Back 1 page to Asmus TietchensForward 1 page to Various Artists

ZBB - Zircon & The Burning Brains

discography...
1. Schreek
(MN 002) © 1981 deleted
2.
Take Two (ZC 60.005) © 1983 deleted
3.
Theatre Of Modern Warfare (ZC 60.007) © 1983 deleted
4.
Mana (ZC 60.020) © 1983 deleted
5.
Anam (ZC 60.021) © 1983 deleted
6.
db (DS301) © 1/84 deleted
7. Cortex! (AMC 006) c45
8. Old Wounds, Vol. 3 (DC03) © 1981-86 deleted
9. Out Of The Ashes (AMC 022) c45
10.
«Cortex!» (UTCD 001) CD 69'44" above cassette + 2 bonus tracks
11. Cold Smoke (AMACDR 001) 73'16" archive compilation
12. Embers (AMACDR 0011) 76'48" archive compilation
13. Zircognition (AMCDR 057) CDR
14.
Occidental Encounter (AMCDR 061) CDR

ZBB history, see also: Alto Stratus, Alan Freeman, Steve Freeman, etc.

Cortex! (Auricle AMC 006) c45

ZBB - Cortex! cassette, artwork by Nigel Harris£4.50 + p&p - only a few left!

1. MIDNIGHT PLUS MIDNIGHT PLUS ONE 22'20"
2. VELVET LIGHT TRAP 23'13"

Recorded at Tachyon Studio (October/November 1984).

Cortex! + bonus (Ultimate Transmissions UTCD 001) CD

ZBB - Cortex! CD, artwork by Nigel Harris, design by Alan Freeman£8.00 + p&p

1. IMAGINÉ 5'28"
2. MIDNIGHT PLUS MIDNIGHT PLUS ONE 22'20"
3. VELVET LIGHT TRAP 23'13"
4. OUT OF THE ASHES 18'43"

Composed, produced & engineered by ZBB.
Track 1 recorded at Tachyon Studio (17 October 1984), taken from A CAGE WENT IN SEARCH OF A BIRD (Dark Star DIS 1-2) sampler.
Tracks 2 & 3 «CORTEX!» recorded at Tachyon Studio (October/November 1984).
Track 4 recorded at Tachyon Studio (October 1984 & April 1986), taken from OUT OF THE ASHES (Auricle AMC 022).

Steve Freeman: synths, tapes, guitar, voice.
Alan Freeman: computer, tape loops, devices, synths.
Nigel Harris: vocals, tape montage, effects, Casio.

Out Of The Ashes (Auricle AMC 022) c45

ZBB -Out Of The Ashes, artwork by Nigel Harris.£4.50 + p&p - only a few left!

Side a...
1. OUT OF THE ASHES 18'24"
2. INTERLUDE 1'43"

Side B...
1. HIROSHIMA 10'05"
2. BIS 8'46"

Recorded 29/10/84 & 1/4/86, mixed Spring 1987.

Cold Smoke (Auricle Archive AMACDR 001) CDR

ZBB - Cold Smoke, artwork by Jim Tetlow£7.00 + p&p

1. THE SCHREEK!/MOPUS 3'23"
2. NATTMARA (Ein Traume Fur Sie! - introduction ) 4'10"
3. ADWALINA (Ein Reise Mit Dem Tod) 5'26"
4. INTRODUCTION "Who Are Zircon & The Burning Brains?" 1'28"
5. VERBAL CONFUSION 1'10"
6. TECHNICO 2'08"
7. ATEM 2'24"
8. TRY AGAIN 0'30"
9. LA FOLIE (extract) 6'05"
10. BEWARE... (extract) 1'35"
11. CORTEGE (part 1) 6'30"
12. ANAM (conclusion) 6'56"
13. CANULA-E 3'06"
14. MEMORY OF PERSISTENCE 6'12"
15. INTERLUDE 1'35"
16. HIROSHIMA 10'08"
17. BIS 8'50"

Composed, produced & engineered by ZBB.
Recorded at Studio Vrije/Nekrosis (Autumn 1981-April 1986).
Taken from SCHREEK (Syzygy ZC 60001), TAKE TWO (Dark Star DS 302), THEATRE OF MODERN WARFARE (Syzygy ZC 60.007), MANA (Dark Star DS 304), ANAM (Dark Star DSC 01), & OUT OF THE ASHES (Auricle AMC 022).
Tracks 13,14 are unreleased remixes made in 1984, originally from: DB (Dark Star 301). Compiled by Alan Freeman (May 2000).

Alan & Steve Freeman, plus Nigel Harris (tracks 4-17): sounds, cassettes, loops, tapes, electronics, radio, percussion, effects, vocals, synths, guitars.

Embers (Auricle Archive AMACDR 0011) CDR

ZBB - Embers, artwork by Jim Tetlow£7.00 + p&p

1. VERTIGO 3'53"
2. NATTMARA (EIN TRAUME FUR SIE!) "Bells" 6'17"
3. OFF KNEE NOW KNOW!! 3'43"
4. ZIRCONTRAUME 3'22"
5. AMERICAN DECAY 3'55"
6. LA FOLIE (end section) 5'44"
7. MANA (extract) 3'54"
8. BEWARE (another extract) 2'16"
9. SEPPUKU 5'08"
10. WELTSCHMERZ (extract) 3'40"
11. "db" (introduction) 3'01"
12. CANULA 2'56"
13. SCINTILLATION 6'49"
14. ASCENSION (introduction) 1'02"
15. PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY 10'23"
16. BRENNENDES GEHIRN 5'48"
17. THEATRE OF MODERN WARFARE #3 5'07"

Composed, produced & engineered by ZBB.
Recorded at Studio Vrije/Nekrosis (Autumn 1981-March 1986).
Taken from SCHREEK, TAKE TWO, THEATRE OF MODERN WARFARE, MANA, ANAM, DB, OLD WOUNDS Vol. 3 (Dark Star DC 03), plus previously unreleased recordings (15 November 1982). Compiled by Steve Freeman (September 2000).

Alan & Steve Freeman, plus Nigel Harris (tracks 4-17): sounds, cassettes, loops, tapes, electronics, radio, percussion, utensils, gas cylinder, gongs, bells, metal, effects, vocals, synths, guitars.

Zircognition (Auricle AMCDR 057) CDR

ZBB - Zircognition, artwork by Nigel Harris£7.00 + p&p

1. LEAVE THE SUBSTANCE FOR THE SHADOW 8'37"
2. THE CORTEX 6'34"
3. ANATOMY OF ANXIETY 5'00"
4. EXTRUDED SLEEP PATTERNS 1: THE TELEPHONE OPERATOR 7'13"
5. DEVIL'S WALTZ 3'26"
6. LEARNING TO DROWN 2'38"
7. EXTRUDED SLEEP PATTERNS 2: THE SOMNAMBULIST 7'25"
8. ARE YOU BLIND? 2'45"
9. ZIRCONTINIUM 6'06"
10. EXTRUDED SLEEP PATTERNS 3: THE LONG JOURNEY 10'41"
11. MEDITATION IN Z 3'17"

Instigated by Nigel (now living in Japan) in 2003, with contributions added by Alan and Steve in 2004-2005. Final sound construction & mastering January 2005.

Nigel Harris: sound samples, processing software, laptop computer.
Steve Freeman: sounds and loops, guitar, bass, analogue synthesizers, turntable.
Alan Freeman: guitar, guitar-synth, digital synthesizers, noises and loops, voice.

Occidental Encounter(Auricle AMCDR 061) CDR

ZBB - Occidental Encounter, artwork by Alan Freeman£7.00 + p&p

1. TWO MONSTERS FROM THE REALM OF VISCOSITY 18'17"
2. COMME UN ENFANT SUIVI PAR UN CAUCHEMAR 7'07"
3. REQUIEM: A BOUQUET OF BLACK FLOWERS 3'05"
4. AUTO SELF IMMOLATING CUCKOO CLOCK DEVICE: First Attempt 1'28"
5. A SINGLE SOUND 8'23"
6. AUTO SELF IMMOLATING CUCKOO CLOCK DEVICE: Second Attempt 3'13"
7. ICE COLD PERPETUAL MOTION MAN-TRAP 14'12"
8. COPYRIGHT 4'54"

All live studio recordings, 16 August 2004, with minor post production and editing by Alan 17 August 2004.

Nigel Harris: sound samples, processing software, laptop computer.
Steve Freeman: sound and loops, guitar, bass, analogue synthesizers, turntable, cymbal, objects, voice.
Alan Freeman: guitar, guitar-synth, digital synthesizers, noises and loops, live sounds, cans, rattles, shakers, voice.

ZBB = Zircon (Zappa's encrusted tweasers), Burning Brain (Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditation)

Originally a sideline to Holy Atheist, ZBB grew an identity of its own alongside Vrije and Alto Stratus. For most of the time, ZBB were an experimental trio comprising Alan & Steve Freeman (from Alto Stratus) and "Kafka Man" Nigel Harris. Zircon was the equipment, and the Burning Brains were the human performers. You'll find full historical documentation in the 3 CD releases.

Early ZBB was purely improvised with microphones scattered around a room, home-made tape loops, hand-wound record players, motors dancing on guitar stings, etc. The above releases reflect the very best output from numerous sessions from 1981 through to 1987. Electronic based, between industrial and contemporary avant-garde, ZBB made a spontaneous and innovative music that is quite unlike anything else! Nigel's fascination for esoteric (French and Oriental) cultural elements mixed with a music hinting at Throbbing Gristle through to Nurse With Wound, via Krautrock and Electroacoustic/musique-concrete.

The "Cortex!" CD (digitally transferred by Colin Potter and sounding great) has 2 bonus tracks (one from "Out Of The Ashes") and flashy improved artwork, making for great value debut from the Ultimate Transmissions label. In it analogue synthesizers, tape-loops, a primitive sequencer (on a Sinclair Spectrum), found-sound, impromptu vocals, etc. add-up to a unique experience. All this time on, it is still a music that challenges, defies convention, and is very much avant-garde today.

The two Auricle Archive CD's round-up all the best of the rest from the ZBB vaults. Both are anthologies of choice works going right back to 1981. "Cold Smoke" adds up to an essential "industrial" history of ZBB, and features two unreleased remixes, plus all the remaining material from "Out Of The Ashes" cassette. "Embers", in contrast, tells the tale from a more abstract/avant-garde angle, with an unreleased track, selections from the hitherto undocumented "db" cassette, and yet more rarities, ending with the sonic blitz of "Theatre Of Modern Warfare". You'' also find a rare ZBB track and CD-Rom material on the "Rarities" disc.

Zircognition Cover notes...

Zircon & The Burning Brains existed in Leicester, England, in the mid 1980's as sonic voyage of discovery, parallelling the work of our own (Steve & Alan Freeman) as Alto Stratus, in impromptu sessions and sound construction experiments together with Nigel Harris from Leicester Forest East, a good friend and amateur sonic explorer whose method of working was quite different to ours.

We were starting to amass a number of second-hand analogue synthesizers, some processing gadgets, and even made use of a Sinclair Spectrum computer for very primitive samples and sequencer patterns. Nigel, however, never invested in any equipment except for a tape recorder and microphone, and largely developed his techniques of cut and splice collage. The height of the 80's ZBB was the cassette album "Cortex!" (since reissued on CD), after which other priorities like working towards establishing Ultima Thule took over and ZBB was no more.

In the 1990's Nigel moved to Japan, so it seemed highly unlike that ZBB would ever reform. However, after our own return to music making, with Endgame and The Newt Hounds, Nigel expressed an interest in that maybe we could do something together again. Nigel was now doing his sonic construction using a Power Mac laptop, and we now had a fully functional home studio, enabling us to add in real time live sessions along with Nigel's pre-recorded samples. This was all down to having CDR recording equipment, which after a few volleys East and West resulted in the CD on hand.

After the success of these recordings, Nigel announced that he was coming back to England for a holiday, and in August 2004 we had live sessions resulting in the forthcoming "Occidental Encounter" and the remarkable hybrid ZBB/Endgame sessions that yielded the CD release "Fire Lane" under the guise of The Zircon Game.

Forward 1 page to Various Artists