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Neo-Prog • Netherlands

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Cirkel biography
CIRKEL is a hard band for all purpose, still not sure if Neo Prog, because it sounds more like a Moody Blues derivative band (close to Nights in White Satin) and also for the lack of biographical information that has made me work extra hours searching for some light about them.

The band was formed apparently in 1982 (the info is insufficient) by Hans Den Hartog (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Hennie Van Mourik (bass) and Ad Struijk (drums) in the Netherlands, their sound as I mentioned before was a blend of the early Moody Blues with a touch of DEPECHE MODE, so it's easy to understand that they have a very clear New Age influence which makes me doubt where they must be included, because they don't fit perfectly in the Neo Progressive parameters.

Their debut and only album was released in 1983 with the name "The First Goodbye, it's interesting mixture but as I also said still not sure where they belong, the Neo Prog elements are there but there's a lot of New Age and soime Pop, but it's a woth addition

After CIRKEL disbanded, Hennie Van Mourik joined MARYSON and ICE.

Good band, try to get the Musea reissue which has bonus tracks.

Iván Melgar Morey.

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Buy CIRKEL Music

The First GoodbyeThe First Goodbye
Musea Records France 2006
$12.96 (used)
Cirkel First Goodbye Other ClassicCirkel First Goodbye Other Classic

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CIRKEL discography

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2.97 | 13 ratings
The First Goodbye

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CIRKEL Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The First Goodbye by CIRKEL album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.97 | 13 ratings

The First Goodbye
Cirkel Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Cirkel was a short-lived Dutch Prog act from the town of Gorinchem.They were active during the early-80's, feauring Hans den Hartog on guitars/keyboards, Hennie van Mourik on lead vocals/bass, Chris van Hoogdalem on guitars and Ad Struijk of the Art/Punk Rock group The Divorce on drums.Their sole album ''The first goodbye'' was recorded at the Ballad Sound Studio in Vuren and was a private 83' release on Goodbye Records.Reinier Bruijns contributed his acoustic guitar on one track.

Similar-sounding with tons of other 80's bands influenced by Classic Prog, Cirkel played a melodic Neo Prog with sensitive vocals and interesting instrumental variety, split in two different styles.Some tracks are fairly symphonic with good keyboard layers and evident inspirations from bands like GENESIS and CAMEL, performed in the way Prog music was delivered in the 80's, which was shorter arrangements with less emphasis on impressive technique and a tendency towards more melodious textures.Very good guitar solos and some strong symphonic flavors in the more synth-based passages are the definite highlights of these pieces.The rest of the album presents a more early TWELFTH NIGHT-oriented music, where the Prog stylings are combined with slight influences from Punk and New Wave.The music is relying on pounding grooves, more nervous synth experiments and beating drum parts with Cirkel trying to be up-to-date with the music aesthetics of the time.But even these pieces contain some brilliant, soaring guitar work and artistic arrangements, held down by the cheesy use of keyboards in moments.Each style is well-performed with alternating dramatic and pleasant moods, although the more Classic Prog-influenced side fits better within the talents of the band.

After the disbanding of Cirkel, Chris Van Hoogdalem continued his prog venue with Maryson and later with Ice, where he met again with his Cirkel bandmate Hennie van Mourik.

The CD reissue of the album contains a pair of bonus tracks, recorded at the same studio in 1984 and more or less following the same musical path.Anyway, this is a warmly recommended album to all fans of Neo Prog or Melodic Progressive Rock.

 The First Goodbye by CIRKEL album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.97 | 13 ratings

The First Goodbye
Cirkel Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, I thank Ivan (Nights in White Satin ??) and Bogdan for their kind words about Cirkel, after all still my fellow countrymen, and I agree that as it is from 1983 it deserves some praise but when I listen sheer to the quality of this band and album and then mainly the quality of the compositions I'm afraid bringing up too much enthusiasm is hard for me. This must be one of the lesser neo progressive bands that ever arouse on Dutch soil.

First few and last few songs on this only album they ever made sound quite nice and reach 3* level without problems but the six in the middle absolutely don't and get stuck in a very mediocre (if not poor) standard. These six sound amateurish and don't have any progressive features. So I don't want to be too negative here and will round up to 3 stars (from 2,75) in the end but that's the best I can do even if I take the era it was created into consideration. The fact that there never came a follow up should tell enough ...

 The First Goodbye by CIRKEL album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.97 | 13 ratings

The First Goodbye
Cirkel Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm the first reviewer of this obscure neo prog band from early '80's, quite strange because their music has a lot to offer and many great moments. They came from Holland and were formed in mid '70's around Henny van Mourik - bass and vocals. They released only one album in 1983 named very sugestive - The first goodbye. While the progressive rock music was somthing of a lost battle in early '80 some bands manage to survive and other just beggin to take form. One of the bands from second category who has a quite succesfull album in that period was Cirkel (circle in english). They play neo prog who remind me a lot of Zaragon from Denmark (who release an album later next year named No return), same neo prog aproach. Maybe to many this album would be something very unpleasent because of digital sound of the keyboards, typical for that period, very pop sound, but combined with progressive rock give quite a pleasent album after all. The music is not very sophisticated like on other neo prog bands from that period, Marillion come in mind , their first album is much more rockyer, but The first goodby has plenty of good moments, is clear that this band was promising dutch out fit. The pop sound dominated the album but is so well melted with neo prog elements, that in the end I'm apreciating this album a lot. The album is as I said not very complex, has some fine moments, specialy , keyboards sound very intristing, it gives a special '80's feel to it, but very ok in the end, Henny van Mourik has a good voice for this kind of music, nothing over the top, but enjoyble all the way. All the pieces stands as good, not a weak moment here, More than a match or Four hands are well puted on the portative . I have the Musea records re issue with two bonus tracks, recorded in 1984 , the year when they disbanded. Henny van Mourik will join the neo prog band from this decade named Ice - who released an album in 2005 named Saga. So, a good album who desearve for sure from my side 3 stars, nothing realy impressive or groundbreaking like other albums from that period in neo prog zone, but well performed, more like 3.5 for personal reasons. While they are far from an essential listning , they need a wider recognition, Cirkel is one of the bands from early neo prog movement both from Holland and in Europe in general. Similarity with Zaragon from Denmark or Dragonfly from Switzerland.
Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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