ALIEN BRAINS Menial Disorders (40th Anniversary Edition)
The Industrial / experimental project Alien Brains was founded by Nigel Jacklin in 1979 while he was still at school in Oundle, near Peterborough, in the UK. Menial Disorders was their first release on Deleted Records. The cassette album includes recordings made in the school physics department using sound generators and a ‘loopotron’ which had been lent to Nigel by one of Billy Bragg’s bandmates (Billy Bragg’s Punk band, Riff Raff, were based in Oundle at the time) as well as their first live appearance in the Dryden Chemistry lecture theatre. The concert featured Jacklin and Instant Automatons member / Deleted Records boss Mark Lancaster alongside a number of fellow school pupils. Released on January 1st 1980, Menial Disorders was obtainable by sending a blank C90 cassette to Deleted Records who then copied it onto the cassette and posted it back to you. In Jacklin’s word this was like, ‘an early version of the internet, bypassing the conventional music industry.’ Jacklin went on to organize the legendary Industrial Records concert at Oundle School featuring Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. The concert was filmed by Daniel Landin (a.k.a. Stan Bingo) of 23 Skidoo / Last Few Days and released on video, much to the surprise - and horror! - of the school headmaster. Alien Brains went on to release several more cassettes as well as contributing to several compilations. Jacklin describes Alien Brains as 'an abstract non-collective’ (rather than a group), pointing out that there was no fixed line-up, everything was spontaneous. Live appearances included The Basement in Newcastle, Ultra's in Amsterdam as well as Centro Iberico and the Architectural Association, both in London. Jacklin worked with a wide range of people including Dominic Guerin (SPK), Philip and Richard Rupenus (primarily known for their work as The New Blockaders), Allen Adams (The Destructors, Methods Of Execution), Philip Sanderson (Storm Bugs, Snatch Tapes), David Jackman (Organum), Harold Schellinx (of Dutch band The Young Lions) and Lionel Jarlan (Ptose Production.) Full tracklist: 1. Introduction 2. Studio (1) 3. Studio (2) 4. Live 5. Studio (3) 6. What Makes People Behave Violently? 7. Conclusion. Price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.
Menial Disorders has a great backstory which is matched by the sound itself: a cloud of mechanical gnats circling around your head, fizzing zig-zags of hi-hat, corrugated crumples of texture, rhythm like bed springs pinging inside a giant reverberant cistern.
(Pitchfork, May 2016)
Menial Disorders is a confused mash-up of noisy electronics and tapes. All-in-all a classically messy and fuzzy experience from the depths of early DIY history.
(Die Or DIY, June 2018)
Menial Disorders almost defies classification. Jacklin has put together a deviously, disordered collage of compositions. Tape manipulation, radio, random voice, electronic effects and segments of a live performance combine to form an industrial journey through a disordered brain.
Słychać tu echa twórczości jego starszych kolegów – Throbbing Gristle i Cabaret Voltaire. Zgrzytliwe przestery łączą się ze zdeformowanymi głosami, a mechaniczne rytmy nurzają się w falujących strumieniach analogowego szumu. Czasem zabrzmi jakaś punkowa nuta: dudniący bas czy rozstrojona gitara. Całość przypomina wsłuchiwanie się w źle nastrojony radioodbiornik, emitujący dziwaczne dźwięki.
(Nowa Muzyka, February 2021)
Originally released back in 1980 Menial Disorders was the first sonic statement from UK based Industrial and experimental electro collective Alien Brains. And its certainly a free-flowing, largely abstract, very oppressive and at points fittingly otherworldly blend of cluttering electro texturing, broodingly grey droning scapes, and grim feedback. Think a less shaped/defined Throbbing Gristle meets a more loose/hazed Chrome, and youll get an idea of what to expect.
(Musique Machine, May 2021)