Circle and Zmrzlina - Loppen, Christiania August 17, 2001

From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)

It has been quite a few years I have been waiting to see Circle. I have been sending emails with Jussi for half a year or so and it was very nice to meet him in person. Despite it being a Friday night and great weather, there were very few people at the show (about 50-60). Zmrzlina had a write up in some of the papers as a sort of alternative indie Velvet Underground meets Pavement band and they were suppose to play some music to a short film by a Danish filmmaker (this never happened). Anyway, about 23:05 Circles intro music started and they slowly came onto the stage (2 guitars, bass, drums and a vocalist who also played percussion). They opened with a very long intense song (Alotus) with a slowly building pounding rhythm in which the singer did some Finnish chanting which evolved into intense screaming (almost). Powerful stuff for 17 minutes. Since all the songs are basically instrumental and all pretty hypnotic, it is hard to know what they were and I did not see a set list on the stage to take. Two shorter songs were next (Scotch and Aarre), one sounded like it might have been off the last CD. The new CD, Taatamus was on sale and I bought a copy. The last song (Kultaa>Työlċisten laulu) in their 47 minute set was very heavy. Cool stuff. Too bad the set was not longer and the light guy had no clue how to make lights to this kind of music (or the other band).

Zmrzlina were a weird band from San Francisco. They have some friends here in Copenhagen and had been spending some time here and this was quite a dream to get to play here. The music was sort of poppy but strange and dissident sounding. They had a female drummer (very good) who also sang, female bass (electric stand up type, sort of like a bass cello), female guitar-violin player, male guitar sampler guy and a lead guitar and singer. It was an interesting and eclectic mix of music. On the edge of being popular but too strange. I quite enjoyed their short 65 minute set. There were not too many people there to appreciate them.

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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