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Dave and I are having a totally childish little snigger about the fact we've just noticed that Circle have a guitarist called J Jaaskelainen. Yeah, you can bring out like 20 great albums and we'll still have a little chortle about the fact you have a similar name to a footballer. You probably already have a decent idea what to expect from Circle by now but nonetheless I must get back to the ...

CD £11.49 ESS018

CD on Essence Music. Edition of 800 copies in tip-on, heavy gatefold mini-LP style sleeve.

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Soundcheck by Circle
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9/10 Mike Staff review, 01 December 2011

Dave and I are having a totally childish little snigger about the fact we've just noticed that Circle have a guitarist called J Jaaskelainen. Yeah, you can bring out like 20 great albums and we'll still have a little chortle about the fact you have a similar name to a footballer. You probably already have a decent idea what to expect from Circle by now but nonetheless I must get back to the CD at hand, which comes packaged in a spectacular crystal skull themed gatefold sleeve that looks good enough to smash. Anyway, this CD's got four tracks on it, each one different, with the album's centrepiece being a 20-minute-plus jam entitled 'Tuhatsata'. Here they create an ever-accelerating kraut throb with wacky growled and warbled vocals that aesthetically finds a midpoint between the hypnotic insistence of Can and the balls-out psychedelic craziness of Acid Mothers Temple. These guys have always been more listenable to my ears than those zany 'Temple lads, though. By the end of this track they're really rocking up a storm, bringing to mind the motorik tastiness of CAVE. Then we've got 'Virsi', which has a totally dramatic prog-opera vocal intro before we descend into some crunchy kraut-jazz territory that reminds me of the jazzy bits on the last Motorpsycho album, slowly easing down over the course of the ten-minute track. Mind expanding. Then to round things off we've got 'Nopeuskuningas', which melds MC5-esque guitar licks to the insistent kraut beat to great effect to make you feel like you're skating down a really long tunnel with wolves running alongside you. The intensity waxes and wanes between 'rocking hard' and 'rocking really hard' with a very natural feel but the momentum is always there and the rock'n'rant vocals on this track are really effective, and there's some pretty heroic guitar playing making for a totally thrilling ride to close out proceedings. Even though they're so prolific, all the recordings I've heard from these guys have been really excellently constructed and they really are living proof that you can have relatively constant levels of productivity whilst staying consistently brilliant. They've only gone and done it again.


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