VARIOUS ARTISTS  Dark Side Of The Brain I  LP   (Endorphine Factory)   9.98

Here's an interesting older LP that was released through the Endorphine Factory label out of Japan, run by Hiroshi Hasegawa from C.C.C.C. The Endorphine Factory label has been out of commission for years, but we've obtained some copies of their last available titles for C-Blast from a distributor, including the Chaos Of The Night Live At KFJC disc, this limited edition LP, and the Monde Bruits Selected Noise Works 93-94 disc.

Dark Side Of The Brain I was released in 1994 and offers four different artists who deal in strange, spacey noise minimalism - for the most part, this compilation is a lot less abrasive than the other music I've heard from the label (like C.C.C.C., for instance). There is some cool stuff on here though. It opens with two tracks from the creepy Industrial collective Telepherique, titled "Schweinepest" parts one and two...glitchy computer blips are looped together over abrasive feedback sounds and creepy animal-like noises, and at one point it sounds like I'm hearing a mangled Kraftwerk sample being overrun by field recordings of ravenous feral pigs. Then there's "Space Hippie" and "Theme Of Christine", two awesome tracks of trippy Japanese psych weirdness from Christine 23 Onna, the space/psych/kraut worshipping band that features Maso Yamazaki (aka Masonna) and Fusao Toda (Angel N' Heavy Syrup). Both of these tracks also appear on the album Space Age Batchelor Pad Psychedelic Music, although these are different recordings. Druggy psych guitar lines and haunting flute meanders around stoned drum circle rhythms, and trancey synth-murk grooves ooze through a thick fog of cosmic troniks. MUCH different from the fierce noise we're used to hearing from Masonna, but very cool and spaced out and stoned.

On the other side of the record, we get one long piece from Australian sound artist John Watermann called "Music From The Bunker", a claustrophobic musique concrete collage of voices and noises and music that sounds like a radio dial spinning through a million radio stations at light speed while a thumping rhythm loops endlessly and growling, demonic voices flit around the chopped up bits of sound. That's followed by "Aurelia" from Trance, the solo-guitar/industrial/dark ambient project of Mason Jones from Subarachnoid Space/Numinous Eye. This track is a drift through epic dark ambience and creeped out orchestral music, filled with creeping synth drones, ominous strings and chiming melodies, percussive clatter kind of like distant Japanese taiko drums and clanking metal rhythms- an amazing bit of horror-tribal-industrial-ambient that sounds like it would be right at home on the score to an arty splatter flick. Hell yeah, this one is my favorite of the comp.

Surprisingly, I was able to get the super-limited version of this record that was packaged in a black sleeve with a die-cut square in the middle of the jacket that is covered with a bright orange piece of textured paper that has the album title and some abstract artwork printed onto it. Only 300 of these were made and each one is hand-numbered out of 300.