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Gavin Harrison & 05Ric - Circles CD (album) cover

CIRCLES

Gavin Harrison & 05Ric

 

Eclectic Prog

3.38 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
3 stars Mechanical mania

The history of Gavin Harrison, the drummer of Porcupine Tree, and his collaboration with the interesting extended range bass player "05ric" is an interesting one. Harrison received an invite on Myspace by the latter, and he decided to check out his music, to which he rather enjoyed. Through a number of private messages and emails, the two met up at a Porcupine Tree song and started talking. One thing led to another and soon the two were sending each other little tidbits of music and themes and melodies, and soon the album "Drop" formed. Combining the forces of both musicians' intense skill, the album turned out to be a great fusion of mechanical experimental rock and jazz, making for a rather eclectic showing. Two years later the two released their second album, Circles. Displaying a similar sound and an even more eclectic, jazzy feel, the album, although having a rather consistent theme throughout most of the album, proffers a great portion of great jazzy mechanical rock.

The mechanical nature of the band's music is obvious, with Harrison's roving precise polyrhythmic drumming complimenting 05ric's robotic bass and guitar lines. Of course the music is not just a time-slot specific template; the two guys are no strangers to improvisation. With countless fills rotating around jazzy and at some times beautifully dissonant guitar solos, the tracks have no shortage of spice to make the music more interesting. One great dynamic the guys are able to throw in is the occasional piano solo, in pure jazz form, such as the one on Circles. Through minutes after minutes of soloing and riffing, the presence of a change is often hugely appreciated.

This also brings me to a significant flaw seen in this fantastic music: the overwhelming sense of repetition on the album. Continuity is definitely an admirable quality, but often when I'm listening to the album I can't help but lose track of which song I happen to be listening to ? most of the songs sound painfully alike. Although the melodies are oftentimes beautiful and memorable and the harmonies between the guitar lines and 05ric's voice are striking, much of the music on the album follows an almost cookie-cutter format, with little but the solos to vary the songs. Now although it may seem like I'm condemning the entire album as a mound of identical noise, I can assure you that I am not. The overall atmosphere of the recording is fantastic, the style of the music is sublime, and my admiration for this album is in a very high regard. However, I believe that a few more dynamics could have been added to the album instead of just a show-off session for the two fantastic musicians. In the end, despite musically being great, there is little variation between tracks (except a few exceptions such as the slower, more melodic Faith).

In final consideration, Circles boils down to a superb display of these two guys' great prowess on their instruments, with Gavin rotating around his kit with grace and agility and 05ric sweeping up and down his bass with ease. Overall, the album, despite being rather unchanging, is a great album, with some really cool atmospheres and chill jazzy soloing to give it a name. Although it may not be the best album out there, I recommend it to anyone who is looking for something different and jazzy to listen to. 3+ stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |

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