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Circle - Forest (2006)

Przedstawiam kolejną bardzo interesującą grupę - Circle - tym razem z chłodnej Finlandii. Mam jednak pewien dylemat - grupa ma spory dorobek płytowy - po przesłuchaniu którego bardzo trudno zdefiniować styl zespołu. W zasadzie każda płyta zawiera inną muzykę - od niezjadliwej i mdłej elektroniki po dziki psychodeliczo-kakafoniczny chaos. Pewne jest jedno - grupa moim zdaniem należy do najciekawszych zjawisk na scenie undergroundowej. Proszę na przykład zwrócić uwagę na wybitne indywiduum jakim jest wokalista. Ja - choć nie wiem czego spodziewać się po kolejnych płytach - jestem absolutnym fanem grupy. Wybrałem chyba jedną z najciekawszych płyt - "Forest", w której ewidentnie słychać wpływ jaki wywarł na muzyce Circle krautrock i grupy takie jak Can czy Neu.

Circle are probably the most well known band of the Finnish underground music scene. Formed in 1991 in Pori, the band started as a 3 piece making aggressive music with influences from Spacemen 3, Loop and grunge bands. The members that started it all were Jussi Lehtisalo (guitars), Juha Ahtiainen (drums) and Marko Taipale (bass). With the first line-up they only managed to make one EP, "DNA/Independence" and then Marko left the band and was replaced by Mauri Päivistö. After releasing another EP, "Point", in 1993 we saw the addition of a second guitarist, Teemu Elo, and released yet another EP, "Silver". The line-up in 1993-1994 (along with keyboardist Petri Hagner and lighting technician Juha-Pekka Hietaniemi) was considered the "legendary line-up". They released their first studio albums, "Meronia" and "Zopalki" under this line-up and they even invented a language like Magma called "Meronian". The live shows with this line-up were something like "psychedelic black masses". They often played with weird outfits or no outfits at all, fluorescent body paintings, strobes, police-car emergency lights and alot of blood (either fake or real). Things were getting a bit out of hand, but luckily it all stopped after the release of their third album.

When recording "Zopalki" guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo was getting more and more interested in the Krautrock scene and in their third studio album, "Hissi", Circle pursued that musical direction. This new sound is heavily influenced by bands like Can and Neu! with its repetitive and motorik way of playing that will become Circle's trademark sound. They also added another drummer to the band, Janne Peltomäki. Some of the band members didn't particularly liked the direction the band was taking and they left to pursue their own musical adventure. Ahtiainen, Hagner and former soundman Jussi Saivo left to form Ovalki.

With a new line-up also came a new musical ideas. With Harrivaara on bass, Niemelä on keyboard and Raitio on percussions they released the less electronic follow-up to Hissi, "Franten", the sophisticated, diverse and trippier concept album, "Pori", and the more aggressive and slightly more prog oriented "Andexelt".

With the release of "Prospekt" we see the band expanding even more with the addition of Mika Rättö, Jyrki Laiho, Pika Kontkanen and Tomi Leppänen. (Most of these new members were already collaborating with the band years ago). Jussi Lehtisalo also switched the guitar for a bass and has been the bass player of the band ever since. (After this release keeping track of the band's line-up has become a bit of a trouble since there's very scarce information, but the only permanent member is the brains behind the band, Jussi Lehtisalo).

After the bombastic progressive rock of Prospekt, Circle started to dive more and more into Krautrock with releases like "Taantumus", "Guillotine", "Alotus" and also in a folksier side of Krautrock with "Empire" and "Forest". They also delved into heavier territories at the same time as those releases with "Sunrise", "Tulikoira" and "Tyrant" being influenced by 80's heavy metal while still having its Circle sound. Those albums were labeled as NWOFHM (New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal). Live albums also saw the light around the same time with "Arkades", "Raunio" and "Mountain".

By the end of 2006 and with the release of "Miljard" Circle labeled themselves as the "NWONWOFHM" (the New Wave Of the New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal). The strange thing is that this NWONWOFHM doesn't have any metal at all. The next album labeled like that was "Tower" and while being musically different from Miljard it still didn't had any metal whatsoever. Since those releases Circle has been evading expectations and confusing fans after each consecutive release. "Panic" was labeled "Finland Speed-Kraut Pioneers" and the album after that "60's Black Metal".

Circle has secure their place as one of the best modern Spacer Rock / Krautrock exponents in recent years and now with every new release they're setting a goal for one of the best modern Experimental Rock bands in recent years. With such a varied discography and eclectic style, adventurous music fans will certainly enjoy this band. - Ruben Dario (Chamberry)

Oh yeah this is the Circle we like – full on psyche rock insanity! There must be something in the water over there in Finland, and I’m guessing it’s hallucinogenic, there’s just something so unashamedly odd about the music that emanates from those chilly shores. Do I even have to mention Lordi? Who else would have the guts to enter something so purposefully bombastic and hilarious into the poorest music competition in the world? Exactly… the Finns – they’re sitting their with their Nokia and their roasted Rudolph and they’re laughing at us! Still, we lap it up – and ‘Forest’ is no exception; a 4 track 45 minute monsterpiece, it loses Circle’s doomy retro metal leanings and swaps it for prog-folk… or something. There’s synth, there’s wailing, there’s probably a concept in there somewhere about goblins, mountains and elves… it’s all there and if anyone can do it, Circle can. The first track is a pulsing tribal jam, probably best compared to Sunburned Hand of the Man – drones and shaken bones which eventually erupt with synth stabs and Finnish vocal chants until you’re left with something closer to Rick Wakeman than maybe you’d think is possible within the realm of good taste. The second quarter of the album somehow brings to mind visions of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom… you know what I’m talking about, don’t pretend you don’t, and as we draw to a close on the final piece we have Circle at their most prog – driving rhythmic guitars and synths getting fuller and fuller until… until the 16 minutes is over and all we’re left with is creaking drones and empty space. Frightning, rousing and totally psychedelic, Circle have what it takes to throw your mind into another place entirely, thanks guys.

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5 komentarzy:

ankh pisze...


jazzlover pisze...

Sounds interesting! I'll give it a try!
Thanks for that!

JLH8 pisze...

thank you kind sir. i love this band. you take care,

Anonimowy pisze...

Thanx a lot!

danilo pisze...

Thanks for sharing.I didn't
know this band.

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