Atlanta’s Serson Brannen, veteran spacerocker, started the Subliminator project in ’05. After years as a member of Spaceseed he is now a solo act and was immediately signed to Atlanta’s Scared and Stickfigure recordings. “Recalibrated” his first release for the label achieved critical acclaim and another, “Rake” (Quick,what’s a rake?) is now available. He has collected two of Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta awards in ’06 and ’07. Relentless touring (Who else do you know that tours by motorcycle?) has kept him in the public eye and he has been taking the avant-garde/underground scene by storm. Combining vocals and theremins his sound is unique, original, eclectic, hard edged and brings rock n’ roll flash to dark sonic art.
GenresAlternative Ambient Drone Experimental
Release DateJuly 27, 2008
"At first listen, the uninitiated may find The Subliminators’ Rake completely offputting. Its mélange of sound, hollowedout spoken word delivery and abstract music are absolutely indifferent to the common mosaic of mainstream and non-mainstream music alike. It is experimental and ambient, post-apocalyptic and spacey at the same time. Making it past “Howl,” a zip-zap nod to Ginsberg’s poem, offers results in the form of the world flavor mood of “Shaheed,” in which ex-Spaceseed vocalist Serson Brannen offers, “But is Jerusalem more sacred than Oklahoma City? / Not to an Okie / Is Mecca more sacred than Atlanta / Not to me, Not to me.” Brannen’s words intersect calm, soothing Arabic harmonies. At times abrasive, other times harmonious, Rake is incoherent coherence, navigating mood and sound with one strong voice as narration, spouting philosophy and opinions or stories of bleakness and humanity. Rake is a mood inducer, be it stressful or warmth. The construction of songs is built on repetition and brief musical ideas – straightforward keyboard patterns and looped vocals. Rake is a church sermon against a backdrop of ghosts in the machine, machines to build the music and a human voice delivered electrically and passionately, like synthesized humanity. The Subliminator is spoken word techno-psychedelia in the midst of the burgeoning Area Code Noise movement of modern music. While Rake is no bitter pill to swallow, it is an acquired taste, one that is fruitful to those interested in something beyond the well known verse-chorus-verse of genre music. It is futurist poetry laid against compositions made from the scraps of music’s elegy. Orwellian in feel, The Subliminator is humanism with an Atari soundtrack." - Brian Tucker
"The Subliminator growls a poetic narrative over sonic blips that sound like they originally emanated from Hawkwind or Throbbing Gristle. By adding his poetry to a combination of Theremins, vocal processors, and phrase samplers he somehow perpetrates a naked, nocturnal, sensory mugging. His “Howl!” hilariously rips passé art-tourists with a serious global and planetary challenge. “Opa-Locka” lays bare well-honed space-rock roots. There’s a stab at lust-angst on “Exploding Hearts”. “Paper Cranes” is tender and believable, a fittingly circular piece on the depressing predictability of domestic violence (though I wish he’d given the phrase “too beautiful for this world” a wide berth.) The Subliminator resembles Lemmy’s unemployed barber and in real life he rides to gigs on a motorbike. Good then, that he happily pokes fun at his tough guy biker image on “Yankee Girl Mojo”. The fact that he performs in the SE, out of Atlanta, makes me like him even more. That said, my visions of him playing behind much needed chicken wire are probably a stereotypical exaggeration. That’s a pity, because I’d pay to throw ironic bottles at his head while clapping with one hand. In conclusion: wit, pseudo-Gregorian-space chants, 4 Theremins and a microphone, or something. There’s a great poster (which of course I now can’t find) with some Pabst Blue Ribbon imagery framing an image of The Subliminator that is somehow perfect. As he says: Mission Accomplished." - D.M. Edwards