Monday, July 25, 2011

Brainticket - Celestial Ocean (Hallelujah, 1974)

“Celestial Ocean” is both an adventure and voyage for explorers of the human experience. In other words, the walls are breathing. Or maybe it is the projection of your own vibration as the air comes in and then out again. Either way this album is pure cosmic indulgence on a “space is deep” kind of level. Whoever has taken strong psychedelics will try and convince someone that this or that is the best music to fall into the depths of time and space. But the truth is, any kind of music or sound can seem completely psychedelic when under the influence. And with that said, there is a difference between just any kind of music and musicnauts who actually prepare to take you into the abyss and then do it with grace. Brainticket are one of those musical groups.

Brainticket is a collection of middle European musicians, primarily consisting of German and Swiss descent. The band started releasing albums in the early seventies. The two albums that precede “Celestial Ocean” were “Cottonwood Hill”(1971) and “Psychonaut”(1972). These albums gave guidance to what would be expected. Which means it is not safe to expect something in particular of the sound of Brainticket. Just know that the 1974 release of “Celestial Ocean” expanded the already vastness of life and all perceptions of it. The album tells a story of an ancient Egyptian king traveling on a ship that courses though the afterlife, inspired by the Egyptian book of the dead. One thing should be understood, Brainticket takes themselves seriously when presenting the subject matter of other and ancient worlds with space ships and dreams. Some people get turned off when musicians and artists wholeheartedly believe in what they feel no matter how unreal it may seem. Most roll the psychedelic mumbo jumbo off as being playful and goofy, like a “arn't I just the strangest thing” sorta way, not Brainticket.

Kaleidoscopic sounds twist around synthesized rhythms that continually grow and decay while creating a unknown landscape as a cacophony of voices clutter and vanish in the same breath. Yeah, it's really like that. The album is presented in a book end form, opening with “Egyptian Kings” and closing with a reprise of the beginning track, titled “Visions”. Everything in between is an absolute pleasure. At times it creates a yoga or meditation environment. Nobody thinks flutes are cool anymore. Well, they have their place along side with such complementary instruments as organs, zithers and odd sound generators. O.K. This review was my own indulgence in describing the pure psychedelic force that is Brainticket. All I really had to say was that the band is called Brainticket and don't take more than you can handle. But seriously, this should get the party started if the kind of party you like is the one where everyone lies naked on the floor and forget they have bodies and lose all concepts of reality. Just moans of ecstasy and fear as the collective consciousness merrily drifts up and down the celestial ocean. Yo! I said it. Yo! Buy the ticket, take the ride.

--Sean Dail

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