Circle - "Empire"
(Riot Season Records REPOSELP08)

From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)

Circle are a very productive Finnish band that play psychedelic rock. While most of their music is built of repetition, the band have been branching out into more freeform space rock territory and just full on fuck you in the head music. This record is one of those. The LP features two long trip out songs recorded live in May 2004 and exclusive to this 500 copy vinyl only release. "Empire" is a strange improvised track and the lyrics are in English (quite rare for Circle). Mika Rätto sounds really different when he vocalizes in English. After the mostly acoustic beginning the electric fuzzed out distortion guitar slowly works its way to the front of the mix and the groove begins and the vocals fade away. A menacing bass bubbles up from the bottom of the sound. It starts to loop out of control and Mika powers back to the front of the mix. It is really interesting the way the sound evolves and is mixed up and down during the psychedelic journey. This track is a trip for sure and speeds up quite fast at the end and has a great organ solo. Intense! "Dragon" is the other side of the record and is a bit like a raga with tabla like drums, spaced out vocals and a droning organ. Some acoustic guitar and bass layer into the sound as the acid trip takes hold. Sounds like a really bad trip for someone or a really strange time. Far out!

For more information you can visit the Circle web site at:
Visit the Riot Season Records web site at:

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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