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BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Brotherhood Of The Machine biography
A Macclesfield-based collective BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE were founded as "an electronic music project which harks back to the classic electronic music of the early synthesizer days" (according to what their website says) by a multi-instrumentalist Dave FRANCIS and his brother John FRANCIS (guitar), and Janne HANHISUANTO (keyboards), all of whom have got incredibly influenced by Krautrock / psychedelic / electronic scene like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Duul II, Can, Faust, and Hawkwind.

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BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Future Imperfect
2013
4.30 | 7 ratings
Trip Hazard
2014

BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
The Golden Voyage to Samarkand
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Hivemind
2013
5.00 | 3 ratings
Hin und Zuruck
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ketamine Dream Machine
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues for Pluto
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nocturnal Transmission
2016

BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Future Imperfect by BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Future Imperfect
Brotherhood Of The Machine Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Replayer

4 stars The punningly-titled Future Imperfect is the debut album of The Brotherhood of the Machine, an electronic/psychedelic rock project formed by brothers Dave (synths, drums, percussion, saxophone) and John Francis (guitar, synths), joined by Janne Hanhisuanto (synths, soundscapes). Dave Francis is PA's own modular synth afficianado Davesax1965 (Hi, Dave!).

The album starts off with sequencer-driven rocker "Variations on a theme". The main synthesizer riff reminds me of Zep's Immigrant Song, so you know it's badass. On top of the main riff, John's wailing Gilmoresque guitar and a plethora of electronic effects create an otherworldly ambiance, grounded by Dave's solid drumming.

"To the moon" incorporates excerpts from JFK's historic "We choose to go to the moon" speech from 1962, paired with an uptempo backing track featuring echoed saxophone. An interesting concept piece, but probably my least favorite on repeat listenings due to the speech overshadowing the music at times.

Next is "Beyond the wall of sleep". The track starts with the sound of a clock ticking, soon joined by a man breathing heavily in his sleep, a hazy/hypnotic soundscape and pulsing sequencer. After a vocal sample repeats "Welcome to reality" a couple of times, the track switches gears to an uptempo sequencer and drum driven section.

"Soyuz-1" has an electromechanic mid-tempo sequencer part that is evocative of French electronic musician Zanov. There are periodic excerpts of a radio conversation in Russian, which I took to be from Yuri Gagarin's historic orbital spaceflight. Effects such as sonar pings, wind and beeps help create an unsettling atmosphere. When writing this review, I researched Soyuz-1, because I only knew that it was part of the Soviet space program. Soyuz-1 was the first manned flight of the Soyuz rocket program and ended with cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov's death on April 24, 1967 when the main and backup parachutes failed to deploy upon atmosphere reentry. Then, I listened to what is alleged to be a recording of Komarov's final conversation as he was plunging to the ground and cursing at Soviet officials who let the mission proceed in spite of numerous technical defects found during testing. I had an epiphany and recognized that the same recording is the source of most of the vocal excerpts on this track, which completely changed my perception of the track.

"Hivemind" is a short track driven by a mid tempo alien-sounding sequencer part, with synth drones flying above (get it?).

The pièce de résistance is the epic "The Samarkand Suite". Samarkand is a city in Central Asia (current day Uzbekistan) that benefited from its location on the Silk Road. "The Samarkand Suite" starts with Eastern percussion and a vocal introduction. The next section reminds me of David Stone's intro to Rainbow's Gates of Babylon, with its high-pitched lead synth playing a Middle Eastern tune. The track then goes through several more sections and moods, with flute/ney and violin melodies, droning synths, percussion shaker, sequencers playing Arabic scales. I counted eight distinct sections and none of them overstays its welcome.

The last piece, "Walking on the edge of the night", consists of Dave playing a melancholy tune on echoed saxophone over nocturnal soundscapes. It reminds me of two other plaintive album closers featuring saxophone and synth pads: "Tara" on Pulsar's Görlitz and "Dernier Rendez-vous (Ron's Piece)" on Jean Michel Jarre's Rendez-vous.

The recording quality and mixing are very good. I am particularly impressed with the sound of the drums. I love electronic music that uses real drums, such as Tangerine Dream's Ricochet, Cyclone, and Force Majeure, as I feel they add a very human touch to a genre that can often sound sterile. This was a talented band with a clear artistic vision and I regret that it is no longer active.

 Trip Hazard by BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 7 ratings

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Trip Hazard
Brotherhood Of The Machine Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE is essentially the project of two brothers(Dave and John Francis) who are greatly inspired by Krautrock, Electronic and Psychedelic music of the late sixties to mid seventies. According to their web-site they are a combination of TANGERINE DREAM and HAWKWIND. The three primary instruments used here are synths, guitar and sax and we get three very different tracks including the centre piece "Hin Und Zuruck" a 36 1/2 minute Electronic masterpiece. I love the album cover too which points to that long track with that train travelling at night.

"Meditation Of The Blue Serpent" opens with this loud buzzing synth as drums and electronics join in. Love the mellotron- like sound just before a minute that sweeps in. Sax before 1 1/2 minutes as it plays over top in a relaxed manner the rest of the way, kind of an Eastern vibe here too.

"Hin Und Zuruck" is like a dream come true for me. I've heard so many rhythms that reminded me of a train ride but this is the first that intentionally does it. We get that sound of the train going across the tracks along the whistle blowing on and off throughout this suite. It opens with this electronic beat with windy synths blowing across the tracks as we start our journey. There's the train whistle before a minute. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as the drums become more prominent while the rest settles right down. An electronic beat is back quickly but it's the focus this time as the drums then spacey synths and sampled words join in. It settles back before 11 minutes and there's that train whistle again and what sounds like the train tracks. We are travelling at a high speed here. Some cool guitar expressions after 13 minutes and there's that whistle again 17 minutes in. An electronic beat follows and the drums join in as well. It's hard not to groove to the sound here. Train track sounds again after 20 minutes then it all stops briefly before 24 minutes but then returns in a more spacey mode. Another change 25 minutes in as the electronic beat returns with spacey synths blowing over top. The pace picks up 26 1/2 minutes in. So freaking good! It starts to slow down at 29 minutes with mellotron-like sounds and spacey winds. A train whistle just before 30 minutes then the drums return a minute later as we start our journey again. It's picking up after 32 1/2 minutes until we're almost out of control! It's so powerful after 34 minutes, like a nuclear bomb just went off. It's slowing down as out trip is coming to an end.

"Flying Saucer Patrol" features synths, heavy drums and more in a powerful soundscape. The guitar starts to solo over top before a minute the rest of the way.

Probably closer to 4.5 stars but I'm bumping it up. "Hin Und Zuruck" has quickly become one of my all time favourite Electronic tracks, I mean listening to it at night while driving or in the dark at home with the headphones on it's just one incredible trip. The other two songs are also excellent with that sax on "Meditation Of The Blue Serpent" and the guitar on "Flying Saucer Patrol".

 Trip Hazard by BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 7 ratings

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Trip Hazard
Brotherhood Of The Machine Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Breaking the spell

I have to be honest: when I first heard this album my mind instantly conjured up images of Tangerine dream ca 1973. The analogue synthesisers and wonderful sticky organs almost screamed Phaedra in my ears, yet for some inexplicable reason I found it increasingly hard pinpointing exactly why that was. Over the last couple of weeks though I've come to the conclusion that while Brotherhood of the Machine quite openly employs the same kind of gear you'd find in those early days of Tangerine Dream, you'd be hard pressed to find any other similarities between the two.

It's the same problem most bands face when they start incorporating acoustic 12 string guitars and mellotron into their work. People yell GENESIS at the top of their lungs and the band in question very quickly receives a rep of being one of those inferior sounding clone bands that never really sounds as great as the big Kahuna - the real McCoy. Well....there are certainly hundreds of Genesis and Tangerine Dream clones out there, so I guess there is something to be a little wary of when facing new acts with strong ties to either progressive electronic or symph prog, but, and I must stress this, it is a real shame when something extraordinary comes along with but a mere hint of the olden days that instantly gets thrown in the copycat bin, because some dude over the internet believes that certain sounds and instruments shouldn't be allowed outside maybe two or three bands, as they were the first ones to employ them.

While Brotherhood of the Machine does implement the kind of esoterically charged and hazy feel of ze Germans and their equally riveting sense of improvisation, you still get music that stands proudly on it's own two feet....yeah well maybe that's a poor analogy, as most of the material featured within Trip Hazard is the kind of saucy moonlight batter that'll have you floating out among the stars with huge teacup eyes and the milkyway streaming through your toes like a sensuous interstellar liquid. Fact of the matter is that I've finally come across a modern electronic/psych band that sounds old and analogue in all the right places - yet without ever losing it's own persona.

Starting off with Meditation of the Blue Serpent, Trip Hazard lures you into a slow moving ouverture with a simple hand drum pattern, electronic carpeting (like in thick cashmere rugs and prog rock beards from the 70s) and this deep melodic saxophone that very eloquently takes you by the hand while evoking pictures of sand dunes and Middle-Eastern bazaars. The feel is enigmatic, larval and pensive like a man contemplating what the heart of the mountain really looks like.

After this wonderful welcoming the album unrolls it's piece de resistance with Hin und Zuruck. With it's 36 minutes of delightful delirium it, perhaps inadvertedly, challenges today's music fans and their short attention spans - hopefully taking them prisoner in a beautiful dreamscape where music that pulses, writhes, contorts and floats with time transforms into something completely different - something I find electronic music does with great gusto and conviction: elegantly and with much ninja-like behaviour erasing the need for the tangible and straightforward in music. The hypnotic and almost stroboscopic gestures of the synths slowly but comfortably work their way into your mind and after a while you sense a change - you feel ripples multiplying in your inner head lake and suddenly the music echoes from within you and the very line between the sounds and you vanish, disappear. Hin und Zuruck very eloquently showcases this slippery idea of mine, and to anyone interested in the arts of meditation and the ever persuasive wormhole of the mind, please take a chance with this thing. When it works and you really disconnect your brain-seatbelt, you change or metamorphose and go from the hard surface-like structure of the human body to the sparkling and flowing entity of a white rolling river. If that's too far out for you, then imagine the modern US Electronic duo of Zombi and their combination of rock and Electronic, only here conveyed in an old school analogue dressing.

A lot of people have a hard time getting into this kind of thing - especially folks coming from branches of music that revolve around the guitar and a noticeable drum beat. Well even for those poor souls it seems as if Trip Hazard could be the gateway drug into the electronic genre, as you get wonderfully charismatic guitar playing as well as some beefy drum kit action to boot. The latter though most likely generated by a computer......but it does what it's supposed to, which is to infuse a bit of wild and reckless rock attitude into the mix - something that pours gasoline over the electronic embers and suddenly you see hightowering flames licking sensuosly at the clouds. Still, I would've loved to hear this album with real drums - y'know the ones that exude natural warmth, the oak tree note as I'd like to call it.

I'd recommend this album to anyone into psychedelic music and sure to fans of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze - just don't expect it to sound the same. This is music for tunnel-digging in your head - for watching cloud movies in the sky - shooting the breeze without bullets and perhaps most importantly: for proving to the world that similar sounding instruments don't necessarily equate to clones.....but sometimes, rare as it may be, lead you into altogether new sonic avenues.

 Trip Hazard by BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 7 ratings

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Trip Hazard
Brotherhood Of The Machine Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Meltdowner
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Trip Hazard is Brotherhood Of The Machine's second release, and it's a great album that manages to blend spacey and psychedelic music with strong electronic work (or is it the other way around?)

The first track, 'Meditation of the Blue Serpent', starts by setting the mood with some interesting industrial-like electronic sounds and arabic percussions that sets the stage for the hypnotic saxophone solo, which leads the rest of the song.

'Hin und Zuruck' is the central song of the album with more than 35 minutes. It features an extensive use of sequencers, in a very classic Tangerine Dream way, and great programmed drums, that slightly reminded me of early Ozric Tentacles/Porcupine Tree's work. The mixing and panning throughout the entire song are very well done, contributing to the psychedelic mood. There's also an high level of details, like lots of sound effects (including train sounds, as the cover suggests) and some occasional guitar bits with flanger effects that keeps this epic very interesting.

'Flying Saucer Patrol', is a bluesy guitar-driven track accompanied by sequencer and programmed drums.

Overall, this albums is very good, although the opener and closer tracks pale in comparison with the epic. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Psychedelic/Space Rock and/or Progressive Electronic

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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