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CIRCLE – Empire (LP, Riot Season REPOSELP08)

Posted: October 24th, 2004, by Simon Minter

I’ve been wanting to hear Circle for a long, long time, and hearing Empire now leaves me wanting to track down everything else they’ve ever released as soon as possible – it’s nothing short of amazing. Two long (22/23 minute) tracks, recorded live in Finland early this year, introduce Circle as one of those rare bands who seem to combine effortlessly many aspects of the music I love.

A (presumably) semi-improvisational style, played on traditional ‘rock’ instruments, mixes the laid-back rhythms and strange vocal stylings of early-70s Can with a heavy abstract psychedelic feel. Relentlessly repetitive melodies swell and build from delicate beginnings into intense, cloying chunks of sound. Circle seem to slot into a group of bands I’m slowly becoming more familiar with, as I discover whole new worlds of sound experimentation – Double Leopards, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Dead C, etc. It’s exhilarating and exciting to find vast, previously uncharted areas of wonderful music! Then again, it’s hard on the wallet too…


Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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