Celestial Ocean – Review

Brainticket Celestial Ocean - Review

Source: hippy.com

Brainticket sure kept you on your toes each time they released an album, since they kept changing their sound each time (the only time the kept the same sound, and lineup, for that matter, more than once was in the early ’80s with the heavily synth/percussion driven Adventure and Voyage in ’80 and ’82). 1973’s Celestial Ocean was their third album, now a three-piece, trimmed down to Joël Vandroogenbroeck, Carole Muriel, and Barney Palm. Joël and Carole handle keyboard duties, this time around including synthesizers, Carole also handled zither and spoken dialog, and of course, Barney Palm handled all sorts of percussion.

This one is a really fascinating album, inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. “Egyptian Kings” features lots of synth, and spoken dialog, which then segues into “Jardins”, which is a really fascinating piece, complete with flute, zither, and spoken dialog from Carole. “Era of Technology” is largely percussion dialog, while “To Another Universe” features more zither, flutes, and Joël singing off-key (he’s not exactly the best singer out there, he’s definately much better on the flute and keyboards). “The Space Between” is a favorite of mine, really great use of rhythm, Barney Palm using a Brazilian instrument called a cuica, with lots of great synths, and spoken dialogs in three languages, French, German, and English, often overlapping each other. “Cosmic Wind” is a much more mellow piece with flute, zither, and synthesizer, while “Visions” consists of an extended piano solo that ends with a recurring theme from “The Space Between”. This is really tripped out stuff, to say the least.

Unfortunately I warn everyone, if they can: avoid the CD reissue on Purple Pyramid (division of Cleopatra Records). This version is crap and to be avoided. For one thing, it’s as if this company manufactured the CDs off a home computer and burned it on a CD-R, so songs that are segued have one second gaps between them. Worst yet, the opening cut, “Egyptian Kings” repeats twice, so you have to set your CD player to track 2 so you only hear that cut once. The CD was also taken off an LP, but you can hardly notice the crackles, so that don’t bother me so much as the amateur mastering. What I suggest you to is buy a CD reissue from some other label (like the German Buy or Die label, for example) or go for the LP (which was released on the RCA label in Italy), if you can find a copy (which you know don’t exactly grow on trees).

Warning aside, if you can get yourself a copy that’s not the Purple Pyramid CD reissue, you got yourself a wonderful, unique, and truly wonderful album.