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Earlier today Phil put on a piece of music which was very close to unlistenable. It sounded like two unrelated records being played simultaneously but not in the good “mash-up” way. All I can remember about the identity of the perpetrators, however is that they’re “some Japanese band”. That’s not very helpful is it? This record is kind of the opposite of t ...

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Rakkaus Tulessa by Erkki Kurenniemi & Circle
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8/10 Mike Staff review, 31 May 2012

Earlier today Phil put on a piece of music which was very close to unlistenable. It sounded like two unrelated records being played simultaneously but not in the good “mash-up” way. All I can remember about the identity of the perpetrators, however is that they’re “some Japanese band”. That’s not very helpful is it?

This record is kind of the opposite of that one. On it, Circle’s Jussi Lehtisalo and Tuomas Laurila have combined an instrumental jam tape of Circle’s from 1999 with some vocals recorded way back in 1972 by electronics pioneer Kurenniemi, tinkering and splicing away to make something entirely new in the form of this “blind date” collaboration.

As you can probably imagine, the overriding mood is one of playfully experimental krautrock monotony, with the insistent rhythm section busting out smooth repeato grooves while Erkki’s disembodied voice croons and chatters over it all. It can be a little bit “difficult” and “out there” for passages but there is plenty of quite accessible and grooving kraut business, and the project as a whole is an interesting departure for the Circle lads. The spontaneity of both the performances used here and the way they’ve been combined is reminding Phil of some particularly jammy Can demos, and he bloody loves Can so you can take that as a good thing.

If you’re not already familiar with the prolific Finns’ output I’d recommend picking up the freshly-reissued sophomore LP ‘Zopalki’ first, but if you’re already a fan and just want to check this isn’t shit before you buy it, don’t worry, there’s difficult bits but there’s still plenty of krauty weirdness to sink your teeth into. Comes with a dead classy-looking poster as well.


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