch für Vandroogenbroeck keine Rolle spielen. Trotz des für einen Rockmusiker doch hohen Alters, bin ich immer auf Neues aus seiner Feder gespannt. Er sollte sich für ein Folgealbum vielleicht nicht nochmal 15 Jahre Zeit lassen.
Joël Vandroogenbroeck (organ, piano, synthesizers, sitar, flute)
Bryce Shelton (bass & 8-string bass)
Jason Willer (drums & percussion)
Nick Garratt (acoustic & electric guitars)
Kyrsten Bean (vocals, electric guitar)
Kephera Moon (vocals, keyboards)
Ulli Heiser, Rock Times - Germany

There are cult bands and then there are bands who are almost mythical in their cult status such as Brainticket. These are bands that get passed down through the ages in hushed corners of record shops or parties and taken on to yet another listener who then repeats ad infinitum. It is music that belongs to a certain group of people in the know and history is littered with albums that relays this mythical cult status. Cottonwoodhill is one such album.

Always set apart from their krautrock peers by the use of unusual instrumentation in their sound, Brainticket straddles the border of psych, prog and kraut in ways Amon Duul only hinted at on Yeti. Relatively succesful there career all but ended after a run of four albums in 1982 only for a brief return in the early noughties. Now they are back again with their first proper album in an age, Past, Present and Future.

For those hoping for a return to the sound of old then you may be in for a treat in parts of this record and as the opening epic of ‘Dancing On A Volcano part 1′, followed by the equally epic and even longer ‘Dancing On A Volcano part 2′ (respectively 8 mins and 21 mins) take hold you will be able to wallow in the fantastic, twisted world of Brainticket once again.

Indeed, most bands would settle with these first two songs as a single release these days and this is where the album ultimately fails. The sheer expanse of Past, Present and Future means it is very difficult to take in a single listen and as such, a flow is difficult to grasp. The other issue is that much of it is filler (in as much as Brainticket do filler) and doesn’t quite match up to the genius that is at play behind the music. Too many moments sink into a sort of tepid lounge jazz feel without testing the expanses of your mind enough.

By ‘East Moon’, Brainticket are riding free again and with the flute being the one instrument that binds the album together, the lead into ‘Singularity’ and the stunning ‘Egyptian Gods of the Night Sky’ make that long sitting almost worthwhile. Throw in some rather funky movements on ‘Brainticket Blues’ and one gets the feeling that shorn of a few tracks, this album could have been a masterpiece.

It may not be Cottonwoodhill but it certainly holds its own in the Brainticket back catalogue. Setting aside the lengthy aspirations, there are moments here which are quite unlike anything you will hear again and it seems that age has not dulled that need to experiment. The excellent production means the music sweeps around your head as it delivers it’s requisite squeaks and squonks, the vocals drift in when you least expect it and the flute stakes its claim for a return to progressive music. And that’s what this ultimately is, progressive music for progressive people.

Martyn Coppack - Echoes and Dust USA

Have you ever wondered how a certain music genre got it's name? Who got to decide that a certain style of music should be called such? I've wondered that about Krautrock. It's basically Sixties psychedelic, space, jazz, rock fusion music. The same thing was being done in America and the UK at the same time. But if your band is from Germany, you get the special designation of "Krautrock." The funny thing is that Brainticket founder and principal player Joel Vandroogenbroeck (say that last name three times real fast) is from Belgium.

Joel Vandroogenbroeck
So Vandroogenbroeck, who appears to be as old as Methuselah, has been doing this Brainticket gig for better than 40 years. The Brainticket spin on the whole Krautrock thing is to take the whole psychedelic and space rock motif and twist it with world music (Vandroogenbroeck plays sitar among other instruments), and then put all this in these prog jazz fusion arrangements. In other words, it's more experimental psychedelic space rock weirdness like Amon Duul II, Can and Tangerine Dream or Hawkwind on the English side.
The music turns, essentially, on whatever instrument, organ, piano, synthesizer, flute, sitar, that Vandroogenbroeck chooses. (I keep using his last name over and over to make your brain force you pronounce it over and over. You can thank me later.) But mostly the songs amount to ethereal synths and quirky guitars over bass and drums that weave between a rock and jazz groove. The songs are also largely instrumental, but Dancing On A Volcano, Part 1, Egyptian Gods of the Night Sky, and Riding The Comet, by example, have some chick doing spoken word vocals. Basically, it's one long strange trip into Vandroogenbroeck experimental and psychedelic musical mind. Oh yeah, the last song on the album is called Brainticket Blues, but has nothing to do with blues music. Well, maybe a little in the rhythm section. As I said, general Krautrock weirdness. If you like this type of music, I say buy it, light up a doobie, and space out.

Craig Hartranft - USA

Better than any of Brainticket's last efforts but then again....

"Past, Present & Future", 2015, is by far more focused and mature and shows Joel Vandroogenbroeck's (BRAINTICKET'S mastermind) best music writing attributes as some of his unmovable influences from earlier times, when Krautrock or to be geographically accurate "SwitzRock", met the USA's Jazz/Rhythm & Blues scene and revolved, as many other countries and popular musical styles, around it. "Dancing on the Volcano pt.2", this release longest track (21+- minutes) is full of these blast to the past kind of outdated Funky influences and sadly it is just a long jam whose scarce highlights are overshadowed by quiet cliched improvisations. Now kind of removing this track's unmemorable aftertaste and recovering track one "Dancing on the Volcano pt.1" which is proportionaly opposite and memorable than its second part, this release will satisfy most Krautrock followers who were into this 60's & 70's eclectic synth/space-Rock/Blues-Indo/ Raga style. As for me, this release promises so much but actually stays short of being ground breaking or really daring in its entirety. Its closeness to the "past" instead of "present or future" serves as a tribute or memorabilia but also shows clearly a void of new musical ideas. Truly memorable and proposing as daring compositions: track one "Dancing On The Volcano Pt.1", track 7 "Singularity" and "Egyptian Gods of the Sky" track 8. ***3 PA stars.

AdmirArt - Progrock Archives