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Circle - Hissi CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.19 | 8 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars - First Review Of This Album -

From the sticker attached to the CD: "Circle's long lost 3rd album from 1996 finally re-released! Ambient soundscapes and hypnotic rock shake hands with the avant-garde, fusing into an ominous puppet theatre soundtrack - for adults." A good summation of the album by the Finnish cult band from west-coast town Pori. Actually I haven't yet listened to them very much, and also this review won't be based on multiple listening but more like writing down first impressions.

'Kuivaamo' (10:30): a gloomy, estranged, deliberately monotonous track built on hypnotic percussion pattern. More percussive branch of Dark Ambient. An interesting pattern of sharp sounds is being repeated without much progression. A ghostly atmosphere, as if you were in a factory at night. Hard to find references! Perhaps CAN could be mentioned - but there are no vocals of any kind. 'Velmu' is the shortest track and has almost hilarious feel. Angular, jazzy avant- rock with a tight rhythm and keyboards. It's followed directly by 'Kalat' (plural of fish), which is more spacey and 'psychedelic' in the traditional sense. Wow, the synths -and drums too - are gorgeous!

'Glanu' (a nonsense word; I wonder how they name their tracks!) has very earthly and tight drumming in mid-tempo, and of the other instruments the guitar gets more noticeable this time. Perhaps the newer King Crimson could have something like this? 'Valvo' has edgy synths that remind me of Spiral-era Vangelis. Only it remains more disturbing and less melodic than Vangelis. Very very sharp synth sequencing. This has some feel of the classic Berlin school (e.g. Stratosfear- era Tangerine Dream) combined with Jean Michel Jarre. Quite effective!

'Kuuk''rme' (Moon-Snake) is a ghostly, deeply psychedelic space rock track reminding of some Barret-era Pink Floyd, something like 'Interstellar Overdrive'. 'Strand-jatkumo' (strange bilingual title; jatkumo means continuum) is also based on tight rhythm pattern and repetition of sounds - which can be both very seducing and threatening. I especially like the high keys. 'Saksi' (Scissor, deliberately not scissors as it ought to be) is the second longest track, very disturbing and strange in its hypnotically frenzy rhythm and repetitiveness. The sound that resembles distant mumming must be made with guitar.

A very difficult case to rate! Highly original and risk-taking music that couldn't care less of pleasing large audience. Musical references spread widely over Krautrock, RIO/Avant-Prog, space rock, Dark Ambient and electronic music, but it all results in a unique style of their own. How enjoyable it is on the long run is a bit tougher question; some tracks are very effective but not all. Three well- earned stars.

Matti | 3/5 |


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