The artist formerly known as J. Spaceman has explored nearly every branch of artful, druggy rock n’ roll over the span of several decades; first with the influential trance punk outfit Spacemen 3 and, more recently, with Spiritualized. Spaceman's connected the dots from the organic minimalism of LaMonte Young to the bleary, behind-the-scenes melancholy of Elvis Presley by way of The 13th Floor Elevators and Acid Mothers Temple.
While it's never the best to start an album review with a list of influences, Portland, OR's Brainwave Entertainment ‘s self-titled Brainwave Entertainment is clearly indebted to all of Mr. Spaceman's projects, weaving the beguiling, hypnotic guitar drones into kaleidoscopic new shapes and configurations on this ambitious one-person-home-recording-project of B. Langlois, formerly of the band Lunar Graves.
This is great news for fans of those Spacemen 3 records, or the early Spectrum or Spiritualized albums, who've already worn through those hypnotic grooves. Brainwave Entertainment is eight tracks of pure guitar meditation, underpinned with mesmeric rivers of organs with backwards echoes and trance-inducing percussion dancing around the margins.
B. Langlois goes much, much further than just plugging in some delay pedals and going for broke. Langlois laid guitar improvisations to tape - middle-eastern, meditative, droning and expansive - and then layers and smudges the six-string explorations into strange new shapes. To Langlois' credit - both as a musician and as an engineer - it's hard to place where those edits occur, as Brainwave Entertainment's self-titled debut Brainwave Entertainment seems cut from one celestial whole-cloth, comprised of eight illuminated chapters.
Langlois is clearly heavily inspired by Spaceman's brand of starry-eyed rock and roll mysticism. That influence can become a little heavy-handed, at times, with Langlois even name-dropping Jesus, in a nod to Spaceman's blasted Christian apocalyptic nihilism. It's no deal breaker, however, when the source material is this obscure, and the memorial's this good. Frankly, anyone who loves Spacemen 3/Spiritualized wouldn't mind having another 100 records or so like this in their collections, so if that's the case for you, make sure to pick this up immediately!
It will be interesting to see what comes, when Langlois steps out from beneath his heroes' shadows. He's studying under some enlightened masters, that's for sure!
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