Scotland’s Brain In A Vat is an electronic mystery to many, but his music reveals the complex electronic nature of keyboard sounds, percussion beats, and atmospheric washes from futuristic realms. Schrӧdinger’s Cat is a work of fifteen tracks that set to traverse the instrumental electronic world by storm. The metallic embellishments, ambulating beats, and somewhat melodic compositions are unique and enthralling.
“In Case Of Emergency” opens with some rickety percussion and broken glass falling on the ground. The hollow, percussion sound is matched with a bit of urban beats and voice repeats that are not really sung vocals, but they are present at different times throughout the song. The song mainly rests on an instrumental beat with bass, cymbals, and almost frame drum percussion, before the percussion and guitars move into a smooth jazz medley—minus the horns. Broken glass falling is also observed during the medley on two occasions. The guitar loses the smooth jazz feel by the end of the song, which features one final glass bottle breaking.
“The Magician” begins with a light thumping and electronic drones, before the percussion picks up and brighter, crystalline sounds interrupt the Tangerine Dream-esque tune. A few Moog-like washes and computer music-like MIDI tones break up the monotony. A zippy, laser-like tone signals a heavier percussive beat that contains a few lighter washes throughout. The dance-ready tune does not contain much variation overall, until mid-song. The percussion lessens and lighter, brighter sounds permeate the dance track.
“Skyliner” opens with a deep, melodic thud that quickly delves into a thumping dance-floor medley with crashing cymbals and laser-like, metallic embellishments. The sound quiets for angelic, but distant choral voices, before the heart-pounding percussion resumes. The noise is broken up by a few higher pings and metallic scratches. The lack of vocals is not particularly upsetting, since the club-like beat is the driving force of the song. The angelic voices return at the end of the song to indicate a fade out with all of the sound lightening up.
“Bathed In Plight” begins with a scratchy and static-driven metallic beat that opens up into a dance-ready tune with spacey electronic washes and heart-pounding percussion. Overall, symphonic washes accompany the percussive melee in a quivering, electronic manner. There are a few odd robotic sounds, but they all tend to assimilate very well with the rest of the instrumentation and tones. The end of the song returns to some static beats and lighter tones.
“Crater” opens with a break-beat melody and scattered—almost frenzied—arrangement of buzz sounds, metallic tones, and static noises. There is a buzzy, horn-like sound that resembles speaker noise, but it is being produced in a melodic way. The muffled sound is a perfect accompaniment for the beat. Metallic shrills and drippy electronic nuances signal the latter half of the song, as the buzz-type noise ends. However, the buzz sound returns by the end of the song, along with a trip-hop beat and metallic shrieks and shrills.
Schrӧdinger’s Cat is a mysterious, futuristic romp into another world or dimension by way of electronica. The fifteen tracks represent a varied array of beats, instrumental arrangements, and sounds that are not boring or repetitive. The music is upbeat, energetic, and dance-inspired. The lack of vocals, for the most part, does not take away from the impact of the musical arrangements. All of the songs are top-notch and listener-friendly. Fans of dance-electronica, space music, and ambient beats will love Brain In A Vat. You will ‘beat’ yourself up if you don’t get it!
Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)