Various Artists

Brain in the Disc: Disc B

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This collection was produced by the organization Brainwashed, who hosts websites for all the artists featured here. Like its predecessor (Brain in the Disc: Disc A) from November 2000, it was distributed to subscribers of the U.K. magazine The Wire with issue number 219 (May 2002), but it was also made available for a short time to the record-buying public in the form of a box set comprising discs A and B, plus a disc X unavailable elsewhere. This second volume packs 11 tracks from as many artists, all complete recordings previously unavailable in most cases, although many consist of live performances, alternate takes, and exclusive remixes. Nevertheless, there is a lot to discover here, but be warned that the scope of music covered will feel too wide for many listeners. Listeners get bounced from tape music (Gordon Mumma) to dub (Tino), from dreamy post-rock (Bedhead) to Diamanda Galás' one-of-a-kind intensity. Standout tracks depend solely on each listener's preferences, but one must point out the quality of the live recording from Galás (a "Birds of Death" dating from 1998), Stars of the Lid's studio flight "Requiem for Dying Mothers," and Volcano the Bear's alternate take of the demented circus rock "New Seeker."

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