BrainticketFrom: Germany

Brainticket is an experimental krautrock band that formed in the early 1970s. They are known for their use of exotic instruments and jazz-inspired compositions. The band continues to perform and record to this day.

The band was founded by Joel Vandroogenbroeck from Belgium. Vandroogenbroeck grew up studying classical piano before switching to jazz. He received the Art Tatum prize for “youngest jazz pianist” at the age of fifteen, and toured around Europe and Africa. By 1967, Vandroogenbroeck was still playing jazz music, but also started drawing from artists such as Amon Duul II, Can, and Tangerine Dream. Vandroogenbroeck and Ron Byer (guitar) recruited Wolfgang Paap (drums) and formed the trio that would become Brainticket. In 1971, Brainticket released their debut album, Cottonwoodhill, which featured British singer Dawn Muir. The album was immediately faced with controversy for its association with psychedelic drugs. The album actually came with a warning label that insisted you should “only listen once a day to this record,” something that deeply frustrated the band. This warning led to the album being banned in several countries including the USA.

Bryer passed away soon after the album. At this time, Vandroogenbroeck moved to Italy and met an American woman named Carole Muriel. Swiss musicians Rolf Hug (guitar) and Martin Sacher (bass) also joined and the band recorded their 1972 album Psychonaut. This album has been described as more accessible and song-oriented than their debut, while still maintaining a unique and progressive sound.

Next, Brainticket worked an a rock opera collaboration called Orfeo9 with Academy Award winning film composer Bill Conti. Vandroogenbroeck then began work on a new Brainticket album based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This album, called Celestial Ocean, told the after-life experience of Egyptian kings travelling through space and time, from the desert land to the pyramids. The album was released in 1973 and deemed the definitive Brainticket experience.

After Celestial Ocean, Vandroogenbroeck made a series of recordings for the German label Coloursound, who supplied ambient and mood music for film and TV documentaries. Two more albums were recorded before Vandroogenbroeck disbanded the group. Vandroogenbroeck brought the band back together in 2000 to record the album Alchemic Universe. In 2011, a new line-up of Brainticket formed and toured with the prog band Nektar. Brainticket played their first American concert on August 17, 2011, at B.B. King’s in New York.

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

Original LPs/EPs…

Cottonwoodhill – 1971

  • Black Sand
  • Places Of Light