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Circulus - Clocks Are Like People CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.81 | 23 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I became aware of Circulus on an early evening, prime time culture show on British TV. I was fascinated by their sound, their strangely flippant and shy attitiude, and by the completely stupid way they chose to dress! I'm no expert on 'Prog folk',a tag that I'm sure Circulus would hate as much as the 'Folk Rock' tag applied to them by the non prog world, but this band are ridiculous bordering on brilliant.'Clocks are Like People' their second album oftens fails to capitilise on the bands real strengths, notably their ability to fuse Moog with trad instruments like Crumhorns, but when they do, and they are in full flight, it can be a mindblowing and strangely addictive brew. Refreshing too,but perhaps only to those of us, who seem to have managed to cunningly and skillfully avoid being exposed to much folk music over the years. Perhaps it's now time for a change...?

This album grows on you like fungus with each play. It's beautifully produced; the definition on all instruments coming through crystal clear. The musicianship is impressive too. I would like to hear more female vocals throughout, and also more extended play, but there are some fine moments.

'Dragons Dance' is a quirky opener, which didn't do much for me on first listen, but I think it takes time to get to know what this band is about, and what they are trying to achieve, and the nature of their sense of humour. 'Willow Tree' is among my favourite songs. The moody verses are complimented by the male/female harmonies, and the synthy interludes provide a wonderful contrast to the more trad sounding vocal sections. 'Wherever she goes' is a haunting ballad, with lyrics that make me think of the maypole song from the Wicker Man: 'In the ocean there is an island, and on the island grows an oak, beneath the oak lies a casket'.

'Bouree' is an instrumental, which has great moments when the Crumhorns come in alongside the Moog, although some of the tunes are little too 'chirpy' for my taste. It's a track of great potential, and is evidence of what Circulus are capable of. It should have been longer, a little darker, a little funkier perhaps, but it's coming from a good place. The best track is the closer 'Reality's a Fantasy' Circulus skilfully combine their folk elements with spacious Moog flurries, and a vocal part sung through a two way radio, sounding as if singer Sam Kelly was performing on the Moon and singing his heart out to mission control. This is the track I play to people when I want them to hear Circulus. It's arguably not the most representative track, it just happens to be their most atmospheric and interesting IMO.

I'm awaiting the arrival of their debut, 'The Lick on the tip of an Envelope Yet to be Sent' The reviews on PA seem to favour the debut over 'Clocks are like People' Perhaps it's typical of me to do everything back to front, but I shall post a review of the debut in due course. For now, I'm left wanting to see this band live, and wanting to hear more. 'CALP' is arguably patchy, but the formula is fantastic and I look forward to their next album.

Blacksword | 3/5 |


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