It’s Midnight, Do You Know Where Your Brain Is? Psych Rock from Across the Pond


Braintickets’ Cottonwoodhill, released in 1971, is one of the freakiest psych albums I’ve the pleasure of hearing. It was the groups’ debut album. Studio experimentation figures heavily into the proceedings with all kinds of feedback, reverb, and other effects thrown into the mix. The “Brainticket” sequence is particularly notable for sonic freakout as sounds, including strains of classical and the sounds of dental hygiene, are thrown at the wall in anarchic fashion, forming a unique sonic collage.  Dawn Muir again cites words over the fuzzy riff. It has the same spirit of Funkadelic’s “Wars of Armageddon.”

“Black Sand,” which has a tempo reminiscent of “Big Bottom” from Spinal Tap, has wonderfully distorted guitar, and good guitar-organ interplay. “Places of Light” is a bit lighter with the flute. It has a filtered Dawn Muir speaking bizarrely. Both of these songs are “normal” compared to “Brainticket.”

While much psych music from this time period can sound quite dated, Cottonwoodhill holds up extremely well. Granted, I am new to the album, but it sounded fresh, lively, and well-produced. I loved the dark edge to it, although I guess the band did not. After finishing the recording all the members of the band left project creator Joel Vandroogenbroeck.  The album was also banned in several countries.

According to wikipedia, the inside of the original release featured two warnings: “After Listening to this Record, your friends may not know you anymore” and “Only listen to this once a day. Your brain might be destroyed!”

Off to the great adventure.


Here is the technical information of the record, courtesy of wikipedia.

Track listing

1. “Black Sand” (Ron Bryer, Joel Vandroogenbroeck) – 4:05
2. “Places of Light” (Bryer, Dawn Muir, Vandroogenroeck) – 4:05
3. “Brainticket, Pt. 1” (Bryer, Hellmuth Kolbe, Muir, Vandroogenbroeck) – 8:21
4. “Brainticket, Pt. 1: Conclusion” (Bryer, Kolbe, Muir, Vandroogenbroeck) – 4:36
5. “Brainticket, Pt. 2” (Bryer, Kolbe, Muir, Vandroogenbroeck) – 13:13

The Band

* Ron Bryer – Guitar
* Werner Frohlich – Bass, Bass guitar
* Hellmuth Kolbe – Keyboards, Sound Effects
* Cosimo Lampis – Drums
* Dawn Muir – Vocals, Voices
* Wolfgang Paap – Percussion, Tabla
* Joel Vandroogenbroeck – Organ, Flute, Keyboards, Vocals

Technical staff

* Hellmuth Kolbe – Producer, Engineer, Electronics, Supervisor, Generator


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