Chris Bottomley & Brainfudge
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Chris Bottomley & Brainfudge


Band World Reggae


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"Review - Cerebral Lubrication"

"What a great double CD. I'm in doubt if i'll leave it at the station or i'll need it at home for those hard and hot summer nights with all my neighbors listening to this brilliant mixture of rhythms. There'll be no one song from this CD on our Hit List, because ALL of the songs must be played on a daily basis." - Rafel Corbi - RPEM-FM Radio, Costa Brava, Spain

"Review - Cerebral Lubrication"

"Here's a hint, musician types. If you want to get into my good books, don't send me a CD of sprawling instrumental fusion jams. Send me a double CD of sprawling instrumental fusion jams! You may think it's too jazzy for you, but if you've ever sat in the dark listening to Pierre Moerlens Gong or possibly even Mickey Hart's less irritating releases, then you're going to feel very happy here. Cerebral Lubrication takes some highlights from his earlier releases producing an epic, vital and enthralling 2CD set. A pure trip, in the best sense of the word, and something you really ought to experience." - Zeitgeist Webzine - Edinburgh, U.K.

"Review - Cerebral Lubrication"

"The new urban African heart beat. Genuine and inspired road music, much better, superhighway music taking us directly inside the 70's, and you can choose the Jamaican or Brazilian exit." - Scazzola Giovanni Pietro - Radio Gold Popular Network, Barletta, Italy.

"Review - Cerebral Lubrication"

"This is a terrific release by a truly outstanding musician. Top notch musicianship and writing. Outstanding!" - Jacques Emond - CKCU, Ottawa, Canada

"Review - Knotty Bits"

"Chris Bottomley's latest combines every style short of classical to come up with the sweet summery sound vodka coolers were invented for. Heavy on reggae, latin and percussion, this album is never short on variety. Bottomley is a bassist first so the songs are rooted in a groovy rhythm that never lets the melody or the lyrics stray too far. It's for people who are sick of the spaced-out trust fund brats at Dave Mathew's shows but who haven't yet figured out Pat Metheney." - NOW Magazine

"Review - Brainfudge"

"Chris Bottomley might be the Little Richard of Toronto hybrid funk" - Lenny Stout - Toronto Star


Shortly after his family moved to Toronto in the late 70’s, Chris Bottomley scored a ticket to a Bob Marley & the Wailers concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in what turned out to be Marley’s last Toronto appearance. Here was Bottomley, by his own admission “a 16- year- old skinny white kid" who’s into The Who and punk rock among the throng of the reggae icon’s faithful.
“That really had an influence on me, Bottomley recalls. “I didn’t quite get it at the time; their rhythms were very foreign to me and very strange"

Over time, however, Bottomley did get it, so much in fact that tonight his band Brainfudge will bring its reggae-funk-latin-jazz sound to The Scherzo Pub in a much chillier Kingston than that regaled in Marley’s music.

Bottomley, 44, also credits his army-brat upbringing for his diverse musical tastes. Bottomley’s father was stationed, from 1974-78 at the Canadian Army base in Lahr, Germany. Bottomley would frequent the base’s youth centre, where two DJ’s, who were also brothers, would spin classic funk records.
Similarly he was also exposed to the “black cultural music scene" at a nearby American base when the family travelled there to buy jeans. “All the Canadian base sold were Wranglers," he says derisively.

But it was in culturally diverse Toronto, however, where Bottomley realized he could pursue any kind of music. “Audiences these days are more receptive than audiences say, from even ten years ago, he says, “Nowadays people listen to funk, reggae and dub, as well as jazz and latin, and all sorts of things , whereas before you’d just be a rocker or into disco in the 70’s."

Bottomley first started his musical career with 10 years worth of piano lessons. He then moved to the drums (not to mention the Djembe African drum which he’ll bang on tonite) and eventually gravitated towards bass.
“I’ve been playing the bass since I was thirteen years old and I’m still in love with it," He says of his Fender Precision bass, which he says “holds down" the band. “I never get tired of the thing, I find it’s right for my energy."
At first Bottomley worshipped bass giants Paul Mcartney and The Who’s John Entwistle but later veered to the Wailer’s Aston (Family Man) Barrett and funk legend Bootsy Collins. “Funk and reggae, they’re real bass player types of music, that’s part of it, he says. “I’ve just got a lot of rhythm in my veins,"

But Bottomley hasn’t only been interested in funk and reggae. He played for years with his brother John in the rock outfit Tulpa. Shortly after Tulpa broke up, Bottomley, who had grown disillusioned with the music industry, took a couple of years off to do sound production work in TV, film and commercials (he still pitches his music, sans vocals, to friends in the business.)
It was only after friend and sax player Richard Underhill called him and asked if he would like to play in a new funk band (Funk Explosion), that his interest was rekindled. Bottomley revived his own group, and now Underhill, best known for his work with The Shuffle Demons, is on board as the group’s sax player. Also joining Bottomley and Underhill on stage will be ex-Blue Rodeo keyboard player James Gray and Bottomley’s long time rhythm accomplice, drummer Bob Scott.

Since Brainfudge is comprised of veteran players, their experience shows when they play. “We play really like a jazz outfit in the sense that we like to improve a lot on stage, Bottomley explains. “we’re a very instinctual, impulsive kind of band," he adds, “that also keeps it fun and alive for us."
For example Bottomley says he’s famous for ditching his set list after the first song. But he says the bands stay on your toes improvisational approach is more like riding a surf board than a high wire. “it’s different every night for us, there’s always some great, great suprises. We like to push the envelope that way." One of those suprises might be for someone in the audience. Since all of the band members have musical commitments outside Brainfudge (trumpet player Bryden Baird, for example, is currently touring with folk-fave Feist.) Bottomley sometimes recruits a home town horn player to join them on stage. “We just tell the new guy to hang tight," he says, laughing.

When he’s not playing, Bottomley’s busy keeping his record label Partly Bent Records, afloat. He’s been waging what he call “an international radio campaign for his CD’s Brainfudge (1994), Knotty Bits (2003) and Cerebral Lubrication (2004). He sends his discs and correspondence to radio stations all over the world: Australia, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy.
He’s also heading back to the studio soon and hopes to put out a “more psychedelic disc next time. While the band has a spotty tour schedule for now, Bottomley hopes that will change in the new year.
“For the most part, people are starving for this music outside Toronto, he says. Bottomley is no stranger to Kingston, though he hasn’t been back for some time. He used to commute to Kingston regularly to work at a recording studio during the heyday of weeping Tile and their ilk. “Kingston’s a real rock town, he says, listing off the bands he worked here. “I’m looking forward to it."

Peter Hendra - The Kingston-Whig Standard Saturday November 19/2005

- Peter Hendra - The Kingston-Whig Standard - Saturday November 19/2005

"Review - Knotty Bits"

Knotty Bits
Chris Bottomley | Partly Bent

He's from Toronto, but with titles such as “African Head Dub,” “Brazilian Thunder Throb,” “Belize City Bakin',” and the geographically ambiguous “World of Dreams,” this third release from producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer Chris Bottomley reflects an international musical vision.
“Belize City Bakin'” strolls you down a colorful reggae lane with easy-to-remember lyrics set to a catchy tune; you're serenaded in the bridge by trumpet and flute, then warmly toasted all over with a crisp horn chart. The set-ending “Belize City Bakin' in Dub” twists and fires up more heady, psychedelic stuff.
The cool instrumental “African Head Dub” opens with the thump of hand percussion and an insistent buzzing bassline that drives its rhythm and melody home. “Brazilian Thunder Throb,” its complement, adds horns and scat vocalese that joyously skirts the melody.
Bottomley plays almost everything—bass, acoustic guitar, percussion, djembe, jews' harp—and sings. When he teams with Jono Grant, who contributes guitar, piano and other keyboards and percussion, the two leave almost no instrument on the shelf. The pair co-produced “Trouble Makin' Freak” and “Hanging to the Riverbank,” tightly arranged large ensemble funk flowing full of sophistication and style, two of Bottomley's best.
Bottomley stretches further out on “Sample the Potion” and “Spider Woman.” The lead horn chart in ”Potion” is one of his best melodies, and the snare drum accents one beat early to move its rhythm continuously forward. “Spider Woman” also swaggers with a cool blue-tinged horn chart, saxophone cooing through the breaks, creepin' bassline, and wah-wah synthesizer funk, while the drum maintains its impeccable ride across the cymbal—the purposeful undulations of a murderously cool and attractive femme fatale.
Bottomley and Grant are joined by drummers Dean Stone, Davide Lorenzo, and Mike Goodridge, brass and wind players Rick Underhill, Jim Bish, and Bryden Baird, Andru Branch on Hammond B-3 organ, Ken Myhr on guitar, moog and mellotron, and guitarist Moose (Tomas). Though their musicianship is unquestionable, the stars of this set are Bottomley's jazzy pop songs.
~ Chris M. Slawecki - Senior Editor, January 2005

- Chris M. Slawecki - All About

"Review - "Knotty Bits""

Brent Hagerman - Exclaim magazine
November 03, 2003

Bottomley has been strutting his bottom-heavy bass around the country since his stint with Toronto's Tulpa in the 1980s. Knotty Bits is his third solo album and once you hear the first track ("Belize City Bakin'") you'll wonder why it's not called Natty Bits, what with all that sweet and dandy reggae. Knotty Bits has as many grooves as Stevie Wonder's record collection and with Richard Underhill and Bryden Baird adding horns and producer Jono Grant summoning esoteric spirits with his many keyboards and samples the brand of throw-caution-to-the-wind funk and measured electronica found here is a heady trip indeed. "Brazilian Thunder Throb" and "African Head Dub" hint at the rhythmic diversity and "Spider Woman" is the sonic equivalent of how sexy that super girl's got to be. A few weaker numbers pop up, like "Floating & Drifting" with its sampled ocean wave meditation jazz feel, but once the tide goes out the band starts to boogie again.
- Brent Hagerman - Exclaim Mag

"Review - Cerebral Lubrication"

I wonder if Canada really realizes the goldmine they have in bassist Chris Bottomley? This talented multi-instrumentalist has just released a double cd called Cerebral Lubrication which is mind-blowing and rhythmic. The emphasis on Cerebral Lubrication is live jam improvisation with eclectic mixtures of Electronica, Reggae, Fusion, Afro/World music, and plenty of good Funk music.
At first, Cerebral Lubrication was a lot to digest due to the fact that there is so much great music happening, that it took me a while to complete the cd because I kept replaying songs that moved me, like the Afro/World inspired "Brazilian Thunder Throb", and the Reggae tracks "Let's Get Together" and "Belize City Bakin'" are personal favorites. The true essence of Chris Bottomley musicianship and improvisational skills come through on the live recordings ("Chillin'", "Slinky Dub" and "Oh Hey Yeh") from the Bamboo Club.
Cerebral Lubrication is one of the hottest releases by far for 2005. It's funky, with top notch production, and just simply outstanding. Great Job!
- Maurice Edwards -


Tangles& Spoils 1991
Brainfudge 1994
Knotty Bits 2003
Cerebral Lubrication 2004



Greetings ALL!

Welcome to my EPK, where the music is solid and funky! I recently added some live cuts taken from our Supermarket show here in Toronto....enjoy!


CHRIS won 2nd place in the 2005 UNISONG INTERNATIONAL SONG CONTEST for his song "BELIZE CITY BAKIN" in the WORLD/REGGAE CATEGORY and was a Top 20 finalist for his song "WHERE OUR HEARTS BELONG'!

CHRIS also received honorable mention in the 2005 AND 2006 U.K. SINGER/SONGWRITER AWARDS.

Chris Bottomley's Brainfudge is Toronto's original world-funk collective. Since 1990, more or less everybody who's been anybody in the Toronto's jazz-funk scene has joined the veteran bass thumper, singer and percussionist as part of Brainfudge at one time or another – Rich Underhill, Perry White, Odel Johnson, Eric St. Laurent, Dean Stone, it's truly a long and illustrious list. Their live shows from Queen West's mid 90s glory days remain the stuff of legend, and a collection of those timeless parties will be released as a live album in the not-too-distant future.

Chris Bottomley, bass player on fire, performs incredible hooks in a variety of genres to get you dancing! His live, spirited, funky stuff, culled from the labrynths of the heart and soul, messes with the body and mind. On electric bass & vocals he plays, sings, and writes rock, funk, reggae and jazz, and live performances feature his incendiary, propulsive djembe playing. Spreading his music to the world has been a joy, especially when combined with the rhthym section dynamo of drummer Great Bob Scott, the two having become one of Toronto's most formidable combos within his band BRAINFUDGE. The Live group, which often includes Juno winner Rich Underhill on sax as well as Shuffle Demons alumni Perry White and recent addition, guitarist Donne' Roberts, has been busy tearing up venues with their honest high energy funkified songs and good times vibe for some time now.
People he's performed and toured with include; The Look People, Toronto's Boogiewall Soundsystem, Vancouver's Mofunk Collective, Rich Underhill's Funk Explosion, Wayne Lavallee, Singer/Songwriter John Bottomley, The Kensington Horns, and most recently, West African percussion ensemble Ainike.

"True to his reputation as one of the Big Smoke's best bass thumpers" - NOW Magazine

FESTIVALS PLAYED: Amnesty International Benefit (scarborough chapter), NXNE, CMJ, Toronto Street Festival, Toronto Distillery Jazz Festival, Beaches International Jazz Festival, Nathan Philips Square, Kensington Harvest Festival, Bass for Mofunk Collective at Vancouver Jazz Festival, Skydome Spring Break Festival, Kensington Festival of Lights, Heart of Texas Quadruple Bypass Festival, Come Together Festival, PS Kensington, Jazz by Genre Summerfest, Electric Eclectics Festival of Modern Music and Irritainment, Junction Arts Festival, Welland Concert Series, Gladstone World Music Series, Small World Jazz Series

Partly Bent Records, Box 65017, RPO Chester, Toronto, Ontario. M4K3Z2

EPK - (live cuts)

On-line downloads -,,, 75 other places.

RADIO AIRPLAY: XM Satellite Radio, CBC, Jazz FM, CKLN, CIUT, Numerous College and commercial radio stations in Canada & USA, Germany, Netherlands, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, and more.