Circle - "Prospekt" (Ektro 2000, ektro-008cd)
From Aural Innovations #13 (October 2000)
On their latest release, Circle serves up heaping portions of aggression not heard since their earlier recordings. Bashing guitars and downright scary vocals that are screaming, but more in an operatic than a punkish style. But there's also lots of fantastic organ that adds a late 60's/early 70's sound reminiscent of the old Hammond heavy bands. Post-rock, space rock, experimental... this band defies easy descriptions, but the important thing to communicate is that the music is energetic, well crafted, and always exciting. Circle indeed have a sound recognizably their own.
On the opening track, "Dedofiktion", the trademark Circle patterns and rhythms kicks in with pounding repeating rock patterns that are simultaneously aggressive and spacey. But wait... after a few minutes the guitar embarks on an assault and screaming (frightening actually) vocals are introduced. But along with this blazing onslaught are trippy organs and spacey synths that are in the background but distinctive enough to add a cosmic quality to the mix. "Gericht" is a rocker but this has that feel like the Hammond bands I mentioned earlier. The organ sounds great and I think I hear violin as well. The old world and the new cross paths to produce a sound that is nostalgic yet totally fresh. "Stimulance" is another molten rocker with plenty of cool organ licks. The pace is relentless, the guitars and rhythm section bashing about while the organ glides along.
On "Varhain" the pace eases considerably as this cool rockin' tune with some jazzy edges begins. The tempo builds slowly until becoming a heavy head-boppin' rocker. I mean serious wall-of-sound guitars that conjure of images of experimental stadium rock, if that's any kind of analogy. "Aarre" is more along the lines of tunes from the past few releases. Set rock patterns with aggressive guitar sounds around which the band builds spacey atmospherics. And there's that organ!! "Eripwre" is similar, but has some totally freaked out mindfuck space guitars, and what I guess is violin. Killer stuff.
I was not fortunate enough to have seen Circle on their recent US tour and hearing this wonderful disc makes me feel like I really missed something. If you haven't yet caught on to Circle then this is as good a place as any to start. But beware... you'll get hooked quick.
For more information you can email Circle c/o Ektro Records at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail at Ektro; Liisankatu 25 a 10; 28100; Pori, Finland.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz