Circle - "Raunio"
Ektro Records 2001, Ektro-016)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
This is a live CD that was issued in December last year but quickly was sold out. I was lucky to get a copy of the next pressing. It was recorded live in Finland in November (8,9,10th) just after the successful UK tour with Acid Mothers Temple from Japan. Most of the material on this CD is from the last two Circle studio CDs as well as new material. The CD starts Raunio I with a really spaced out beginning and some cool keyboards and Finnish chants. After the slow build up the CD kicks in with the opening track entitled Alotus off the Taantumus CD. A great song which builds and builds until the insane climax. Raunio II is next, another sort of interlude piece before Kultaa, which has this intense thumping bass. After Raunio III, is a new number entitled Lokki, which appears on the latest studio CD, Sunrise. Dedofiktion is next and starts slow but builds into some really intense material. Playing with Acid Mothers Temple has had some affect on the band it would seem. Potto is next and I was surprised at the absolutely horrible sound quality of this track. Sounds like something went horribly wrong with the recording. Not sure what went wrong but this is unlistenable. It appears that most of the tracks on the CD are soundboard directly to DAT or Minidisc and not multitracked as the sound is excellent but not super hi-fi. Raunio IV closes this hour long live CD. Overall, an excellent document of the live experience. If you are a fan of the band you won't be disappointed. If you like the repetitive nature of CAN but more intense with Finnish lyrics, you will have to have this!
For more information you can visit the Ektro Records web site at: http://www.ektrorecords.com.
Reviewed by Scott Heller