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Circle - Panic CD (album) cover

PANIC

Circle

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.10 | 2 ratings

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chamberry
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Finland Speed Kraut Pioneers"

Circle's Panic is a strange album to deal with. It's the meeting of two polar opposite genres in one single disc. In one hand we have electronic meanderings reminiscent to that of 70's German Progressive Electronic bands and on the other hand you have fast and furious Punk. Believe me that it made me scratch my head as well when I first listened to it, and after several more listens it still does!

This album will most definitely have a tough time finding an audience since the drastically different genre changes in this album. In the book end of the album we see Circle's new music style since their 2006 album Miljard, soft, atmospheric, brighter and less dark and menacing, but now interpreted in a more electronic style. Most of it reminds me of early Popol Vuh or the "pink era" Tangerine Dream. Slowly, but surely, the album starts getting darker and stormy. From the first song, "Black Tape", to the third song (and last from the first electronic set), "Pigs In The Paper", the change is clearly evident and turning more apocalyptic through time. Then when you're finally getting comfortable to the changes in the mood of the album and the electronic vibe of it, all of a sudden things come to a screeching halt...

By the beginning of the fourth song all of the moody electronic sounds are gone and welcomed by the least expected punch in the face. Punk music starts filling your ears. One feels disoriented by this drastic change in the music and you won't get up on your feet until the second set of electronic songs begin just like a jet plane flying close to you and you couldn't make heads or tails of it at the time. The only thing that came out of my mouth the first time I heard this was "WTF just happened?!". I had to listen to it again to understand what just happened. When I did listened to it for the second time I realized I was listening to this "Speed Kraut" thing they created which is basically them playing punk with weird electronic washes and psychedelic effects going on in the background ( like a mixture of Punk and Krautrock, if you will). All of the songs that can be labeled "Speed Kraut" are rather short and none go over the two minute mark and the whole set is gone before you know it. It's very strange, but it actually works!

The second set of electronic songs begins as if the frenzied rock never really happened. "Tunnel" is just like the day after a nuclear bomb strike with its humming drone sounding like a desolate wind with no signs of life until. "And Far Away" starts and it's a totally different sound influenced by Tangram era Tangerine Dream. It sounds alive and vivid with a futuristic sound. The album ends like it could continue on forever into this futuristic sound.

I don't know the concept behind this album, but by looking at the art cover and listening to the music it can be seen as the normal days with news all over the place about a world war (first electronic set), total anarchy and chaos before and during the war (the "Speed Kraut" set) and then the nuclear strike to end the war (second electronic set).

Panic is one of the more polarizing albums by Circle. It's hard to recommend this to everyone because of the two totally different styles of music on the album, but I'm sure that there's a crowd for this album somewhere.

chamberry | 3/5 |

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