"This CD combines extraordinarily consistent and immaculately mixed world-beat core rhythms with a beautifully deranged layering of leads, played on a vast array of tribal percussion, ranging from the microscopically precise jazz-rock licks of kit drummer Lee Towles, Cheri Shanti's vital bass drum licks and fiery djembe chops, to Congolese Master Drummer Thobos Lubamba's drivingly mind-bending polyrhythmic leads--and don't forget Greywolf's own pulsing primal bass drum lines and frenetic, 'shredding' top lines! And every song is very different,with its own uunique flavor--the only thing they all share is a genuine sense of ecstacy and joy! Listening to this CD is like going to that drum circle we all want to attend where only the masters play!" --Entrain Newsletter
From a review by SuZi X on muse-apprentice-guild.com: "The tracks on This Is Your Brain On Drums! are not the endless, blank-minded, rave thumping of an amplified washing machine on spin. The rhythms here are so astutely varied that the sense of tunefulness . . . is not compromised. ... There is an insistence on purity here; the voice of the instrument sings of the culture which created it and adds that voice without perversion; the tracks with Egyptian tabla are about the evocations of that instrument."
FROM GREYWOLF'S LINER NOTES ON THE INSTRUMENTS:
"One of my passions is making drums, among them ones ain't nobody made before. So, a number of these instruments are my own creations.
The Gongmbe is a phatt Ghanain djembe shell with a 15" Wuhan Chau Gong mounted to the head: a gong you can play like a hand drum with an attached resonator. Very loud, very dynamic, very out there.
The Motorcycle Wheel frame drum is the first drum I ever made-in it's fourth and final incarnation. (The first time I knew so little about making drums I used suede as a head! I got it tight enough to sound good-for a very little while. I laced the head through the spokes a couple times, etc. I finally decided after starting to work with African Cowskin that I wanted a thick cowskin frame drum SO I got a welder to make a ring and hardware and finally got it just a-SO. The beads hanging down in the first picture I put there to bounce off the head as it's played and I'm planning on adding more. A lot more.
IN addition there are a couple traditional instruments on this CD on this project that are worth description: The Ditumba is a drum from the Congo that has heavy nuggets of rubber etc. on the head to make the head vibrate a lot, it's sealed at the base and has a resonator in the side: think snare drum from hell. It's one of my favorite things! "Beware an ugly drum . . ." Thobos introduced this to me.
Finally, at the Firedance festival last year I spotted a very unusual large bass double ocarina, which I can't decide whether to call the "Scrotarina" or the "Ocarinads." Great sound and impressive visual appearance!
From Greywolf, on the Intent & Methodology of the CD: This CD is composed of songs dedicated and intended to invoke and evoke the spirits of various Celtic Gods and Goddesses, except Kakilambe which is based on a Senegalese rhythm. The concept was to take my study of Celtic mythology and spirituality, and combine it with my study of world rhythmiculture (especially rhythms of trance and/or possession dedicated to specific spiritual energies) and with my years of experience drumming, teaching and facilitating at festivals, and combine it all to create ritual rhythms for trancework in a Celtic vein. So, I composed and sequenced the core of the rhythms. All other parts by all players including myself were improvisational; I created a structure and then asked Bhrigha (my wife and an excellent hand drummer), Thobos (an absolute Master Drummer from the heart of the Congo, and currently my primary teacher), Lee Towles (Kit drummer extraordinaire), Cheri Shanti (a phenomenal musician in all areas and an absolutely Shreddin' hand drummer) & Rhett Johnson (of Red Shift Mantra and Manteis fame) to play whatever they felt. Noone heard anyone else's improv loops or leads; all was arranged and mixed after the tracking was done.