― die9o (dhadis), Wednesday, 8 January 2003 16:24 (10 years ago) Permalink
― die9o (dhadis), Wednesday, 8 January 2003 16:25 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Yanc3y (ystrickler), Wednesday, 8 January 2003 16:27 (10 years ago) Permalink
― dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 8 January 2003 16:43 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Yanc3y (ystrickler), Wednesday, 8 January 2003 16:48 (10 years ago) Permalink
And as an aside, how's that WORMS album on tUMULt?
― die9o (dhadis), Wednesday, 8 January 2003 16:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 9 January 2003 02:08 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 9 January 2003 02:30 (10 years ago) Permalink
Of the ones you can get hold of easily I'd say the recent Sunrise and Prospekt disks are both excellent. Sunrise is mostly in a motorik-trance-metal style (yes complete with screaming, almost operatic vocals - it works!) and also some lovely more acoustic tracks. Prospekt sounds slightly more "cyber" and less traditionally rock, but is still pretty raging, and of course repetetive as hell. Pori also has some top moments, plus some jazzy p**t-r**k bits (but hey it was 1996, and it's not that bad if you actually like Tortoise) The way they can pull off stuff in 15/8 or whatever, without sounding at all prog is wikkid. Taantumus is also pretty great, some ace riddims with some jazzier tracks and some more rockin ones, and certainly a big Can influence. Circle's rhythms really are what set them apart. I can imagine them appealing to more open minded 'tronica heads as well. This really is stoner music par-excellence, but sharp as f*** in that Finish way - they've probly never done druqks in their lives :)
I think all of the above are available from www.chunkyrecords.com in the UK, and also from the bands' own label www.ektrorecords.com, along with lots of curious side projects. Chunky records have also just recently reissued Prospekt on vinyl on their Static-Resonance label.
Go for it!
― brainliner, Thursday, 9 January 2003 15:06 (10 years ago) Permalink
― bobba snoom snoom, Saturday, 29 March 2003 21:46 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 29 March 2003 22:01 (10 years ago) Permalink
― your null fame (yournullfame), Sunday, 30 March 2003 00:11 (10 years ago) Permalink
― roger adultery (roger adultery), Sunday, 30 March 2003 01:20 (10 years ago) Permalink
― summerslastsound (summerslastsound), Sunday, 30 March 2003 04:16 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 2 April 2003 17:02 (10 years ago) Permalink
― bob snoom, Thursday, 19 June 2003 10:36 (10 years ago) Permalink
― adam (adam), Thursday, 19 June 2003 17:26 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Sean Witzman (trip maker), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 12:55 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Sean Witzman (trip maker), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 13:20 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 14:14 (9 years ago) Permalink
― John Bullabaugh (John Bullabaugh), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 19:19 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Sean Witzman (trip maker), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 19:20 (9 years ago) Permalink
― bob snoom, Friday, 11 June 2004 13:42 (9 years ago) Permalink
― cutty (mcutt), Friday, 11 June 2004 14:06 (9 years ago) Permalink
They are a bit more sparse than Circle, slow grooves, slight metal edge, repetitious riffs...kind of mellow.
― ddb (ddb), Friday, 11 June 2004 14:23 (9 years ago) Permalink
― william (william), Friday, 11 June 2004 17:37 (9 years ago) Permalink
― william (william), Friday, 11 June 2004 17:39 (9 years ago) Permalink
― william (william), Friday, 11 June 2004 17:48 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Sean Witzman (trip maker), Friday, 11 June 2004 17:57 (9 years ago) Permalink
― emma cleveland (emma cleveland), Friday, 11 June 2004 18:18 (9 years ago) Permalink
they just put out the leviathan/crebain split; i don't think andee's on hiatus, i think their website is just in desperate need of updating.
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Friday, 11 June 2004 19:12 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Sean Witzman (trip maker), Friday, 11 June 2004 19:30 (9 years ago) Permalink
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Friday, 11 June 2004 20:55 (9 years ago) Permalink
CIRCLE:(All shows with Cul De Sac)Sat Mar 11, Boston, MA - TT The Bear's PlaceSun Mar 12, New York, NY - Knitting FactoryMon Mar 13, Charlottesville, VA - Twisted Tea BazaarTues Mar 14, Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506Wed Mar 15, Atlanta, GA - Drunken UnicornFri Mar 17, Austin, TX - Emo's 4 (Eclipse SXSW Showcase)Sun Mar 19, Alburquerque, NM - LaunchpadMon Mar 20, Las Vegas, NV - Venue TBATues Mar 21, San Diego, CA - Venue TBAWed Mar 22, Los Angeles, CA - Knitting Factory
― peepee (peepee), Friday, 10 March 2006 14:53 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 10 March 2006 15:02 (7 years ago) Permalink
― peepee (peepee), Friday, 10 March 2006 17:36 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Friday, 10 March 2006 17:45 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Friday, 10 March 2006 17:49 (7 years ago) Permalink
Are they ABSOLUTELY MUST SEE LIVE?
I have to pick shows very carefully this month....
― Giles Manius (jsoulja), Friday, 10 March 2006 18:45 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Matt #2 (Matt #2), Friday, 10 March 2006 19:14 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 10 March 2006 19:15 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Last Of The Famous International Pfunkboys (Kerr), Friday, 10 March 2006 19:18 (7 years ago) Permalink
― QuantumNoise (Justin Farrar), Friday, 10 March 2006 20:29 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Giles Manius (jsoulja), Friday, 10 March 2006 20:35 (7 years ago) Permalink
Rättö ja Lehtisalo, spacey experimental synth pop with progressive overtones.Kuusumun Profeetta, trippy folk music (actually one of their 4 albums is pretty straightforward old school heavy) with Mika Rättö on vocals and Rhodes.
― mikko (mikko), Friday, 21 April 2006 05:08 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Friday, 21 April 2006 08:09 (7 years ago) Permalink
― josh in sf (stfu kthx), Friday, 21 April 2006 16:31 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Tuomas (Tuomas), Friday, 21 April 2006 18:59 (7 years ago) Permalink
― GOD PUNCH TO HAWKWIND (yournullfame), Sunday, 30 April 2006 23:54 (7 years ago) Permalink
― prince rupert, Tuesday, 2 May 2006 20:48 (7 years ago) Permalink
― JW (ex machina), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 20:57 (7 years ago) Permalink
― a, Wednesday, 3 May 2006 07:54 (7 years ago) Permalink
Circle fucking DESTROYED last week.
― mikko (mikko), Wednesday, 3 May 2006 11:45 (7 years ago) Permalink
have received two packages quite quickly so far and jussi is really quick and friendly with his responses to queries.
― drone/a/sore (drone/a/sore), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 18:35 (6 years ago) Permalink
― drone/a/sore (drone/a/sore), Friday, 4 August 2006 02:33 (6 years ago) Permalink
― DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Friday, 4 August 2006 08:33 (6 years ago) Permalink
― drone/a/sore (drone/a/sore), Saturday, 2 September 2006 15:49 (6 years ago) Permalink
Upcoming Circle Sunrise on No Quarter kind of fucking kills. Everything they do (including the 'NWOFHM' stuff) is on here, and it all jams. "Paholaisratsastaja" = !!
― Dominique, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:33 (5 years ago) Permalink
That's a re-release of the 2001 record, right?
― Alex in SF, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:35 (5 years ago) Permalink
Oddly enough I'm listening to some of the Doktor Kettu stuff this afternoon. Nice, though it all kinda blends together.
― Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:37 (5 years ago) Permalink
― Dominique, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
actually there is a new record coming out on No Quarter too, but I can't get to play on my PC
― Dominique, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 22:54 (5 years ago) Permalink
hey, you know what's pretty fucking good? prospekt. wish there were more vocals and more violin, though. probably my favorite of the circle rock albums atm.
panic on the other hand...
― GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Monday, 19 November 2007 17:37 (5 years ago) Permalink
Prospekt is my favorite, too. It's the only one I've got on double lp.
Love this youtube clip of them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FWftvvaVok
― Trip Maker, Monday, 19 November 2007 17:43 (5 years ago) Permalink
a timely revive - been meaning to check these guys out for a while, but their discography keeps growing and i have no idea where to start. seems like there's a huge, huge variety of material covered in their dozens of releases.
so, what's a good circle full-length to start on? preferably one that's relatively easy to find from the good mail-order places.
― Mark Clemente, Monday, 19 November 2007 17:45 (5 years ago) Permalink
Circle :: what album is their best
― peepee, Monday, 19 November 2007 19:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
― Mark Clemente, Monday, 19 November 2007 19:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
As of 2007 my favorite Circle album is Miljard. It's ambient music, so not typical for them, but very nice.
― Dan S, Monday, 19 November 2007 19:58 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've been playing Miljard as my bedtime music for the last couple of weeks, in rotation with Villalobos's Fizheuer Zieheuer and Iasos's Inter-Dimensional Music.
― krakow, Monday, 19 November 2007 21:43 (5 years ago) Permalink
Been a fickle fan of this band for a few years, since the Static/Resonance issue of Prospekt back in 04 or so, though I'd been reading about 'em and wanting to hear stuff since the early 90s late Forced Exposure era. Love Prospekt and Sunrise to death, love the full-on cosmic Valhalla epics from their NWOFHM era. Empire's a good live record, though a bit too forest folk oriented. Fucking LOVE the early dirty grind of Meronia & Zopalki. But I'm not familiar with much else, and my exposure to Circle's sensitive side hasn't enouraged heavier petting.
Anyway, am adjusting to the relatively restrained Krautrock horrorshow of Katapult and considering picking up the Sunburned Circle LP. Anyone heard that, got any reports? Any recommendations for other material along the lines of Prospekt and Sunrise? With Mika wailing in full effect, ideally.
― Bob Standard, Wednesday, 21 November 2007 23:18 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've got that lp. It's pretty good. Tulikoira is a particular favourite of mine.
― Herman G. Neuname, Wednesday, 21 November 2007 23:22 (5 years ago) Permalink
Most Sunburned Hand stuff I've heard is skittery and unwashed, like it was made by people with lice, like NNCK on a bad day. So I'm leery. But I could see as how the bands might draw each other in interesting directions - Circle to loosen up a bit, SH to straighten up and fly right.
― Bob Standard, Wednesday, 21 November 2007 23:31 (5 years ago) Permalink
I finally got hold of Tulikoira, particularly spurred on by watching it race to victory in the poll, and it's the business. Great rocking rhythmic genius. I can't believe I took so long to get round to this piece of the Circle puzzle. Along with Panic, which I'm also liking a lot, it's reinvigorated my Circle obsession after being disappointed with Arkades, Tower and Katapult. I'm definitely going to go back to those ones now though, as I didn't listen to them more than once or twice since I didn't like them too much and was craving more of a Pharaoh Overlord-type hit at the time.
― krakow, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 09:59 (5 years ago) Permalink
Oh man, that final minute or so of Tulikoira is fantastic. Maybe this counts as a musical spoiler , so look away now if you haven't heard the album, but... when it all kicks back in for the final wee bit of rawk at the end after fooling you (or at least me) with the preceding extended quiet pseudo-ending, it's just perfect. NWOFHM indeed.
― krakow, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 10:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've heard Raunio. And Sunrise I have Sunrise and Katapult (a new one on No Quarter). All of the above are great. I really like that latest a great deal.
― Nate Carson, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 11:08 (5 years ago) Permalink
I saw them last night and they slayed pretty hard. They have a mid-set interlude where they do Greco-Roman wrestling on the floor
― DJ Mencap, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 11:34 (5 years ago) Permalink
I really like Circle feat. Verde. A lot mellower than their usual output. Slightly more akin to Chick Corea's 'Return to Forever' or even some of Vladislav Delay's output.
― Ulysses, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 14:39 (5 years ago) Permalink
Any recommendations for other material along the lines of Prospekt and Sunrise? With Mika wailing in full effect, ideally.
Check out the live album Raunio. Heavy wailing vocals. Includes a really great version of the first song on Prospekt, "Dedofiktion."
The atmosphere is really heavy throughout. There are opera vocal breaks throughout the set, between the rockers. It was the first Circle album I heard, I need to listen to it again.
― Trip Maker, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 15:12 (5 years ago) Permalink
I don't suppose anyone's managed to see the Saturnus Reality documentary that is mentioned on the Circle website?
It supposedly premiered at the recent Avanto festival in Helsinki and sounds very interesting...
Saturnus Reality (2007) is the Finnegan’s Wake of Finnish rock documentaries, and a fabulous cul-de-sac in a stream of consciousness. The film’s subject is Circle, the prolific Finnish experimentalists hailing from Pori, but it is a self-ironic vicious circle of a film that focuses on the curious world of the band and its musicians, shot on a home video camera. Jussi Lehtisalo, Mika Rättö, Janne Westerlund, Tomi Leppänen and Tuomas Laurila appear in the film as if they were acting out themselves.
The film is nominally centred on the recording sessions of Miljard, one of the latest albums by this extremely productive band, whose output includes 28 albums in 16 years. Starting out as a traditional rock documentary, the film soon runs loose on various sidetracks: to the depths of a forest, onto a frozen lake, into the darkness of night. The band’s primeval music becomes the soundtrack for magic rites performed in nature. The musicians meet the mysterious Oracle of the Reed Sea, a strange meteorite has landed in a snowy landscape, and so forth. What matters in Circle’s fantastic world is totality of vision, while details are treated somewhat generously. The new genre the band has coined, NWOFHM (The New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal), may just as well mean fragile atonal piano improvisation or catatonic one-note walls of sound. Inspired by the ritualistic films of Stan Brakhage and Kenneth Anger, the film moves to the beat of double and triple exposures, the atmosphere balancing in the timeless opening between childish horseplay and reckless pathos. Enthusiastic live commentary can be heard beside the camera by the director/cinematographer, Pori’s multi-talented craftsman of the psychedelic, Esko Lönnberg. His earlier works include the splendid concert film with Doktor Kettu (also from Pori), shot through a distorting lens.
- Mika Taanila
(Finland, 2007, 60 min, Finnish dialogue, English subtitles)
World premiere at Avanto Festival, Helsinki
― krakow, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 22:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
I just received Alotus today, following a successful eBay purchase last week, and it's another winner on first listen. Nice and repetitive, no outright craziness, more in a relatively subdued rocking vein, with some really nice grooves and bass playing going on in particular.
My belief in the cult of Circle is strengthened yet more.
― krakow, Saturday, 8 December 2007 22:52 (5 years ago) Permalink
Wow. I just discovered this band over the weekend. I picked up Katapult and the "Vaahto" 7" and I'm really happy I have this thread to dig through to find out where to go next. As corny as it may sound, this is one of those thrilling new discoveries that reminds me why I love music so goddamn much.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 4 February 2008 13:48 (5 years ago) Permalink
I just won a copy of "Pori" (the Feldspar version) on ye olde eBay - new Circle excitement!
― krakow, Sunday, 2 November 2008 23:02 (4 years ago) Permalink
On the actual new release front there's a new full length CD album on Ektro called Hollywood (extended Earthworm EP style action) and a 2LP vinyl only live album on Fourth Dimension called Triumph (ala Arkades).
― krakow, Sunday, 2 November 2008 23:07 (4 years ago) Permalink
ahhh yeah, i was hoping for some more duff stuff. i hope ektro re-re-releases the fucknig jesters of destiny cd, it's pretty great.
― ROBIN TROUSERS (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 3 November 2008 01:59 (4 years ago) Permalink
There's plenty of Duff stuff on the new one, well worth it for Earthworm fans.
Just got word last night from Fourth Dimension that the Triumph vinyl should hopefully be out next week after long delays.
― krakow, Monday, 3 November 2008 08:19 (4 years ago) Permalink
"hollywood" has already appeared on slsk. it's pretty good, maybe less thoroughly "metal" than the ep (if you leave off the two tracks from the ep, which they should've done) but still a good time.
― ROBIN TROUSERS (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 3 November 2008 10:50 (4 years ago) Permalink
camera obscuraU2magenta skycoderadioheadthe LKorange juice
― Kevin Keller, Monday, 3 November 2008 16:24 (4 years ago) Permalink
― Kevin Keller, Monday, 3 November 2008 22:17 (4 years ago) Permalink
― ROBIN TROUSERS (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 4 November 2008 02:38 (4 years ago) Permalink
the kellerbot is malfunctioning
― jabba hands, Tuesday, 4 November 2008 02:48 (4 years ago) Permalink
wasn't this a "circle the finnish band" thread? obviously the only correct choice was magenta skycode.
― Kevin Keller, Tuesday, 4 November 2008 05:17 (4 years ago) Permalink
oh how droll
― ROBIN TROUSERS (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 4 November 2008 08:41 (4 years ago) Permalink
― krakow, Tuesday, 4 November 2008 09:47 (4 years ago) Permalink
"Pori" is soooooo good. This is another one to truly rekindle my love. "Hollywood" is good, but it's not got me excited on the few listens since it turned up. "Pori" however is effing wonderful right from the first spin - track 2 is an utter belter. I'm half-way through and am setting up the album repeat button right now.
― krakow, Saturday, 8 November 2008 10:46 (4 years ago) Permalink
'hollywood' is growing on me. it's hair metal noir at times
― kamerad, Sunday, 28 December 2008 22:08 (4 years ago) Permalink
is that out? has it made it to the US yet? i can't find a fawning aquarius records review on their site...
― what we do is secrete (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 29 December 2008 02:47 (4 years ago) Permalink
i got it as a gift, not sure how it was acquired. website claims '09 u.s. availability
if you liked the "earthworm" e.p., you might want this one too. the title is fitting. it's straight up cock rock at times, at others all southwest, a la steve von till solo
― kamerad, Monday, 29 December 2008 02:59 (4 years ago) Permalink
You can still get it from Ektro directly it seems. When it first came out in October-ish they claimed it would have a limited pre-order period before the full release, but it still appears to be listed there: http://ektrorecords.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=928
― krakow, Monday, 29 December 2008 07:55 (4 years ago) Permalink
each listen is better. "connection" could be a judas priest song. "hard to realize" sounds like a latter-day ween spaghetti western epic, complete with gene ween vocal inflections. these guys (if not ween) might be the most versatile band right now. "mercy and tuesday" and "mad man" develop into serious hypnojams
― kamerad, Friday, 2 January 2009 17:58 (4 years ago) Permalink
is that out? has it made it to the US yet? i can't find a fawning aquarius records review on their site...
― hologram of balls (gnarly sceptre), Friday, 2 January 2009 18:03 (4 years ago) Permalink
it'll get there; they'll love the shit out of this one. between 'hollywood' and the new animal collective i already have two '09 favorites, and it's just jan. 2, signs that this might the year i won't be able to keep up anymore
― kamerad, Friday, 2 January 2009 18:07 (4 years ago) Permalink
New 2LP live record Triumph finally out now on Fourth Dimension.
Also, Doktor Kettu CD album on Ektro (droney Circle/Jussi side-project).
I also hear that the 'Saturnus Reality' Circle documentary film will be released on DVD in March-ish on No Quarter!
― krakow, Tuesday, 27 January 2009 12:18 (4 years ago) Permalink
Finally got my latest package from Aquarius with Arkades, Forest, and Panic. Looking forward to digging in over the course of the day. Anyone know of other stores to order from? I've just about burned through all the albums Aquarius has available right now.
― display names have been changed to protect the innocent (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 10 April 2009 12:40 (4 years ago) Permalink
eMusic has some of their stuff too if you don't mind getting by on digital downloads
― kamerad, Friday, 10 April 2009 12:44 (4 years ago) Permalink
yeah, aquarius is probably the best u.s. distro for circle stuff, seeing as how they love everything they've ever done, etc.
anyone seen the new dvd?
― picture me lolin' (Alan N), Friday, 10 April 2009 13:36 (4 years ago) Permalink
ektro recordss is run by circle's jussi lehtisalo. packages arrive pretty quickly and he promptly responds to any questions regarding orders.
― drone/a/sore, Saturday, 11 April 2009 00:15 (4 years ago) Permalink
Seconding the service from Ektro. Top notch.
― krakow, Saturday, 11 April 2009 22:08 (4 years ago) Permalink
CIRCLE - Taantumus CD (Ektro-054) *** RE-ISSUE COMING SOON ON EKTRO ***=============================================================Ektro Records is proud announce that a re-release of Circle's difficult to find album Taantumus will be available in a couple of weeks. The re-issue comes with updated album artwork and Veitsi, a previously unreleased nine-minute bonus track.Taantumus tracklist and samples at Circle's website:http://www.circlefinland.com/index.php?discography=taantumusTaantumus was originally released by Bad Vugum in 2001.
Hurrah! I've still not seen the DVD, but will order it from Ektro when Taantumus is available.Also picked up the couple of t-shirts they had recently. Good times.
― krakow, Friday, 29 May 2009 21:52 (4 years ago) Permalink
Hah, I just said to you today that the old stuff was bound to get reissued sooner or later
― pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Friday, 29 May 2009 22:00 (4 years ago) Permalink
― the sideburns are album-specific (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 29 May 2009 22:01 (4 years ago) Permalink
They reissued the first album Meronia nearly 2 years ago and said at the time that it was the beginning of gradually reissuing all the older out of print stuff. Got this email through at the weekend from Ektro.
― krakow, Friday, 29 May 2009 22:06 (4 years ago) Permalink
been listening to tower a bunch lately. this one doesn't seem too popular but I think I love it. the ramshackle percussion + droney, modulating fender rhodes sound just really works for me.
― picture me lolin' (Alan N), Tuesday, 2 June 2009 14:01 (4 years ago) Permalink
The Taantumus reissue arrived this morning - one listen at work and it sounded top notch, so exciting to get an album from a band I love so much that I've never heard before and because of their odd nature have no clue beforehand what it might be like... and then to find that it totally rocks! Glorious times.
I also got a copy of Zopalki (on Bad Vugum from 1996) for relatively cheap off eBay recently. I prefer the true hypno-kraut-groove stuff, but it's got some solid moments after a couple of listens. I never really dug Meronia, so guessed that this would be a slight progression on but along the same lines.
Also scored a couple of the early-ish 7''s (the one on VHF, "Crawatt", and "Ghatarian" on 4th Dimension) for sensible prices, so I'm getting pretty deep. If anyone has any Circle-related goodies that they decide to part with then I'm your man... $$$'s ready and waiting!
Anyone else got the Circle fever atm?
Oh yeah, I missed the DVD from Ektro, so still haven't got hold of that, not that I ever really watch DVDs anyway, but you know...
― krakow, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:40 (3 years ago) Permalink
too expensive to buy em all
― pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:42 (3 years ago) Permalink
Gotta catch them all. NWOFHM >>>> money
― krakow, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:49 (3 years ago) Permalink
i don't think i could really get circle fever. i mean, i like them, but very few of their albums excite me that much. prospekt, forest and earthworm are pretty great though.
― liege & leafblower (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Sunday, 21 June 2009 08:17 (3 years ago) Permalink
Finally picked up Hollywood while shopping in Ann Arbor yesterday, though we got back home so late last night that I didn't have a chance to rip it to my iPod - so it'll have to wait until tonight for a spin. Also ordered the Taantumus reish from Aquarius, so um, yeah, my Circle love is in full force still.
― 3 mods 1 banhammer (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 10 August 2009 13:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
Anyone looking for Circle cd's would be well-served to check out the Omega webstore. They have a half-dozen or so Ektro cd's and shipping is free. I just got "Meronia" there a few weeks ago, which is growing on me. Hopefully they'll get "Taantumus" in before too long.
― Robert Necrofrost, Monday, 10 August 2009 19:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
One thing that makes coming back to work after a shot vacation better? Seeing a package from Aquarius sitting on your desk that contains Taantumus, Telescope, and La Dusseldorf's Viva. Cannot wait to dig into the Circle tonight! Did krakow ever get around to running another Circle poll?
― 3 mods 1 banhammer (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:32 (3 years ago) Permalink
That should be "short" vacation, although I would already like to shot another vacation.
― 3 mods 1 banhammer (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:33 (3 years ago) Permalink
The one band that Circle remind me of every now and again is Loop. Both perfect names for what these two bands do too.
― Peinlich Manoeuvre (NickB), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:35 (3 years ago) Permalink
Also Oneida - the O.
― Peinlich Manoeuvre (NickB), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:36 (3 years ago) Permalink
Funnily enough, those are the exact three bands I've listened to the most this year!
― 3 mods 1 banhammer (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:37 (3 years ago) Permalink
Some circular headspace you have going on there.
― Peinlich Manoeuvre (NickB), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
Yes, that may explain some things actually. But yes, Loop was one of my happiest discoveries this year.
― 3 mods 1 banhammer (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've not done another poll yet, but if there's interest I'll work on doing so, probably next week, including all the new releases. Might be a good opportunity, since we're in a bit of a lull from them.
― krakow, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:50 (3 years ago) Permalink
Isn't there a Circle poll?
― Alex in SF, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:51 (3 years ago) Permalink
There was one back in 2007, the idea has been kicked around as an update.
― 3 mods 1 banhammer (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:51 (3 years ago) Permalink
Oh I guess it's old.
― Alex in SF, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
It's kind of too bad we can't link all the polls and threads together like a master thread.
― Alex in SF, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
It was before my time on ILX, so I feel hard done by you see. 2-3 years is a long time in the Circle discography too. There were at least 5-6 more albums in that period, probably more.
― krakow, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 22:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
Bit of news...
'Triumph', which was originally a recentish limited 2LP release (start of the year), is coming out as a 2CD set at the end of this month, again on Fourth Dimension. It's a recording of a WFMU session from September 25th 2007.
― krakow, Sunday, 27 September 2009 09:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
cool. really like that one.
― picture me lolin' (Alan N), Monday, 28 September 2009 14:26 (3 years ago) Permalink
A new album is appearing shortly, a vinyl only release of a live show...
Full Contact, 2009LP
Side A1. Kukkakaalia kapteenit! (3:40)2. Tuhatsata (20:39)
Side B3. Virsi (9:25)4. Nopeuskuningas (14:00)
Live / soundcheck performance at Space Force 1 festival, Torvi 31st October 2009 Lahti, Finland
― krakow, Saturday, 21 November 2009 22:40 (3 years ago) Permalink
The Triumph 2xCD is also out now, available in the usual places.
― krakow, Saturday, 21 November 2009 22:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
Myself, I hunted down copies of Fraten and Prospekt on CD lately. Not got to Prospekt yet, but Fraten is worming its way into my mind.
― krakow, Saturday, 21 November 2009 22:45 (3 years ago) Permalink
Where else is it available? Aquarius only seems to have the 2xLP version.
― & other try hard shitfests (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 21 November 2009 22:47 (3 years ago) Permalink
Ah, maybe I was being a bit UK-centric, at least so far. I'd seen it on various UK sites (Cargo, Second Layer, Alt Vinyl et al) and imagined that it would have made it to the states as well, but it seems not yet. Ektro have it as well, of course.
― krakow, Saturday, 21 November 2009 23:03 (3 years ago) Permalink
Just wondered, thanks for the info. Aquarius has always been my go-to place in the U.S. for all things Circle.
― & other try hard shitfests (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 21 November 2009 23:12 (3 years ago) Permalink
Aye, I'm sure they'll have it ASAP. I wouldn't be surprised if it's in their next update, since one just appeared today without it.
― krakow, Saturday, 21 November 2009 23:16 (3 years ago) Permalink
And for those of you not on the mailing list, Aquarius now has the Triumph 2CD in stock, just ordered mine.
― & other try hard shitfests (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 5 December 2009 19:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
Just got a copy of the Lusiferiinin Armosta album, which is another Jussi project (and also features in the just-out Aquarius list btw), and it totally rocks.
― krakow, Saturday, 5 December 2009 22:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
OK, I would REALLY like a copy (meaning the actual CD, that is) of the 'Kollekt' compilation CD of the early 7'' tracks & other bonus material.
If anyone has this CD that they might consider selling to a rabid obsessive who has hunted in vain on the interwebs for a fair old time, then please get in touch...
In other news, utterly unedifying for anyone but me, I found 'Hissi' and the original Bad Vugum version of 'Taantumus' recently. Hurrah!
― krakow, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 11:19 (2 years ago) Permalink
I wish they'd reissue more of the old stuff. "Taantumus" was the only one I actually managed to buy at the time. I was hopeful that the rerelease signalled that the 90s stuff would follow, but no.
(sorry krakow, can't help you there)
― atoms breaking heart (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 6 July 2010 11:32 (2 years ago) Permalink
Yeah. When they reissued 'Meronia', I figured that they would just work through reissuing everything in order, since basically all of the early stuff is OOP and requires a fair bit of dedication to find, but then Taantumus being next threw that for a loop.
But maybe they (i.e. Jussi, I suppose) are not so keen on the others. I'm not a huge fan of 'Zopalki' myself, whereas 'Taantumus' is a total winner.
― krakow, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 11:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm not a big fan of Zopalki as a whole but "Brilliant Colours for Bright Ideas" is my favourite Circle track and it would be nice to have a real copy
(stupidly I first fell in love with it on a mixtape someone made for me when it was presumably still originally available, but I was new to mail-ordering records back then and buying stuff from overseas seemed a step too far - oh, regrets)
― atoms breaking heart (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 6 July 2010 11:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
to anyone wanting to know about possible re-issues,why don't you just email ektro (jussi) and ask. you will likely get a response pretty quickly.
― drone/a/sore, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 18:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
I was happy just to wait and see what happened. We're just speculating & discussing here, nowt wrong with that at all!
I speak to Jussi whenever I order stuff and occasionally outwith that to hassle him to play Glasgow!
― krakow, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 18:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
Circle EUROPEAN TOUR 2010
16 SeptemberParis / La Maroquinerie (FRA)
17 SeptemberGroningen / Vera (NL)
18 SeptemberTilburg / Incubate festival (NL)
19 SeptemberLeuven / Orange Factory @ Sojo (BEL)
20 SeptemberDuisburg / Steinbruch (GER)
21 SeptemberBerlin / Bang Bang Club (GER)
22 SeptemberCopenhagen / Osram (DEN)
23 SeptemberMalmö / Inkonst (SWE)
24 SeptemberGothenburg / Koloni (SWE)
25 SeptemberAarhus / Voxhall (DEN)
26 SeptemberTBA (GER)
― Go Go Gol, Monday, 26 July 2010 11:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hopefully getting them to the UK next year. I tried this time but it didn't work out.
― krakow, Monday, 26 July 2010 18:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hope they make it over here, can they play somewhere other than Corsica Studios in London next time? Wish I'd remembered to nominate Nopeuskuningas in the All Time Metal Poll!
― A prog venn diagram for you to think about (Matt #2), Monday, 26 July 2010 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink
if you can make it, I'd highly recommend seeing these guys. seeing them live made me an instant fan.
― The world’s most violent pizza delivery man (Alan N), Monday, 26 July 2010 21:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
Listeing to Telescope this morning, damn do I love this band so much.
― he's always been a bit of an anti-climb Max (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 5 October 2010 16:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
Anyone heard Rautatie yet? I didn't even know it was released, since it wasn't given the usual "Record of the Week" treatment by Aquarius. In fact, that store's lackluster review makes me wonder if this one might be worth skipping. I mean, the Aquarius dudes showed way more excitement for Hollywood and that was certainly not one of the band's best.
― "I am a fairly respected poster." (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:41 (2 years ago) Permalink
Still debating whether to order Rautatie or not. Today's Dusted review is a jaw-dropping failure of a record review. There is only ONE single description of what one track on the album sounds like and the rest is like a capsule history of Circle. Such an awful and unhelpful review.
― one pretty obvious guy in the obvious (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 10 February 2011 15:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
The track included with the review is pretty goofy.
― Trip Maker, Thursday, 10 February 2011 15:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
Not only did I FINALLY get to see my beloved Circle play live this weekend at the Supersonic 2011 festival in Birmingham, as well as seeing Pharaoh Overlord (for my second time) the day before at the same festival, BUT I also got to do photoshoots with both bands - Circle in full shiny skintight spandex & studded metal belt theatrical regalia, playing along as we photographed... and they are super nice people too! Good times!
― gay for gordon-levitt (krakow), Monday, 24 October 2011 15:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
That's awesome! Sounds like a great weekend. I'd love to see them live.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 24 October 2011 15:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
did you notice how even their sound guy gets dressed up for their set
― We All Had Guess Papers (DJ Mencap), Monday, 24 October 2011 15:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Indeed! Similarly, he was fully included in the photos, dressed up and equivalent to the other band members. Did you catch them at Supersonic or the other UK dates?
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 24 October 2011 16:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
I've been every year except a couple but this festival never fails to kick my ass with its quality
― We All Had Guess Papers (DJ Mencap), Monday, 24 October 2011 16:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
Amen! This was my fifth Supersonic in a row and I absolutely love it. It was another amazing year.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 24 October 2011 16:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
I enjoyed Pharaoh Overlord a little more I think but both were blinding. Another great year. We should start a thread next year.
― Conan The Asshander (Doran), Monday, 24 October 2011 17:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think I might make one before then for Supersonic/Capsule/Birmingham, as it would be nice to reminisce about older ones and anticipate next year...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
BTW, I now have 20 A4 pages of notes and diagrams in my attempt to make sense of the whole Circle/Pharaoh Overlord/NWOFHM/Pori/Finland malarky.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
do you like nightsatan?
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
I've not heard of them before. You think that they might fit with my loving all this kind of stuff? I will take a look/listen...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sorry for any buzzes harshed during the course of the above youtubes. Anyhow it is all out of print and the official website which was promising a multi-cd compilation "soon" (several years ago) has disappeared so never mind I guess
― how do i shot slime mould voltron form (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
Not really digging the Nightsatan, but thanks!
Deep Turtle however!! Those tracks sound bloody great! How do you mean about the buzz harshing though? Thanks for the new band spacecadet, even if I can't buy anything by them...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Their website seems to be alive here: http://www.deep-turtle.net/
Like you say though, the releases look to be all long long gone...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Circle have so many different, er, vibes that I wasn't sure if DT would be on completely the wrong one for you!
Ah, website is back (it did disappear at one point) and still promising a triple CD "soon". I'll keep on believing...
Deep Turtle were friends with Circle way back in the early 90s, recorded in the same basement, and did one collaboration track for a compilation put out by a Helsinki record shop which I guess is probably even more out of print than everything else described as OOP on this thread and which I've never even found an mp3 of - but it's on last.fm, so I guess someone has one: http://www.last.fm/music/Ympyr%C3%A4konnat
(And I think "There's a Vomitsprinkler in my Liverriver" may be the finest album title in the history of recorded music, but then that's probably why I'm not allowed to name things.)
― how do i shot slime mould voltron form (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh no, Deep Turtle were right up one of my many streets!
Thanks for the information on the connection and collaboration too. I'll keep my eyes open and ask about for the Ympyräkonnat track...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
Deep Turtle and Circle were both on the great Bad Vugum record label iirc.
― Lars and the Lulu Girl (NickB), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 13:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Unhelpful Bad Vugum thread here
― |III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Tuesday, 25 October 2011 13:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
For all Circle/related fans:
Jussi Lehtisalo - A Day in the Mouth Episode 4
― kokokeho, Thursday, 27 October 2011 14:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ah, my favorite band in the world and of all time! Incredibly nice and talented dudes, all. A band that's been quietly making history over in their corner of the world for the last eleven years or so. The last decade for them, ever since the lineup solidified, has been beyond tremendous, one wild ride and I feel lucky to have been on board since Sunrise. The only band I collect, too.
In the Popol Vuh thread a member goes through the PV discography and lists the virtues of each individual album chronologically and it was very informative. Would something like that be of interest with Circle? I would like to do that for literally the whole discography and also the primary side projects if it will generate some discussion. I feel like Circle gets a bad rep for releasing so much and I'd like to champion a lot of things that people might have missed.
― liam fennell, Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Lars and the Lulu Girl (NickB), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Lars and the Lulu Girl (NickB), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
yes! I feel like I've listened to a big chunk of their post-prospekt stuff (they're one of my faves as well) but definitely not all of it and I haven't heard much of their stuff pre-prospekt. so, this would be a totally great resource for me.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm def down, liam; i've wanted to get into them--and still need to hear Prospekt--but a completist rundown would be exceedingly helpful...
― ge0rge (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
prospekt is godhead stuff. a good place to start imo.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
There are about ten albums/eps on Spotify btw (not Prospekt though, which I agree is vital)
― Lars and the Lulu Girl (NickB), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yes please do it, I've got about 15 Circle and related releases and I still get confused.
― |III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
my favorite of the spotify material is forest. but it is also a... deeply weird record.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sounds like a fantastic idea liam. I will very gladly and eagerly take part!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Thursday, 27 October 2011 20:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Please please please do it!
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Thursday, 27 October 2011 20:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
i'd read it!
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Thursday, 27 October 2011 20:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yes, do it, liam!
― emil.y, Thursday, 27 October 2011 21:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
― the wheelie king (wk), Thursday, 27 October 2011 21:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Prospekt is pretty much the one, I'm glad you all agree. After that monumental slab of precision engineered sonic mayhem they were free to go anywhere. And so they have. I will totally do this, I'll try to do the albums up to Prospekt tonight, excepting Kollekt because it's the only one I don't own and haven't heard in a while.
― liam fennell, Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Kollekt is the only album that I've never been able to find either.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Thursday, 27 October 2011 23:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
I feel like I'm not trying hard enough to find them now! Excited for the rundown, anyway.
― how do i shot slime mould voltron form (a passing spacecadet), Thursday, 27 October 2011 23:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
this is just what i need for winterlooking forward to digging into something unfamiliar to me but well loved by others
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Thursday, 27 October 2011 23:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
Circle. Pronounced Seer-klay in Finnish (according to Jussi!). The early stuff only hints at the amazing things to come starting with Prospekt, but it's all worthwhile more or less. Everything is in place from the start, more or less, especially the repeating riffs, they just don't quite know what to do with them yet. The band isn't as focused, or wild and creative, as they will come to be, but they sure are tight. Jussi is the only current member who was active in the early period, with guitarist Teemo Elo being the second most valuable player up through Prospekt although Janne Peltomaki is almost equally as prominent and important to the aesthetic once he joins up on Hissi.
Meronia - they burst out the gates after a few very successful 7"s with a debut cd of stately but exuberant hard rock and roll topped with serene choir vocals. The sound quality is very nice, and remains one of Circle's strengths throughout their career although they start getting more lo-fi and murky later on for some of the live albums. At this point they are pretty much a Gilded Eternity era Loop clone except with chanting. They still have more or less conventional song structures and aren't so hell bent on reaching riff nirvana. Our hero and master of ceremonies, Jussi Lehtisalo, is playing guitar here, and according to that video that just appeared and you can watch a few posts above, strumming with his fingers! This is news to me and I find it quite funny and appropriate! Almost all the songs here are in fact memorable, with fairly melodic and tasty riffage, but when taken as a whole they kind of blend together. The first tune has a nice riff in 15/4, alternating between 8 and 7, immediately announcing that something a little different is going on with this band beyond the obvious nods to Loop and Gregorian Chant. I find the keyboards in the early years, before they start using analog synths, to be a little cheesy but they do the job, which is primarily to provide atmosphere until the prog elements creep in later. "Staalo" is probably my favorite tune, featuring a rad violin melody and a big buildup in the middle section.
Jussi sounds great with his church singing and the singing is apparently why they made something of a splash when they first appeared. In fact they got better press in the first few months after their first EP got a re-release in the states than they ever got again until perhaps recently. They were part of a wave of Bad Vugum stuff along with Deep Turtle and I think Keuhkot that went over big at the time. After they released Zopalki, a much darker album, everyone stateside seems to have lost interest! I only know this because Jussi told this to my friend when we saw them in 2005 at the Khyber in Philly. The big splash was quite beneficial though, it established them once and for all in Finland as a band to be reckoned with and they've been working more or less ever since, even if in relative obscurity.
Zopalki - Now the essential krautrock influence first rears it's head for real. The opening track, "Brilliant Colours For Bright Ideas", is one of their best moments in the 90s. This song is a very dark and beautiful 7/4 riff that grooves relentlessly, punctuated by eerie organ riffs and dripping with menace thanks to some atmospheric keyboards that set the mood. This album is much darker overall, much, but the sound quality and instrumentation is essentially the same as on Meronia so they're like yin and yang in my mind. Now the song structures start to become less important, although the songs are carefully through-composed still. Overall I think this album improves on Meronia in almost every way, except it's a little too long. Actually they're both a little too long, but I'm glad in the historical sense even if it makes the albums sort of difficult to digest. Check out a very young Mika Ratto making a guest appearance on the miniature epic space song towards the end of the album called Ghatarian! He disappears after this until Prospekt, busy with his own bizarre prog band Moonfog Prophet, but it's a wonderful glimpse into the future!!
Surface - Skipping ahead a little, but Circle's portion of this split cd with Marble Sheep is a live set from the Zopalki era so I'll deal with it here. This is a wonderful live document, and amazingly pristine sounding, which I prefer to Meronia and Zopalki proper. All the songs are good and much faster and more energetic than their studio counterparts. After an incantory opening they launch into a brilliant "Brilliant Colours For Bright Ideas" and we see the boys are becoming more obsessed with the potential of the almighty riff, not to mention minimalism in general. Improvisation, which becomes a vital ingredient once the band matures, is starting to creep into the formula. This album has some serious mojo. Recommended if you can find it!! That's a big 'if' unfortunately!!! The Marble Sheep side has the best Marble Sheep song, too, from the all-too-brief period when they were the Japanese equivalent of Amon Duul.
Hissi - Now things get fucking weird!! The songs are jettisoned, and with them goes the singing. The band lineup is starting to change. They now pick a groove/riff/melodic fragment, and to paraphrase an interview with Jussi from the Sunrise era: "decide it's good and hold onto it until the end of time". Janne Peltomaki appears for the first time here as second drummer. He is very important in Circle's evolution, he tends to play very LOUD and complex rhythms, with often startling endurance. He very rarely plays a straight drum beat, preferring instead complex syncopations with off center accents. He's not a drummer who builds much or improvises (they need to wait for Leppanen for that!), he provides more of an endless/timeless continuity. He is solid like the foundation of a building and perfect for Circle in this period when the riff is king. This album is also surprisingly electronic, almost like a kind of industrial music. I rather like this one, it's murky, mysterious and hard to grasp. There's almost nothing concrete to hold onto, but it's all very interesting and as I said above, fucking weird! There's some very sublime stuff here, and the double drum assault keeps it real throughout.
Fraten - Now most of the original members are gone, but Teemu (spindly riff master par excellence) Jussi and Peltomaki remain. The band adopts a new and unusual sound for this album and it's follow up, Pori. The sound here builds on what they do on Hissi, but the electric drums are gone. Overall it is very clean and chimey, with strange keyboards and tasty bass lines. This album is more monotonous than any of the others, almost like they're trying to make the most boring and un-dynamic songs ever. It also sounds kind of like some kind of interstellar circus, complete with fun house and hall of mirrors. This album is very prog sounding, although not in execution, just in the way the instruments are arranged and the overall vibe. These two albums also utilize female ooohs and aahs that almost sound like deep space opera (there is a Finnish band called Haikara from the 70s with vocals like this sometimes that I suspect Jussi was very influenced by at the time!) This is perhaps their least interesting album in the grand scheme of things, but if taken on it's own merits it's quite good.
Pori - This is an important chapter in the Circle story. They had state funding to make a concept album about their home city and they used it to maximum effect, developing the songs into a very considered and rich tapestry. They take the template of Fraten and Hissi and expand it outwards... and upwards towards outer space for the first time! A very prominent percussion player has joined up named V.Raito and he lends the songs a very quirky forward motion, an almost cartoonish animation that is very novel. Genuine avante garde classical influences and instruments appear for the first (and last!) time in a few songs that function as breathers between the actual songs. The keyboard player at the time, T.Niemela plays a touch bass instrument called Stick to startling effect on a few tunes. The songs on Fraten are static. The songs on Pori build to crescendos for the first time like post-rock. This formula has been abandoned in recent times, but is used to wonderful effect on both Prospekt and Sunrise. Jussi must've been feeling nostalgic because he's singing again, at least a little! "Kartano" is the highlight here, a truly astounding track built on a monster groove that is perhaps their best song until Prospekt and something of a milestone, encapsuling everything that has come before and pointing towards the glorious future. This one builds and builds and builds until it blasts off with a monster Led Zeppelin style riff that is eventually overtaken by cosmic synth sounds and white noise!! This is the song that leads directly to Prospekt. Super recommended. The weirdest song here is the last one, about the Pori Jazz fest (wtf!? I guess this is here to justify the state funding?). It's 14 minutes of their most monotonous groove ever with endless noodling saxaphone. Strange, and nice enough, but totally a WTF moment for me.
Andexelt - Now we're talking!! The somewhat cheesy circus sound is gone and replaced by badass guitar riffs augmented by awesome effect pedals. Jussi is now playing bass!! Leppanen, man-machine drummer extraordinaire, appears on the three songs, for the first time, as a guest!! Peltomaki, Teemu Elo and Jussi totally come of age with this album. It's clear that they are really onto something now and that the years of experimenting, both as Circle and Ektroverde, are starting to yield some seriously wonderful fruits. The album is relentless and driving and very clean with a lot of space for the instruments to breathe. Improvisation, particularly in regard to the guitars, is now becoming an essential ingredient in the Circle stew thanks to the addition of a gloriously demented strange noise collector named Jyrki Laiho on 2nd guitar! This album is really too cool, although it's still somewhat anchored in the older sound established on Hissi, coming off as a really rad futuristic hybrid of the monotonous Fraten and the colorful Pori. This one is all sleek lines and precision, and features the first sleeve artwork that really fits the music, something they become increasingly concerned with from here on out. This might be a minor revolutionary aspect compared to the actual music, but it really enhances the overall impact of the albums. As good as this album is, it doesn't really hint at the radical changes to come with the next album, where they once and for all blast off into the Circle dimension.
Prospekt - This is it!!! No fucking around!!! Dedofiktion kicks into high gear from the first moment with relentless syncopated double drumming that doesn't let up for the entire duration of the album. The two extraordinarily talented drummers lock together into one tapestry of propulsive percussion that never stops and never varies except to build in intensity. Think about that for a second. This is human endurance pushed to the limit, the purest spectacle of focus and concentration, a whirlwind of zen energy, the line where man and machine blur. No fucking protools on this album, you can hear every note, you can hear the strain and ultimately the transcendence. We have Mr. Tomi Leppanen to thank for that. Leppanen. Drum god. The man-machine (he told me Kraftwerk is his favorite band of all time and I believe it!!). Mr. Precision, he of the light touch and effortless perfection, a man who calls 'the pocket' home. I could talk about Leppanen all day long!! Anyone interested in Leppanen should seek out the Aavikko albums forthwith, for real. This is an album where ordinary instrument sounds get dissembled and reassembled into new and miraculous shapes never before imagined by man, much less heard.
Essentially a 'big band' album, this one features an impressive lineup of almost all of Circle's greatest members past and present. The wonderfully weird and impossible to quantify quasi-operatic singing of Mika Ratto appears here for the first time, which will come to dominate and define Circle's future sound. He's not as creatively involved with the compositions at this point, but his presence puts them over the edge once and for all. There is no turning back. All these elements crystallize into the absolutely mind boggling puzzle that is Prospekt. This album has serious depth, layer upon layer going all the way to infinity. Each song is simple to the point of caricature, yet endlessly interesting and layered. Wild organ solos, big hawkwind riffs, mind melting crescendos, stately violin, badass bass grooves and cyborg synth washes are all fused together and tied to a rocket ship traveling at high speeds through the cosmos. Destination: Dimension Circle!!
Whew!! Can you tell I really like this band? Liam signing off, for now.
― liam fennell, Friday, 28 October 2011 02:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
Bravo. I only recently started working through stuff beyond Prospekt, so good timing. Favorites so far after Prospekt in rough order:
Forest (Ektro/No Quarter) 04Taantumus (Bad Vugum/Ektro) 01Sunrise (Ektro/No Quarter) 02Tulikoira (No Quarter) 05 Andexelt (Metomorphos) 99
― Fastnbulbous, Friday, 28 October 2011 03:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks for that liam, thats fantastic! There's still a lot of that early stuff I haven't heard. Of course finding real copies is next to impossible, but even finding a few of those early albums by other means has proven difficult.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 28 October 2011 04:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
i just found a bunch of them on groovesharklistening to "dedofiktion" right now, in fact!! (figured i would start there because why not)
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Friday, 28 October 2011 04:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
just go here (i think?) http://grooveshark.com/artist/Circle/238114
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Friday, 28 October 2011 04:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
Didn't even think to check grooveshark, good call!
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 28 October 2011 04:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
also thank you liam -- will report back when i have heard more...
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Friday, 28 October 2011 04:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Of those mentioned so far, only the first album 'Meronia' is currently readily available, as it was reissued by Ektro in 2007.
'Prospekt' is being reissued by Essence Music shortly though, which is good news.
If you see any of the others then do not dally, as they are rather difficult and often expensive to find. The Circle/Marble Sheep split is the rarest of this lot (except 'Kollekt'), currently commanding silly money. I'm looking for those ones...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 28 October 2011 08:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
I have Kollekt! Didn't know it was so rare tbh, maybe I'll re-listen and review here for completist purposes.
― |III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Friday, 28 October 2011 09:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, I used to have a rule about only hearing Circle albums as I was able to purchase legit physical copies, just to retain some sense of wonder and excitment or whatever. But I gave in after going about 18 months now without coming across a record I didn't have, after running through everything my local shops had, anything I could find on visits to Ann Arbor (one store in particular, Wazoo, used to have quite a few Circle things!), or anything I could order from Aquarius.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, I prefer not to spoil them, but I definitely heard most of the earlier ones via soulseek way before I found them to purchase because I just had to know what they'd be like. Buying a lot of their stuff was an epic study in patience spanning years and years. Ebay, Gemm and Discogs are places I regularly check. Things occasionally show up, sometimes even for reasonable prices ha. Besides Kollekt, Fraten, Surface, AMT/Circle split 7" (which I found recently!) the ones that have proven exceptionally difficult to locate are some of the Ektroverdes like Pingvin and Integral. Luckily Meronia and Taantumus have been reissued and I'm sure more will come alone sooner or later. I can't fault Jussi for generally looking forward rather than looking back, even if it can be super frustrating!
― liam fennell, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh yeah, the only reason I subscribed to the Aquarius mailing list was to know when new reissues come up because those guys always stock 'em! Its funny, I'm having trouble finding Fraten even through slsk or blog searchs.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 28 October 2011 13:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
I won't have a chance to think/talk about the music on these earlier albums until next week probably, but I did stumble across this interview with the guitarist of the period, Teemu Elo, from Aural Innovations in July 1999, which fits with this bunch of albums... http://www.aural-innovations.com/issues/issue7/circle04.html
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 28 October 2011 18:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
Now to take a different tact, I'd like to discuss the two main side projects that are effectively Circle alter-egos, Rättö Ja Lehtisalo and Pharaoh Overlord. RjL seems to have been unfairly overlooked by almost everyone, but PO is respected in stoner rock circles and known to some prog people. Both bands seem to appear after Circle reaches the evolutionary quantum leap that is Prospekt.
RjL is essentially Circle doing overt synth-pop with more or less conventional song structures and melodic elements. PO is Circle doing minimalist riff rock with an emphasis on trance, soundscapes and texture over outright musical development and melodic content. Both bands feature Jussi on bass generally. RjL is usually Jussi with Ratto, obviously, and PO is Jussi with Westerlund and Leppanen sans Ratto. These descriptions are a serious simplification, but they are the essential blueprints for each group.
Pharaoh Overlord - #1 - This is the first album to see Leppanen as the primary engine driving the music and also the first album to feature Janne Westerland, chainsmoking minimalist riff sultan and mumbler supreme, on guitar. This album was recorded circa 2000 so it's roughly from the same time period as Prospekt and it's quite informative to compare the two. Pharaoh Overlord is a lot like circle, focusing on a single riff obsessively repeated for a long time, only much more stripped down, focused and stretched out. Here the riffs are of the stoner variety, slow burning and with blue notes. Echo pedals are almost a 4th member on this album. Instead of building up like Prospekt, the songs linger and random fuzz guitar squeals buried deep in the mix keep them sonically interesting. Everything is reduced as much as possible to bare essentials. The drums are deceptively simple, almost skeletal (complete skeletal comes later with #3!) The heavily fuzzed out and echoed guitar textures conjure up all sorts of smokey and exotic desert imagery. The riffs are also catchy, I often find myself humming them for days after a careful listen to this cd. Awesome album!
Rättö Ja Lehtisalo - Kopernikus hortoilee näkinkengässä - An interesting disc that was quite startling to me the first time I heard it. Comes off as a kind of light-weight synth pop Neu! with smooth guitar played by Aki Peltonen (their usual producer/engineer) and goofy/charming (take your pick!) singing. There are simple song structures built on top of the polished motorik rhythms and feature tasty playing throughout. Some really great tunes here balanced by some that are a little forgettable. Utlimately a pretty harmless cd compared to the pop excursions that are soon to follow. The only real criticism I can level at this album is that there is no edge, no darkness to balance the evident joy the two men had making this little gem of a disc. It must have been a refreshing change of pace for them at the time after making so much serious art music with their main bands. I'm not sure exactly when this album was made, but I think it might predate Ratto's full time participation in Circle starting with Alotus. If anyone really likes this album, there's a companion LP that has 2 songs from this album and 2 unreleased songs from the same sessions. It's pretty good but I don't think I need to say much about it except that it's pretty much just like this, short synth pop songs.
Pharaoh Overlord - #2 - This one has gotten more exposure than it possibly deserves in relation to the rest of the ouvre, due to a fairly prominent North American release (as did forest and earthworm) but it's pretty good all told. Super laid back and drenched in atmosphere, if perhaps a little bass heavy. The main gripe I have is that it's a little too similar to #1 and feels kind of like they're not sure exactly how to get to the next level yet. The two tracks with improvised acoustic guitar excursions are the best by far, very lovely but still the work of the seriously focused band that made #1. "Skyline" is a staple of the live albums and the album version kind of weak in comparison to them.
Rättö Ja Lehtisalo - Pari lepakkoa Transylvaniassa - This is more like it! A totally bitchin' album, and one of the most astonishing and important things they've done. Here they abandon the synths, mostly, in favor of acoustic guitars and pure atmosphere. And singing!! The singing is a fundamental compositional element for the first (and so far only) time, employed as an instrument in and of itself. Oh's, ah's, c'mon baby's, dum de dum de dums, grunts, whispers, sighs... marvelous! No drums at all here and they aren't missed. Well there's some splashing cymbals and tom tom rolls at the very end of the disc courtesy of the wonderfully creative clattering percussionist Janne Tuomi, but they're almost incidental. This album is also catchy! The best song, "Harmittava Levitaatiotapaus" is borderline unbelievable. It features Ratto whistling and typing on a typewriter against compressed close mic rhythmic breathing sounds and a really rad bass line... suddenly he takes the page out of the typewriter and literally recites the poem/story he just wrote!!! Then he types a few more stanzas and starts whistling again... Amazing! The only lame part of this album is that it's more of an EP, very short, with one song being a meager electronic excursion that sounds like a leftover from the first RjL album kind of tacked on to stretch out the run-time. Oh well, still super highly recommended. Please, all, check this one out if you haven't yet. It's so worth it and completely unlike anything else they've ever done.
Pharaoh Overlord - Battle of Axehammer (live) - another USA release, this live album is quite interesting. This is our Finnish friends at their most relentless, single-mindedly riffing until time and space collapse. It's also recorded completely in the red, so it's more or less a wall of fuzzed out distortion! Very cool. They play mostly songs from the #1 and #2, with one or two new tunes to boot. This is one for the potheads amongst us. The funniest thing is how the songs just end, out of nowhere. They must use visual cues when it's time for the songs to wrap up and it's hilarious how random it sounds on record.
Pharaoh Overlord - #3 - This is also one of the most astonishing of all their albums and certainly the best PO to date (although I really love #4 too!) The mild-mannered men from Pori were really on fire at this point in time. This is the most stripped down and assured forward-motion music they've ever done. Tripped out skeletal minimalism, with a distinct seventies vibe, very much along the lines of Neu!, only much darker and with an agenda. It also brings to mind the Tony Conrad w/Faust album with it's prominent negative space aesthetic. Clean guitar ostinatos in front, often with neato delay effects, and fuzz squeals way in the background adding texture. The drums are the lead instrument! Leppanen owns this album, seriously. "Laivus 17" is a 13+ minute long shining diamond of rhythmic bliss, one of the crown jewels in the Circle catalog. Jaw-dropping. Jussi is also quite impressive here and his bass tone is something to be marveled at. It also features their best cover art in my opinion. PO is still a trio at this point but it's not surprising when they start to bring in more players for future discs because #3 would be borderline impossible to top without a seriously drastic change in style (and in fact they haven't gone back to this stylistic place yet and it's been 6 years!) The weirdest thing here is that this album of otherwise remarkable songs is broken up into two halves by a 10 minute song that is all feedbacking fuzz guitar by Jussi Saivo, a mysterious guy who has contributed random things to random Circle projects over the years. Wtf? Can't say it bothers me much, but it sure is strange. It's the part where you take a smoke break, I guess.
Rättö Ja Lehtisalo - Ed Benttonin briljantti stabilismi tai Taivaallinen kylpysaippua - Whew, now that's a title! A return to synth pop, but now it's much more accomplished and confident. There is a lot of overt humor here, but also a lot of badass bass riffs and killer melodies. Very playful, they're having a blast with this project. Leppanen joins them for this album and his contribution is much appreciated. The first song is probably the best one on Ed Benttonin, a longish and very complicated tune with a lot of layers and detail. Churning arpeggiators and warm analog synth melodies take center stage. Very, very cool and creative. Almost all the songs have novel structures and effects. Very catchy stuff, melodic hooks abound. Ratto is in top form as a singer and Jussi's baritone bow-de-bow-bow-bows are really cool. Terrific production and overall a very fun and rewarding, albeit somewhat puzzling, album. I can't think of much to say beyond that except: Sports, baby, sports!
― liam fennell, Friday, 28 October 2011 20:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
Been listening to Meronia, Prospekt, the first Plain Ride album and the new Grumbling Fur...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 30 October 2011 10:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
Grumbling Fur is pretty strange, no?
― liam fennell, Sunday, 30 October 2011 20:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
I still need to get the Plain Rides, and also the Sweethearts. The Chainsmoker albums are really great.
― liam fennell, Sunday, 30 October 2011 20:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
ok so far i have listened to prospekt, pharaoh overlord #3, and Kopernikus Hortoilee Näkinkengässä they are all so different!
so far, i like #3's vibe for everyday and am looking forward to listening to more circle (proper) when i can pay better attention. liam's description of Kopernikus is spot on enough that i don't really have anything to add except that this would be the sort of thing i would put on at a party and anyone who actively disliked it would be identified as someone i probably did not want to talk to.
can someone give me an idea of what the general demographic for this band is? i'm just curious.
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Monday, 31 October 2011 14:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Trip Maker, Monday, 31 October 2011 14:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
can you elaborate on that?
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Monday, 31 October 2011 14:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
I would say 30+ year-old mostly male vinyl collector nerds with tastes that lean towards metal and krautrock.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 31 October 2011 14:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
i don't think i know any tripsters irl
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Monday, 31 October 2011 14:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
tripsters are hipsters with a psychedelic fetish. Mostly an ILX in-joke.ARE YOU A TRIPSTER?!?!?! OMG WTF LOL WHO IS #1 TRIPSTER OF NOISE BOARDhttp://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=60&threadid=41
― Trip Maker, Monday, 31 October 2011 14:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Jon's description is way more accurate and useful I would say.
― Trip Maker, Monday, 31 October 2011 14:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
i mean i only know of them apocryphally, i guesstripsters hang out in groups, but jon's ppl are more familiar to me can a person be a lone tripster?
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Monday, 31 October 2011 14:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
Actually if I'm going to accurately describe the Circle fans I've spoken with irl, I'd have to add the descriptor "record store employee" because they are the only people I've actually talked about the band with.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Monday, 31 October 2011 14:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Circle fans I know are dudes in psych bands.
― Trip Maker, Monday, 31 October 2011 14:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
Have met a few metalheads and some noise type people at Circle gigs.
― Lars and the Lulu Girl (NickB), Monday, 31 October 2011 14:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'd have to add the descriptor "record store employee" because they are the only people I've actually talked about the band with.
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Monday, 31 October 2011 15:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hey Liam no pressure, just clarifying: you are going to continue this awesome rundown with the 00s Circle albums, correct?
― lone tripster syndrome (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 31 October 2011 21:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
loooving the rundown, liam! especially interested in the side projects since I've only dabbled here and there. was completely unfamiliar with Rättö Ja Lehtisalo for example.
is there a standout in the ektroverde catalog?
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Monday, 31 October 2011 21:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
Guilty as charged on all counts.
Record shop employee, 30 years old, male, record collector nerd, noise dude, tastes leaning towards metal & krautrock...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 31 October 2011 22:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
only thing im not is record store employee. krakow can be my proxy though
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Monday, 31 October 2011 23:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah I fall into all those categories too, except record store employee. Although I did spend 2 years on the waiting list to work at one back in college.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 01:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
I would say 30+ year-old mostly male vinyl collector nerds with tastes that lean towards metal and krautrock.yes no sorta yesformer record store employee
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 November 2011 01:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
I will continue soon, and in depth. I need to do some listening and make some notes. I'm planning to describe them all including the more limited release live LPs and 7"s. Listening to Taantumus now and having a ball. Guillotine and Tulikoira are my favorites so expect a torrential downpour of hyperbole and hopefully infectious enthusiasm.
There is a standout Ektroverde, being Ukkosalalamma which should also be the easiest to track down as it was the last one. It's something of a coda to the whole Ektroverde experiment. Thanks for the interest everyone, glad to be of service.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 13:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks for this! Pharaoh Overlord is the only side project I've delved into so far, my list just keeps on growing!
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 13:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
This has led to my discovery of tons of Finnish underground shit on Spotify, much thanks.
― Trip Maker, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 13:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
serious qn: can someone still be a tripster if he doesnt collect (or even own any) vinyl?
― lone tripster syndrome (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 1 November 2011 13:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
Back to Circle albums after an extended tour through the side projects...
Taantumus - This is probably the best Circle album to start with, all the songs are very strong and concise. For any other band this would be the ultimate album, the career high. For Circle it's just another chapter in an ongoing saga of excellence. Taantumus looks back to the shorter songs on Meronia while retaining the newly found maturity and freedom achieved with Prospekt. Jussi even sings in the old style on a few tracks. The production is polished and crisp, almost sounding like utopian pop music from hundreds of years in the future or something. This is a colorful album, each tune conjures up a different and distinct sound world. This is defitely their most energetic and uptempo album. It's a heck of a lot of fun. Jyrki Laiho and Teemu Elo especially shine here, it is very much a guitar album. This is also Janne Peltomaki's finest hour on drums; every song is grounded by a distinct and energetic syncopated drum rhythm played with absolute assurance. Leppanen is absent on this album (and Alotus and Raunio) and Ratto only appears as a vocalist on a few of the more epic tracks. A really excellent work, not a single song that even remotely resembles a dud. This is the album where they sever once and for all the ties to their past. This is a farewell love letter to the Circle of the 90s.
Raunio (live) - The second live album documents a Finnish tour around the time of Taantumus. It's compiled from several shows and the sound quality varies. The song here called Alotus (confusingly titled Työläisten Laulu on the actual album Alotus!) was my first Circle song and I was hooked instantly. Raunio sees them in full on post rock mode with the big crescendos and longish songs. This is the first album with Ratto as a full time participant and it's clear that he brings a lot to the table with his theatrics. It's a good enough album, but it's not one I'm particularly enthusiastic about mostly due to the fact that they have a fill in drummer and while he's not bad or anything, he lacks that certain essential spark of personality which Peltomaki and Leppanen add to the music.
Alotus - This is the swan song of the core Circle lineup that solidified with Andexelt, after this Jyrki Laiho and Janne Peltomaki will leave and start their own groups and Teemu Elo will stick around for only one more album. It's the first album where Ratto is fully integrated and essential. Alotus sees the band in a more trancey mood than we've experienced up to this point, very meditative and zen. All the songs approach or exceed the ten minute mark except for a short little breather in the middle of the disc. Everything is stripped down to bare essentials, almost as much as Pharoah Overlord, and slow tempos rule the day. The song called Alotus is one of their best compositions. It's almost like jazz in form. It starts with a theme/melody, followed by a long experimental free improv section anchored by a bass/drum groove (with Ratto playing skittery drums, dancing around Peltomaki's ostinato) and then a breakdown into a rubato section and finally a return to the theme. What singing there is on this cd is also very funny, more than usual! A lesser album, but an important step if only for this new style of composition signified by the song Alotus which will be used to great effect live and especially on the album Tulikoira...
Peel Session - This isn't a real album, but it can be found on the internet fairly easy. If anyone has trouble finding it, I'll upload it to whatever site you guys use now (sendspace still?). It needs to be heard! The quality of the sound is excellent. This is Leppanen and Westerlund's debut recording with Circle (I think?) There's also a second drummer who I think is from the band Magyar Posse and his contribution to this album's worth of material makes it almost as propulsive as Prospekt! The version of Alotus here in particular is jaw dropping, it practically levitates. I've had my fingers crossed for years that this will get a real release, it's very strong Circle, but so far no luck. There are 4 songs, all around twenty minutes each! All are extended tripouts, jam packed with color and sonic detail. The new blood in the band really brings things to life in spectacular fashion. Raunio pales in comparison to this!! Too cool to go unmentioned.
Sunrise - NWOFHM! One of the most astonishing (and certainly most unexpected) albums in the catalog. With the older members jumping ship and the addition of the Pharoah Overlord guys we almost have a completely new lineup, a lineup which has stayed consistent ever since. It's an all-star lineup, too, all the members have impressive credentials, leading or prominently contributing to many bands which are also worth exploring. Circle is now a focused and furious heavy metal machine! Well, sorta. This album seems to have been one of their most successful, getting a lot of press and accolades. Sunrise explores not just metal riffs and Iron Maiden type vocal theatrics, but also the more whimsical and enchanted side of the band as evidenced by the RjL albums. This is Ratto's album really, his ingenius vocalisations puts this one completely over the top. For my money, the rainbow skull artwork fits perfectly. The music is almost overwhelmingly ecclectic. Every song is completely unique. Special mention goes to the epic opener Nopeskunigas which features an insistent downbeat, killer distorted riffing, manic singing, swirling cosmic synths and even a prominent guitar solo! It builds and builds until it's all white noise and synth wash and then stops on a dime. Miraculous. The second song is the complete opposite, a floating elvish acoustic guitar excursion with delightful vocalisations... it's clear that from here on out the only thing we can expect from Circle is the unexpected. Ratto lays off the singing for the second (weaker) half of the disc and the intsruments and compositions get more and more demented and confusing. The final song is sort of a dud, it's too long even for them and nothing interesting really happens, but you barely notice because the rest of the album is so wild! This disc is also noteable for having very strange production, the bass and kick drum are very subdued and all the other instruments have a sort of magical sheen. This is a crucial piece of the Circle puzzle.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
What groups are you digging up with Spotify, Tripster?
Definitely check out Markku Peltola if he's there! He's the main actor in Kaurismaki's film Man Without A Past and his music is very much in the Circle mode, except more organic maybe with lots of plucked classical guitars, violins and strange percussion. Sort of like an acoustic instrumental Circle combined with Ennio Morricone!!! Some of my favorite albums ever, both on the Ektro label. His old band Motelli Skronkle is almost as good, too.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
Mostly Fonal stuff. I will look for Markku, I love that film.
― Trip Maker, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
and he's there!
― Trip Maker, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
whoa that sounds so good! going to look him up prontito.
liam, your writing is truly noteworthy, btw -- clear, informative, descriptive, and enthusiastic.
― Art Arfons (La Lechera), Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think I am going to start calling them "sir-clay" just to watch people react with exasperation.
― Trip Maker, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
thanks again, liam. loving this. circle peel session - who knew? (well, not me at least.)
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
Which members of circle were in Tivol? i love them. Really loving the nightsatan spin off
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
I've never heard Tivol, will have to check them out, any band compared to Amon Duul is a band I want to hear. From looking at the discogs site it doesn't look like they're actually related to Circle. Nightsatan is pretty fun, I think the only connection there is that it's at least one member of Steel Mammoth and mastered by Jussi. I only have the 7" and of course it's impossible to say for sure who's who with a lot of the NWOFHM stuff because of the pseudonyms!
Thanks for the kind words Art Arfons.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 20:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
the nightsatan vinyl is out now on svart i think. cd was last year. i need to pick up the vinyl.. Tivol really are awesome.
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 20:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
Only two today, but two good ones. I decided I needed to explore Guillotine in depth...
Elcric 7"- The title is Circle spelled backwards and the two songs here are totally out of this world awesome. As far as I know this was recorded along with Guillotine and Vesiliirto in one massive studio session. Both songs showcase the more relentless and motorik side of Circle and both are heaped in distortion and fuzz guitars. Both have riffs to die for, miniature crescendos and all sorts of weird slowed-down sounds buried way back in the mix. Bizarre sparse vocalese, two lean mean rocking psyche machines. Turns out the mature Circle is a killer singles band. Who would've thought?
Guillotine - With Guillotine, Circle finally and shamelessly embraces the weirdness they've only flirted with up until now. The concept of songs becomes a little less important for the next few albums... songs are now vehicles for exploration, the starting point, the launch pad. The edges blur, overlap, jumble. Every note sounds carefully considered and organic. This is my favorite album of theirs, period. I also consider this to be the ultimate krautrock album, they've learned their lessons well and bettered their elders in every way. It's an epic journey from lightest light to darkest dark and back again. The first song gets things off to a perfect start, a song that only Circle could've made. Chiming fender rhodes, lightly fuzzed and acoustic guitars, killer echo effects, tasty and dare I say jazzy motorik drumming topped by Ratto's most effervescent and effective elf vocals to date. The song builds to an amazing climax with a long tambourine roll and a big epic riff from Westerlund before gently cascading back down to the lightly churning propulsive ostinatos we started with. Amazing song, another career high!
In fact there are only three real songs on this album... the rest is jumbled confusion. The next few songs are acoustic workouts of the Amon Duul I variety, sans actual riffs for maybe the first time ever in Circle's history. These three songs are lo fi, too, another first and quite obviously a deliberate aesthetic choice. Hazy and demented. The first weird one, song number two, is all tangled acoustic guitars, sometimes accompanied by insistent hand drums that sound like they're on the verge of falling apart and all sorts of bizzarre, whispering, muttering and mewling vocals. Really way too cool, seriously. The third song features an ancient sounding melody, seemingly older than time itself and backed by demented half speed laughing!! Then a pulsing arpeggiated synthesizer appears, like some kind of aliens have arrived in this strange caveman world Circle has conjured up. The fourth song is more twisted acoustic guitars, an epic laid back guitar solo backed by even stranger vocal acrobatics - hissing and spluttering.
Then the second real song appears, another career highlight, called Teraskylpy. A twelve minute extended journey through the dark side. A lurching and demented ostinato riff played on both bass and guitar stomps through an underground cavern, pinned down by Leppanen at his most insistent and consistent, surrounded by cavemen banging together bones and rattling teeth. More primitive vocals are buried in the mix, giving the impression of primordial peoples dancing around some black magic fire pit. This is a place where language has yet to be invented... The song builds and builds, getting more distorted and wild, but the riff holds everything together. It breaks down, the riff continues but the cavemen chill out a little with the clattering and Jussi intones a bunch of strange otherworldly doo-wop in a gravelly near whispered voice. The riff continues on, unstoppable. We build up again, the dancing continues, growing more frenzied with every pass. Way back in the mix, the alien synths reappear, strobing and beaming the song up, tearing apart the very sound molecules themselves. Finally a big drum fill brings the song to a close and the synths are left with the vocals to exist in this new dimension...
...a new dimension where everything is wrong, causality is meaningless, time is suspended, rules are rewritten. Now we have a number of songs that start weird and proceed to get even stranger before gradually winding down. Just about every weird sound you can think of, and a few more you can't think of, is thrown into the stew. A veriteable cauldron full of murky madness. Slowed down tv news broadcasts and laughing are the most memoreable sound in this long stretch of album; in fact everything is slowed down - synth drones, voices, voices, voices, bent guitar notes, squeals, cymbal hits, tip tapping drums, clattering drums, half speed bass guitar that sounds almost like a tuba! This whole part of the album is extremely hard to grasp and extraordinarily bizarre. Eventually it slows down to a crawl, until it's almost unbeareable...
...and then the bubble bursts and we're back to the chiming fender rhodes motorik-style krautrock world the album started out with! The third, and very long, proper song on the album is two alternated bass notes and lovely bubbling electric piano melodies over a patented Leppanen minimalist march time drum rhythm. They cruise along, taking their time, just existing and enjoying this hard-earned and quite wonderful green-white-blue sound world. Eventually Ratto starts intoning what is apparently a long story in Finnish. Since I don't understand Finnish, I just bathe in the strange and sublime sound of his voice and enjoy the way it floats above the airy music. The song doesn't really go anywhere although it does in fact keep building in intensity the whole time until the end. They've mastered the art of staying still yet always changing.
A final bizarre song features Westerlund muttering strange broken english over top of an atmospheric plink plonk synth chord progression, a strangely fitting coda. In closing, this album is insane and amazing. A major statement. It's also difficult but extremely rewarding. When I had a conversation with Leppanen in 2007 we talked about our favorite Circle albums (yes I'm a nerd! his favorite was Miljard!) and I told him Guillotine was 'it' for me. He was really surprised; he told me no one ever says that! So my tastes might not line up with the average listener, even the average weirdo Circle fan, but I hope everyone interested in the band will give this one a chance. Magic stuff.
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 18:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
That single is so good. Feeling very regretful over not catching them on their last couple of trips to the states.
― Trip Maker, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 21:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
A twelve minute extended journey through the dark side. A lurching and demented ostinato riff played on both bass and guitar stomps through an underground cavern, pinned down by Leppanen at his most insistent and consistent, surrounded by cavemen banging together bones and rattling teeth. More primitive vocals are buried in the mix, giving the impression of primordial peoples dancing around some black magic fire pit. This is a place where language has yet to be invented...
underground primordial black magic fire pit cave dancing -- i can't wait to hear this!! grooveshark appears to only have various tracks from guillotine, but fortunately this is one of them. i don't know how else i would be able to hear it anyway, so i guess i'm thankful for scraps. lurching demented scraps.
― Yasmine Teeth (La Lechera), Wednesday, 2 November 2011 21:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
Actually pilfered from an "up-the-arse" thread on another board.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Wednesday, 2 November 2011 21:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
― liam fennell, Thursday, 3 November 2011 00:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
was that board dffd?
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Thursday, 3 November 2011 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
The trio of standout studio albums (guillotine, forest and tulikoira) are all deserving of the full treatment in my mind and I can't resist looking at them in depth. I'm going to go back to more capsule reviews for all the others (except for maybe the Rautatie/Infektio knockout combo!), so please bear with me.
Forest - This was an album that was truly astonishing to me the first time I heard it. They are still in neato black magic caveman krautrock mode, only now they're approaching it from a more minimalist and highly rhythmic angle. Forest is a very apt title; this is a very dark album, sinister sounding and mellow. Aquarius records described it as a combination of Goblin and Can and that's not innaccurate. John Carpenter is a good reference point, too. There are very funny instructions printed on the actual cd: Play Loud! Synthesizers (specifically the Roland Juno 60, I think) appear as the prominent instrument for the first time, coupled with a heavy emphasis on unusual percussion. Drumset is absent, the percussion is performed with hand drums, rattles and shakers. Each of the four songs has a distinct flavor and unique compositional approach. The singing is perhaps the most surprising of all, Westerlund takes the lead for the entirety of the disc, with Jussi contributing some far away painful-sounding howling, coughing, throat clearing and other weirdness here and there. Ratto keeps entirely quiet! Westerlund sort of has a bluesy and massively cool laid back broken-english drawl here, with the words spaced out and freely disregarding and trampling over the prominent instrument rhythms like they don't even exist, to very cool effect. I don't think there is any bass on the whole album, Westerlund and Jussi seem to both be playing acoustic guitars.
The first tune is one of the more unique and atmospheric songs they've done. It's so insanely cool sounding. It's built around a twisted drum rhythm from Leppanen and a badass synth melody that is extremely hard to grasp (I figured it out once, but I forget what it is now and can't be bothered to count, I think they subtract a beat every other bar so it's all off center sounding) The rest of the band seems to all be playing percussion together in a straight 2/4, syncopating their beats and creating a tapestry that compounds and cushions the wacky melodic rhythms on top. Eventually Westerlund starts his demented broken english vocalising and then synth washes begin to overtake everything.
The second song is built around a very cool sounding acoustic guitar ostinato, backed by more twisted rhythm stuff; a strange sounding bass drum, hand drums and random percussion hits that sound almost like someone hitting a dinner plate with a metal spoon or something. Eventually a maze of delayed synthesizer arpeggiators overtakes the acoustic guitar, washing over everything and giving the track a very sci-fi feel that contrasts nicely with the overall acoustic vibe. More cool singing, "lookout..."
The third tune is the only one that sounds like a normal song, and a bluesy back porch one at that! The back porch is built into an evil alien space ship fueled by some seriously weird sounding synth work, but still... there are two sections to this one, in 3/4, a low key acoustic guitar riff and more weirdo mumble singing and then the acoustic guitars shift to a more insistent rhythm punctuated by backwards synth melodies and distant sequencer rhythms. Janne is singing all sorts of strange stuff with lyrics like "keep the booze, and the chemicals, too". This is a less ambitious song compared to the others, but it's a nice change of pace.
The fourth tune, Jaljet, is another monumental achievement, and another high point in the ouvre. This is a 17 minute long journey through supremely hypnotic rhythms that sound almost like gamelan! This one is overwhelmingly cool. This is the only song on the disc where they all play their instruments like normal, more or less. All the sounds are blended together into one writhing, pulsating, living mass of shimmering hypno-bliss. I honestly can't even tell what the hell is going on here for the most part, it's so well blended. They just coast along, effortlessly, sculpting the sounds, concentrating on the smallest of details. I think there is a tongue drum ostinato that holds it all together. Leppanen is playing the raddest sounding rim shots ever, and about halfway starts in with some ride cymbals. Jussi and Westerlund are playing insistent acoustic guitar rhythms. Ratto is playing a plink plonk synth ostinato and also wonderfully sporadic melodies that sound very futuristic and utopian. Every now and then Westerlund plays some slippery and twangy two or three note melodic guitar lines and/or sings. Way in the back are what sounds like heavily reverbed burping sounds and grunts (not to mention more slowed down laughing!) Out of this world.
Seek this out, post-haste, all ye fellow connisseurs of the weird, wild and wonderful!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 3 November 2011 16:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
guillotine and forest are such a strong (but creepy and wild) combo. love them.
forest was the first circle lp I ever listened to. bought it after a tremendous show in full NFOFHM mode and was deeply perplexed but the contrast at first.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 3 November 2011 17:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
it appears that the last time they were in my neck of the woods it was 2007, so i guess i don't feel too bad for missing that. not like it was 4 months ago or something.
― Yasmine Teeth (La Lechera), Thursday, 3 November 2011 18:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
This is a good thing you're doing, Liam. This stuff doesn't lend itself to easy description.First Circle I heard was Raunio and it's still something of a sentimental favorite but I haven't listened to it in ages. Interesting to know they had a guest on drums. Forest is in my listening queue. November seems like the perfect month for it.
― Trip Maker, Thursday, 3 November 2011 19:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, didn't think of that, Forest is pretty much perfect Halloween music.
Alan N, I can't even begin to imagine what it'd be like to see them and then hear Forest as your first album! The live show is a completely different experience, with completely different goals, I'm planning on discussing that when I spend some time with the live LPs. I imagine a lot of people had your experience. The 2007 show I saw was really well attended, as many people as you'd see at a Mogwai show and considerably more than you'd see at, say, an Acid Mother Temple show. I still have no idea where all those people came from.
― liam fennell, Thursday, 3 November 2011 21:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah, I've grown to really love forest but I was initially baffled!
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 3 November 2011 23:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
Circle/Acid Mothers Temple split 7" - This one is pretty new to me. It's from the Sunrise lineup of the band, with Teemu Elo. It gets off to a very promising start with a very low key slow burn motorik section with lots of tasty rimshots from Leppanen and Ratto mumble ranting with his scary old man vampire voice. Then a bunch of exceedingly strange guitar stuff just suddenly appears and the song goes in a completely different and unexpected direction. The drums go to the bottom of the mix and we're assaulted with waves of siren like guitar wailing doing battle with noodly fuzz guitar doodles. In the background vocal howls gradually gain prominence until everything just stops on a dime and all we're left with is the strange singing. Overall it's kind of whatever song, unfortunately. The AMT side is pretty ridiculous, even for them, but not especially noteable. Wall to wall trip out, standard stuff for them. The song title (tombstone phantom drifter) is probably the best thing about it!
Tulikoira - Circle with big time studio production! Pro tools and all! Well, I don't think there's autotune... but they use every other trick in the book. This is a tremendous album, a metal-hippy-techno-occult ritual. The sound quality and production values on this disc are top notch, Circle really outdid themselves this time. They took all the fancy tricks available and bent them to their own strange and ecclectic will. This is another disc that was just astonishing to me the first time I heard it. It's another album where they approach each song with a different and very specific compositional agenda. The dazzling percussionist Janni Tuomi (who plays with them live quite a bit) is credited as a full member on this disc. He contributes all sorts of colorful clattering percussion stuff, adding a lot of sonic interest and texture. His performance is very much appreciated by this listener. If I remember correctly, this was the first album to feature the New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal tag (in gigantic letters, in fact) and it has yet to be, and probably never will be, surpassed. It doesn't actually have much to do with metal... and that's probably the whole point. It's Circle dressed up in metal clothing (specifically spikes and studs as evidenced by the live show!) This whole album is like one epic high point in the catalog! There aren't enough superlatives in the world for Tulikoira.
The first song starts with an occult ritual, effected babbling sounds bathed in reverb, slowed down chanting, strange chiming sounds, controlled guitar feedback, incredibly ominous synth drones and deep, distant, drum thuds that sound like they come from the depths of hell. Then the rather nice sounding wave of feedback builds up and they burst into a thematic up and down melodic bass riff punctuated by choked cymbal crashes which is repeated eight times. Then a big drum roll and our heroes explode into an astonishing hypno-metal deep space part. This section consists of a freaking blast beat (!) at hyper speed along with furious riffing backed by epic synth strings! They break down again to more of the occult ritual stuff with a little more drums this time, very dramatic! Another big drum fill, back to the theme and blast off! The grindcore drums come back, only now Mika is singing like a galactic overlord, sadly contemplating the fate of the universe. The guitar riff is now augmented with chiming synth melodies and the sheer power of the sound is almost overwhelming. Finally they break down once more to a brief feedback coda and the song ends. It's a very long song, but it goes by quick. A tremendous "tune" and some of the only music I've ever heard that could be described as genuinely cinematic.
The second song, Tulilintu, is an actual metal song!! Sounds very much like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest on the surface, although it's naturally heavy metal from another galaxy and filtered through dimension Circle. Ratto's vocals here are double tracked, each layer with a different strange effect, borderline shrieked and overall super cool and unique sounding. The song has a KILLER breakdown guitar solo section that sounds like glittering chrome and laser beam powered hot rods drag racing through outer space (I have very vivid visuals like that when I hear this one on certain substances!). A short and furious song that gets played live a lot, fittingly.
The third track is the only song here that works like a normal Circle song, built on an infinitely repeating bass riff. It has to be one of the most deviously simple, clever and badass riffs ever conceived by man. It's a common 3+3+2, easy enough, but turned around so it's backwards, 2+3+3. So cool. Of course the riff is just the beginning... This is one of my favorite Circle tunes. So many amazing weird synth sounds, crazy cool tape echo effects, perfect mechanical precision drumming, a bass tone to die for. Bizarre percussion plays a prominent role here. Ratto's singing is like a lifeless magical intonation from a zombie wizard, performed inside a neon pentagram drawn with blacklight paint in the middle of a graveyard in the dead of night, complete with wheezing. The whole tune is strobed by alien synthesizer tractor beams, lifting us up, up, up. Strobed is the word. There is a stunning breakdown about halfway, and when the riff comes back the UFO's Ratto has summoned appear in the sky and reality melts down enitirely except for the relentless riffage from Lehtisalo and Leppanen. Then, just when you think it can't get any better, Ratto plays a wonderful sci-fi melody on the synth that elevates the track to a whole other level of awesome. The song comes to a stop and we launch into the fourth and final song.
This one is a true show stopper and is also a regular feature of the live set. This is a tune like the song Alotus, a theme, breakdown to rhythmic improvisation and rubato and then back to the theme. The live version is simplified, but they elaborate on the theme much more in this studio version. All sorts of neat stuff happens in this more elaborated version of the theme, strange "hey, hey, hey my nameo" vocals from Jussi, cool insistent chiming synth repetitions and lots of heavy metal riffage. Then there is a hilarious looney-tunes sounding fake orchestra melody (!!!) that leads into the metal riff theme proper and we reach the fully improvised section and things get truly confusing. The riffs vanish, forgotten, replaced by synths and sequencers and clean guitars. Imagine the Grateful Dead... making Techno. Yes, that confusing. This song is truly and righteously twisted. Also, like the song Alotus, this very long stretch of album sees Ratto playing skittering drums around Lepannen's forward motion rhythms (might be Tuomi on the album, impossible to say!) I've never been able to grasp the sequence of events in this song, everything blends together, shifts, morphs, parts bleed into each other, drums collapse, wind down, start up again. Sometimes they're going forwards, sometimes they're just hanging out, sometimes they disappear entirely. There are pulsing sequencers driving synths that oscillate endlessly, coming and going randomly. Guitars are everywhere, wrapping around each other, noodling and arpeggiating. Everything is draped in a cloud of percussion and sonic wizardry. In the middle, hard to say exactly where, there is a part where the haze clears and Ratto simultaneously plays and sings a melody that is almost tender and quite moving. Jussi's bass is in the higher register, sometimes playing melodic riffs and sometimes improvised noodling. When you least expect it, after about twenty minutes of confusion and madness, there is a big drum role into the metal riff theme which repeats eight times and then the song ends! Fantastic!
― liam fennell, Friday, 4 November 2011 18:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
i'm starting to think of this band as a space to occupy rather than something i am listening to every time i listen to them i lose track of time and it's more like being somewhere than hearing somethingnot sure if that makes sense but whatever
― Yasmine Teeth (La Lechera), Friday, 4 November 2011 18:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
That's how I feel too, it especially becomes apparent if you load up a whole lot of their stuff, particularly the live things, into a playlist and put it on random.
― liam fennell, Saturday, 5 November 2011 14:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
oh yeah another side project is Krypt Axeripper
― (Algerian Goalkeeper) Vs (Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker), Saturday, 5 November 2011 22:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
Who sound pretty much like Steel Mammoth which is jussi again
― (Algerian Goalkeeper) Vs (Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker), Saturday, 5 November 2011 22:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
and here's some others http://www.metal-archives.com/artists/Jussi_Lehtisalo/65540
― (Algerian Goalkeeper) Vs (Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker), Saturday, 5 November 2011 22:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm not into Steel Mammoth at all, their sound wore thin really fast for me. Krypt Axeripper is pretty funny. I totally flip over the Full Contact label NWOFHM vinyl-only things: Traktor Pulling, Motorspandex, Arkhamin Kirvasto and Mercedes Hell. Completely off the charts.
― liam fennell, Saturday, 5 November 2011 23:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
i loved the steel mammoth. not heard Traktor Pulling, Motorspandex, Arkhamin Kirvasto and Mercedes Hell so im going to have to d/l some!
― (Algerian Goalkeeper) Vs (Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker), Saturday, 5 November 2011 23:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
I just got my "Steel Mammoth Nuclear Barbarians Official Fanclub" membership pack this very morning!
I will wear my Nuclear Barbarians patch and 'True Finnish Poser Metal' sticker with pride!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 6 November 2011 00:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
i love that laconic phil lynott thing steel mammoth do.that n the homemade guitars vibe
― iglu ferrignu, Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
I do dig the first 2 Steel Mammoth releases, particularly Atomic Mountain. The other albums that came after just sound like more of the same to me, no evolving and the songs are kind of bland. I didn't hear the newest LP only one though.
I just re-listened to the Nightsatan 7" and that shit is way cool, especially recommended for anyone who like synthesizers, metal and the band Goblin. I think I need to pick up the full length ASAP. Care to comment on it Mr. Ratfucker?
― liam fennell, Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
id say you hit the nail on the head re Goblin. if you dig zombi et al you will love it
― (Algerian Goalkeeper) Vs (Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker), Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
come to think of it, iirc ratfucker has played that in the outloud room, and i have loved it!
― Yasmine Teeth (La Lechera), Sunday, 6 November 2011 23:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
― (Algerian Goalkeeper) Vs (Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker), Sunday, 6 November 2011 23:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hope this works, lol:
Circle on drinkify
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 02:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm listening to Guillotine, Hollywood, Rautatie and Infektio today. A lot to swallow at once, so can't really comment yet. Looking forward to more blurbs though!
― Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 22:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Soon, gonna knock off a whole lot of live ones from 2003-2007. I took this pic a few months ago (if I can figure out how to post it right)Collect them all!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 04:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 04:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
BTW, is there some sort of secret way to edit stuff on this message board by any chance?
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 04:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thats fucking impressive and I am super jealous.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 04:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
I want more like "Sunrise."
― bear has little fear of hades (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 06:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
Played "Kollekt" yesterday as promised a while ago, it's a compilation of their first 3 7" EPs "Point", "Silver" and "DNA" plus a few bonus tracks. You can hear the Stooges influence a lot more on these tracks, but even at this stage they were twisting it into something far stranger. It reminds me of bands like the Jesus Lizard or Cows, angular punk rock but driven along by a nimble rhythm section and topped off by Jussi's choirboy chanting in places. From a Finnish perspective I guess at this point they were comparable to now largely forgotten bands like Sweetheart and Radiopuhelimet, but the psychedelic droney-ness was what pulled them into more innovative areas in the end and you can hear the beginnings of that here. I'd give it 6/10, it's a good companion piece to Meronia. No idea if it'll ever get a re-release, your best bet would probably be to get onto Jussi and hassle him about it!
― |III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 10:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
Nice to see people who are willing to drop the cash for the entire catalog of their favorite bands. If you are not up for creating your own blog, with some editing, Jason Gross would love it for Perfect Sound Forever. You're also welcome to post it as a guest article on my site if you'd like.
― Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 14:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
Cool, I'll keep that in mind Fastnbulbous. Thanks! I've been thinking of trying to place it somewhere eventually once I get through the catalog and after doing some serious editing and formatting. It sure would've been helpful to me once upon a time.
Hades Bear, there really aren't any others like Sunrise. Which is the beautifully frustrating thing about the group. One of the newer ones, Rautatie, might be the closest.
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 14:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
Circle is quite different live, even more unpredictable than the studio albums, although it's a sort of calculated unpredictability. Controlled confusion. They sort of create a fallow ground that they then proceed to seed, nourish and cultivate. The coolest thing to see has been how the theatrics have become more and more integrated over the years, nowadays they almost seem like actors playing roles in a drama. The key figure to understanding what's going on live is the mixer guy Tuomas Laurila, who also contributes little things here and there to the studio work. He's the puppet master! The approach to the live shows starting around the time of Guillotine is sort of like a live version of the dub process used for reggae. What you hear coming from the stage isn't necessarily what is going to come through the PA speakers and mixer outputs. Tuomas is constantly tweaking the knobs, mutating the mix and adding effects. Sometimes the drums are loud on stage but what comes through on a recording is just quiet tick-tock sounds with the low end cut out, or the guitars are so treated with effects they don't even sound like guitars... Tuomas also seems to have a bunch of special pre-recorded disembodied sounds that he mixes in as he sees fit. You know, just to make things more confusing.
For a while I was under the impression the series of live LPs they did in 2004-5 were heavily overdubbed, but then I found a bootleg of the General show online and it sounded pretty much the same! Which is pretty nuts because this is some busy music with seemingly endless layers, albeit very hazy and kaleidoscopic. I've since come to the conclusion (supported by a few interviews with Jussi) that they have two types of performance: the normal song type show and the more or less fully improvised show where anything can happen. The song type ones are much more common, but the special improvised ones aren't exactly uncommon (or weren't, now that they've brought in the two guitar playing brothers things might have changed.)
Golem/Vesiliirto - A double LP, one live and one studio recorded during the same session that produced Guillotine. So, unsurprisingly, this one is very, very unusual. If you take both albums together G/V is quite vast and extremely hard to digest. However, like almost all Circle stuff, it is quite rewarding for those brave enough to explore it with open minds and ears. I'm going to tackle them separately, they sound quite different, but they are actually pretty complimentary after you get used to them.
Golem (live 2003) - This was our first official hint of what a monstrous and demented live band the mature Circle lineup can be. Tuomas' mixing isn't as radical as what is to come, but he's pretty liberally soaking everything in reverb and echo and the drums often disappear into the haze. Fender Rhodes is prominent and guitars are marginalized. Ratto plays some bizarre harmonica that sounds completely out of place here and there. The songs are long, very minimalist, improvised and featuring simple grooves but lots of dynamics. There are no recognizable songs here at all (although the mixing makes it difficult to say for sure!) All in all pretty cool, especially if you like the stranger Circle stuff, but falls short in comparison to the other live ones.
Vesiliirto - I really like this one! I truly hope G/V will get a CD release someday, it deserves a little bit more exposure. Golem is good, but Vesiliirto is better and a bit unprecedented, having a sort of completely freaked out cosmic groove jazz vibe for most of the duration. There are two and a half real songs here and the rest of the LP is padded out by weirdo stuff, like Guillotine, but not quite as effectively realized. The 2.5 tunes are killer though! The half song is a full on one note drone groove with relentless momentum, stumbling shaman percussion, wacky Westerlund vocals and a sort of freak-folk vibe. Very nice really, calling it a half-song probably isn't fair. For the other two ten minute songs, the Fender Rhodes piano from Guillotine proper is replaced by space organ and extremely wigged out synth sounds! These songs are very loose and groovey but also nightmarishly confusing. Some people might call them noodly and unfocused but I call them awesome. Leppanen plays amazingly precise mechanical clockwork drum rhythms, Ratto plays a second drum set that dances around the main rhythm and Jussi plays a lot of very satisfying melodic stuff on the higher notes of his bass guitar. The electric guitars hold everything together, with Westerlund playing some cool twangy guitar riffs. Basically these songs are very busy, eclectic and intricate, but at the same time sort of laid back and fried sounding. Cool stuff!
Telescope (live 2003) - This is a more recent release and it's random appearance was a very nice surprise indeed. This is Circle at their most freeform and sprawling, heavily jammed out songs that stay in the same place for very long periods of time. They are really concentrating on the drone here. This is an unusually long concert, two CDs worth of lean, mean and focused heavy psyche. Two songs from Guillotine show up and it's pretty cool to see how they work in a live situation with the stripped down instrumentation. Fender Rhodes is prominent on this one, like Golem, but unlike Golem this release is more song oriented and slightly less free form... the songs are just stretched out to infinity. Overall a very cool and fun cd although the stretched out nature of it all might make it a little hard to get into for neophytes.
Mountain (live 2004)- this one is pretty cool, one long song, and maybe the weirdest album they've ever done. What seems to be an energetic set shaped into something slow, murky and impenetrable by Tuomas. It's all very dark and disturbing, with hidden layers of beauty. You can hear the band playing riffs and rhythmic stuff at some parts, but they sound like they're at least a million miles away. The foreground is all sorts of percussion effects with a heavy dose of tinkly Rhodes piano. After about ten minutes of blissful stuff, it gives way to horror-movie atmospherics with heavily echoed rattling percussion, evil chanting and demonic screeching and wailing. It's got sort of a Forest vibe, but it's the darkest deepest area of the forest... For the second side it is a bit more apparent that there is actually a band on a stage playing this fucked up music, but it's still all very spooky sounding and confusing, just with more forward motion. It gets more and more twisted until once again we're in the strange caveman ritual place from the first side, with the chanting and tortured vocals.
Empire (live 2004)- This is probably the coolest of these live LP-only releases. Two songs, one side each. Janne Tuomi is here, and his contribution is quite prominent. He always seems to inspire them in the best possible way; they reach the highest peaks when he is around. I always think of this one as Forest junior. The first song/side in particular is a superb journey through that primitive percussion and synthesizer world explored on the Forest album. It's just a somewhat denser forest... It starts with what I assume to be a sample of a tamboura and gradually builds up to an awesome slow burn groove with cool babbling broken-English vocals from Westerlund. All sorts of ambient sounds wash over everything, weaving in and out of the maze of vocals and percussion. After a while a bad ass guitar riff comes in and they build up momentum and proceed to ride the wave like gnarly psychedelic surfers. Side 2/song 2 is built on and grows out of a cool acoustic guitar part and some more impressive Westerlund vocals. It stays pretty low key for a while, then Ratto comes to the forefront with some frenzied sci-fi synth soloing. The guitars become electric and sort of chimey with heavy reverb and Tuomas starts mixing and melting everything down, building upwards and then reaching a sort of stasis where time stands still. Ratto speaks in tongues and Jussi does some of his patented otherworldly gregorian chants as delay effects wash over everything. After a while they break down and Jussi plays some prominent driving bass rhythms over Leppanen's super subdued infinite propulsion drums. All the while Ratto is really putting his sci-fi synth to the test, sometimes playing rhythms but mostly doing a kind of intergalactic John Coltrane impression, a flurry of squelching notes utilizing the full range of the keyboard - with intermitten singing! This is a pretty great song. It's all action and energy, but mixed so weird that it seems mellow!
General (live 2004) - Recorded the day after Empire, in the same venue. It's very much along the lines of the second side of Empire, which is to say it's very good, a veritable treasure trove of creativity. If you liked Empire and Mountain, you'll like this. General has five songs, including Metsan Henget from Guillotine, but they're all kind of blended together by the wild mixing into one colorful musical organism. Janne Tuomi isn't on this one, but we don't miss him too much. The songs are a little sparser but no less bewildering! This one might best be summed up as a mix of Mountain and Empire. It's very good, Circle was a very consistently awesome live band at this point and the faux-dub mixing keeps things sonically interesting no matter what they do or where they go. Side two has a rad and memorable part where things get very stripped down and Ratto, Westerlund and Lehtisalo are all singing in tongues, all with different contrasting styles, while Leppanen hammers away as per his wont and Ratto shakes some kind of metal ritual rattle. Cool!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 10 November 2011 00:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
I need Golem/Vesiliirto, just in case anyone ever stumbles across the double vinyl in their travels, or has a copy that they want to part with. It's another one that I've not been able to find at a price I can afford for a wee while now, though I'm willing to pay a fair amount. Thanks.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Thursday, 10 November 2011 00:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks man, will check it out!
― bear has little fear of hades (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 10 November 2011 04:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
Mountain (live 2004)
I was in one of the support bands at this show (I think - recorded at a church in Leeds?). Haven't heard the record, but I remember the gig as the droniest set I ever saw them do, given the surroundings it was a very spiritual experience! The show in London a few days later was a bit weird as someone spilled beer all over the mixing desk so they only had about 4 channels, and they went for a Groundhogs / boogie rock set which wasn't wholly successful.
― |III|||II|||I|I||| (Matt #2), Thursday, 10 November 2011 08:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yep, church in Leeds. You should definitely check out the record if you get a chance!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 10 November 2011 14:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Essence Music CD reissues of Prospekt and Soundcheck are now available for pre-order from Ektro:http://ektrorecords.com/shop/
These come in gatefold mini-lp type sleeves and should be really nice, as Essence have always done lovely packaging. Prospekt includes the previously vinyl-only bonus track.
Ektro also have a sale of some older CD titles during November.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 11 November 2011 09:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
Been waiting for these for a while. I have an AMT cd from Essence with a nice gatefold sleeve and when you open it a rad picture inside pops up like a children's book!
― liam fennell, Friday, 11 November 2011 18:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
How expensive does the shipping to the U.S. end up being from Ektro? Have you guys smoothly ordered from them before? Hope I'm not coming across too newbie here, but I get nervous ordering from overseas labels at times. Up to now, I've alwaks gone through Aquarius to get my Circle fix - but I'm really tempted to order these two direct.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 11 November 2011 18:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
i've had trouble with soundway releases arriving within weeks of their release date, and i've often wished i had just gone to dusty groove to buy stuff, but in general i haven't had trouble buying from other labels overseas. i think i'm going to buy these for myself as a pre-winter gift -- thanks for the heads up.
― the MMMM cult (La Lechera), Friday, 11 November 2011 18:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
Shipping from Ektro is just €1 per order for anything but LPs, which is a fantastic deal!
The LP shipping prices are listed here: http://ektrorecords.com/shop/shipping.php and I think are reasonable given how expensive posting LP packages overseas is (I assume it is similar in Finland to the UK).
Their service is really second to none. I don't think that I've ever had an order take longer than a day to be processed, with regular email updates on progress from them, and things arrive in less than a week, often beating stuff ordered from within the UK for me. Stuff is really well packaged too.
I've ended up ordering something every few months at least for the past few years and can safely say that Ektro is truly great for the mailorder.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 11 November 2011 21:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
And no, they don't pay me to wax lyrical about them, I just think that they should get their positive dues!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 11 November 2011 21:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
Krakow is right, Ektro is very, very good. CD's are quite cheap for shipping, but LPs are very expensive. Everything always comes pristine although US wise it usually takes two weeks en route after Jussi drops it off at the post office. I always order everything straight from him, it's worth it. But I'm a freak for this stuff...
My friend got an LP recently and it was bent in transit and Jussi sent him another copy the next time he did an order. He also threw in a free Circle Noiduttu cassette! Jussi is truly a good dude, he cares about this stuff as much as we do! Another good (amazing!) thing Jussi did: same friend was asking me a few years ago how he could find some of the rarer Circle albums. I suggested he just ask Jussi. He sent off an email and Jussi said he'd look around... a few months later he got an email, Jussi had been in a used cd store and found copies of Surface and Fraten!! They set up a trade (Jussi wanted Grateful Dead Dick's Picks!!! Ha ha!) Then like a year and a half later Jussi emailed him again randomly, he'd found a copy of Zopalki! This was like six or seven years ago, before the Ektro webstore, but still... amazing guy!
― liam fennell, Friday, 11 November 2011 22:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thats awesome, think I'll be placing an order tonight!
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 11 November 2011 23:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Taantumus on 2xLP with 3 bonus tracks and Circle featuring Verde 'Tower' (previously a CD on Last Visible Dog) on LP are now on pre-order from Ektro.
Taantumus has black and brown vinyl variants.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 18 November 2011 09:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
'tower' is a pretty underrated record imo. that thing is gorgeous, like they're channeling terry riley.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Friday, 18 November 2011 15:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, I like that one a lot! Too bad I'm broke.
― Trip Maker, Friday, 18 November 2011 15:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
Tower is indeed killer. Terry Riley + In A Silent Way!
― liam fennell, Friday, 18 November 2011 17:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
i lost several hours to this band yesterday! can't wait to hear Tower -- terry riley + in a silent way 0_0 yes pls
― the MMMM cult (La Lechera), Friday, 18 November 2011 19:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
Wow, Tower is great. Not at all what I expect from Circle; great chillout music.
― DJ Smoove Groothe (staggerlee), Sunday, 20 November 2011 03:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Next you might want to check out Miljard, which is so chilled it's borderline ambient, kind of like frozen notes floating in an isolation chamber that is set up in the middle of Antarctica. Complete with a blizzard swirling in the distance, far away across the tundra.
― liam fennell, Sunday, 20 November 2011 04:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
this thread was one of the big ones that I had missed during our sandbox times...
― Blah Sabbath (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 7 January 2012 08:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Just got a package in the mail yesterday from aquarius with the Meronia, Prospekt, and Soundcheck reissues.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Saturday, 7 January 2012 17:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
I started a thread on the sandbox because I missed this one, but it didn't really go anywhere iircNo place like home.
― La Lechera, Saturday, 7 January 2012 17:52 (1 year ago) Permalink
that was a really good thread LL; I was just talking more about for reference purposes, as in having access to Liam's rundowns again.
I've saved it to my hard drive now though so it should be all good...
― Blah Sabbath (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 7 January 2012 17:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Riot Season just got hold of a small batch of the 'Empire' LP that they put out back in 2004. It's available from them here for £15 + shipping: http://riotseason.bigcartel.com/product/circle-empire-vinyl-lp
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Thursday, 19 January 2012 16:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
It's generally out-of-print and not readily available, so this is a good thing if you're missing that one.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Thursday, 19 January 2012 16:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hey all, nice to be back! Ahhh, so what was in the sandbox thread? I missed it!
In case anyone is on the fence about any of the newer vinyl releases I would like to take this opportunity to say that PO Horn is crazy awesome and I've been listening to it everyday for like a month straight. High energy rock and roll mayhem! The Circle Maxim LP is also exceptional if you like the freakier and more free form side of the group. Leppanen is absent and Janne Tuomi just does his thing to great effect.
Anyway, I want to blitz through what we have left, which is still quite a bit naturally so it will still take some time. Going to mix the RjL and PO stuff in with the rest now since they all start to blend together as time goes by anyway.
― liam fennell, Friday, 20 January 2012 00:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Earthworm - this was a real curveball! Recorded at the same time as Tulikoira but with vocals and guitar solos grafted on in LA by a guy named Bruce Duff who was in a strange metal band called Jesters of Destiny that Jussi is a BIG fan of. I say "grafted" on because they totally don't mix with the music at all! Later releases (Hollywood and Out of Darkness) feature a much more integrated performance from Duff but on this one he just sounds awkward, like he doesn't really understand Circle's modus operandi yet. But that's okay, really, it makes for an interesting little EP! Bruce spits up about a million lyrics on top and kinda misses the point of it all. He also plays what sounds like chromatic guitar solos that have nothing to do with the key the band is in so that's a little strange although it mostly works out. Over time I've grown to like this EP for what it is but it was a little disappointing coming after Tulikoira!!! The first song, Earthworm, is one of Circle's best live songs with an absolutely insane uptempo syncopated drum part from Leppanen and a killer bizarre guitar riff with the accents all reversed. The Circle website currently has a streaming live version of this song that is about 18 minutes of intergalactic meltdown and shouldn't be missed.
Arkades - A great live document from the 2005 USA tour. Recorded at WFMU radio station in NJ with very good sound. This is 2 long tunes that showcase the improvised slow burn atmospheric side of the band with a lot of twangy subdued guitar noodling and an emphasis on electronics, synths and fender rhodes sounds. The artwork has a kind of wild west theme that fits the soundscapes conjured therein. The vinyl version came first and then a few years later we got an awesome 2xcd version with a bonus disc of a second live set also from 2005. This 2nd disc is quite worthy! One can only wonder how much of this quality stuff is locked away in the Ektro vaults! Features 3 long krautrocky songs, one of which is almost like techno with synth arpeggiaor, delay guitar and with Leppanen doing a kind of drum strip tease with blazing fast hi hat work. More please!
Pharaoh Överlord - IV - Note the umlauts! This is a different band! Well sorta. Technically. There's an interview with Jussi somewhere in which he stated that they now have 2 different identities, namely the one with the umlauts is heavy metal and the PO without, uh, isn't! The umlaut PO has a new guitar guy, a genuine 80s style metal dude named Jussi Kangas who is killer and unlike Mr. Duff on Earthworm, he is integrated perfectly. Kangas also sings a bit on most of the songs and approaches each one from a different angle/style and I really appreciate the variety. I LOVE this album. It's like chilled out metal, an overdose of layered riffage and with Leppanen just grooving along with light tom tom work and rimshots galore. Jussi plays some of his simplest and devastatingly effective bass ever. All the songs are extended workouts with a plethora of carefully arranged tripped out sounds and effects. Oh, and it's fucking funny! In the song Ridin we get a gnarly motorcycle revving up sample and the song See Me Evil sees the band playing in a huge arena complete with cheering audience and flashbulbs. A real trip. There's even a really great legato metal guitar solo that takes you on a little adventure. Insanely recommended assuming you have a sense of humor (it's their most cartoony album for sure!!!)
Tyrant - A live pristine sounding radio recording similar to Arkades except perhaps scarier sounding with three 15 minute long excursions, two of which are pretty dark and skittery and the third is an epic thematic type thing that is actually in a major key I think! They really indulge in the dissonance and the tortured vocalisations here. Also a lot of burbling synth arpeggios. The first song is pretty impressive with, believe it or not, a chilled out blast beat from Leppanen where he pushes himself to the limits of endurance and delivers the goods admirably. This one is less memorable than all the other improvised live albums from this time period but you still probably don't want to miss it if you like this side of the band.
Pharaoh Overlord - Live in Suomi Finland - Yeah baby! This is the normal version of PO. It's a live album from 2006 and they are mostly playing the old standards from the albums I and II. We have some intriguing new additions to the sound that make this one absolutely essential... namely the two guitar playing brothers (Julius and Pekka Jaaskelainen) from Westerlund's band Plain Ride are now on board so we have three guitar guys riffing it up relentlessly. These two brother guys have since worked their way up to joining Circle proper and they are awesome!! One is on the left stereo channel and one is on the right, usually, and they blend together in a really wonderful way like siamese twins or something. They really beef up the overall sound and now there are much more interesting little tangled deep details to listen to winding in and out of the basic riffs. ALSO Hans Joachim Irmler of the legendary band Faust is here playing organ and sound effects!! Fucking right! This albums is really super cool with very good sound, especially the drums, although it mostly sticks to the tried and true PO formula. The standout tune is a new long ass one, divided into two tracks, where the two brothers really shine.
― liam fennell, Friday, 20 January 2012 02:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hey all, nice to be back! Ahhh, so what was in the sandbox thread? I missed it!
In case anyone is on the fence about any of the newer vinyl releases I would like to take this opportunity to say that PO Horn is crazy awesome and I've been listening to it everyday for like a month straight. High energy rock and roll mayhem!
Ha - I started the sandbox thread because I was so excited about buying this record and wanted to tell someone how great it was, but there was nowhere to put it. I'm not sure a whole lot else got accomplished while you were gone, but I think we made a convert or two?
― La Lechera, Friday, 20 January 2012 03:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
I say "grafted" on because they totally don't mix with the music at all!
I don't hear it! I feel like both he and Circle do pretty well together on this one and fall really flat on Hollywood. What is "Out of Darkness"?
― the box cutter killer from the calcutta gutter (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Friday, 20 January 2012 05:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ah, a Pharoah Overlord album.
― the box cutter killer from the calcutta gutter (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Friday, 20 January 2012 05:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
Pharoah Overlord placed in this years metal poll (which is still counting down)
IV is awesome btw possibly my fave PO
― Armand Schaubroeck Ratfucker, Friday, 20 January 2012 08:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
I believe that 2012 is set to be a busy one for Circle/Pharaoh Overlord/NWOFHM followers. The first announcements are out...
Circle - Serpent
Live from Bristol, UK in October 2011 and out soon on CD on Ektro.
Circle - Manner
New studio album out on 21st April, Record Store Day, on Hydra Head.
Pharaoh Overlord - TBA
As yet untitled new studio album coming on Ektro.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 20 January 2012 09:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
I am particularly excited about Serpent, on a personal front, but I'll say more about that later... :-)
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 20 January 2012 09:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hydra Head have done limited, fancy vinyl releases for the last few Record Store Day events, so I hope that the Circle album will form part of that for them this year. I assume that it will have a more standard release as well, but a cool coloured vinyl edition would be a nice thing.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 20 January 2012 10:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
There's actually two new Pharaoh Overlord tracks up on the Ektro soundcloud page."Rodent" and "Cardinal" and the accompanying thumbnail shows a 75 minute long 5 track album called 'Lunar Jetman': http://soundcloud.com/ektrorecords
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 20 January 2012 10:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
OK, so the news is out and I'm incredibly pleased and excited to announce...
Circle's forthcoming 'Serpent' live album, recorded at the Croft in Bristol in October 2011 and due on Ektro Records in a few weeks, will rather prominently feature my photographs of the band from when I met them in Birmingham on the same UK tour!
This is the cover, I believe, but just wait until you see the full fold-out poster/booklet!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 20 January 2012 12:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
That was a great show too. Much better IMO than the SSonic one.
― Sugary pee is not normal (aldo), Friday, 20 January 2012 14:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
On Hydra Head?!?! Nice. Should make it a lot easier to track down.
So is Hollywood pretty much the worst Circle record to date? I was so disappointed in that one.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 20 January 2012 14:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
awesome news, bring it all on! congrats Krakow!
Part of my problem with Earthworm is that the song Earthworm is soooo great and I always wish I could hear it given the proper studio Circle treatment that the live versions hint at. Which isn't necessarily fair I admit.
I definitely prefer Hollywood to Earthworm. Of course it has 2 Earthworm songs for some random reason?! I think it would be stronger with out them and also without the last two songs which I think are epic failures. The 4-5 songs in the middle are all really cool methinks. But overall i think the best stuff with Duff are the songs he sings on Out Of Darkness. He seems much more comfortable in that overt metal context. And unlike IV, OoD is an honest to god balls to the wall heavy metal album.
― liam fennell, Friday, 20 January 2012 16:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
I think it would be stronger with out them and also without the last two songs which I think are epic failures.
I totally agree with this, actually. It's really jarring having those two songs shoehorned in there. And the last two are literally failed epics, yo. I'm going to have to check out Out of Darkness, sounds like it might be right up my alley.
― the box cutter killer from the calcutta gutter (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Saturday, 21 January 2012 04:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
Panic - I finally drew some conclusions about this album after listening to it for a few years. It's like Circle dissected... By dissected I mean Mika Ratto has been separated from the band completely. It feels to me as if we're getting a glimpse of a Circle that might have existed in some strange alternate universe where they never meet Ratto and the world is some kind of scary police state where everyone has a choice of playing either punk rock or atmospheric electronic music!!! The first 3 songs appear to be Mika's tunes, and solo. They're all minimalist sequenced synth driven minor key atmospheric excursions along the lines of the group Tangerine Dream. They are excellent! Then all the sudden the biker punk anarcho stomp of the rest of the band explodes into the speakers and they proceed to blaze through a bunch of one or two minute genuine hardcore punk rock songs in ten or twelve minutes. I feel like Ratto is absent but there IS some kind of bizarre and aggressive noisy synth filter-swooping away in the background of all the hardcore tunes so who knows? Incidentally, this mystery synth appears again in a 2007 live Pharaoh Overlord set from the Roadburn festival where it functions much the same way!! Further supporting my theory that Ratto is laying out on these punk tunes is the fact that when these songs are played live Ratto just jogs in place!!! Of course the liner notes, like most NWOFHM tagged releases, feature pseudonyms so it's impossible to say for sure who is doing what... ANYWAY, Westerlund is the vocalist and at his most demented/unhinged. Leppanen once again proves himself to be just about the best drummer in the universe by handling lightning fast d-beats with the greatest of ease. I'm not good at judging punk tunes, but these all seem well enough written? The normal Circle repetition is absent at any rate. When the hardcore songs abruptly end we get a VERY long (10+ min) brooding bass throb drone song that is barely audible! And then out of that bit of seriously dedicated atmosphere an equally narrowly focused klause schultze type sequenced synth excursion appears and just kinda hovers around, pulsating hypnotically for 14 minutes and gradually fading out (the same sequence would later be used in a Katapult song to much better effect!) Every once in a LONG while this last song has a kind of sonar piano ping that chimes off but other than that its pure sequencer with nothing going on! Wtf? I'm still scratching my head five years later! Panic is kind of a weak offering overall, but I think it's worthy for the pure strange incongruity of it all!
Vaahto - Another 7" single. These are two typical five+ minute long Circle songs, one each per side. Typical as in guitar riffs that never end, ostinato clockwork drumming, strange mixing and insane singing. Both tunes actually kind of sound like they're on the wrong speed - it sounds good, but not quite right, on both 33 and 45 speeds!!! I personally can only tell for sure which is correct because of the pitch of the vocals. These songs kind of have a Guillotine/Forest vibe with similar synth work and some recycled sound effects in the background. The first song is a strong mid-paced composition with all the right ingredients for a killer Circle tune but doesn't really add up to anything in the end. The second tune is more interesting, with a rad insistent riff and heavily slowed down and processed singing from Jussi. There is also an off kilter synth melody in the middle and the end that I really like. I'm not a fan of Ratto's harmonica playing, which luckily usually doesn't make it onto the studio albums, but on this song it's used effectively enough. So overall a good bordering on great little single, but not nearly as perfect as the immaculate Elcric of a few years earlier.
Katapult - Katapult, Miljard and the two dvds Saturnus Reality and Man With A Video Camera all came from what appears to have been an epic recording session at Jussi's parents vacation home somewhere in the north of Finland. Katapult is half successful by my reckoning. It sounds really great for a home recording, although the mix is very dominated by all the overdubs and the original tracks are more or less buried. It makes for a strange listen with the drums and bass greatly minimalized; unfortunately this weakens the music quite a bit since Circle is such a rhythmic band. There is however a LOT of neat sounding percussion stuff in every song which takes up the slack. Interestingly, Westerlund gets the bass credit here and Jussi the guitars! It's all shorter songs and it's all very busy with a sort of black metal prog bend. There is a LOT of singing on this one. The black metal vocal approach seems quite serious and well intentioned but the end result is pretty ridiculous a lot of the time! I actually sort of think it would make more sense labelled as a Ratto Ja Lehtisalo metal album. There is a lot going on here but it's a little unfocused sometimes compared to their usual offerings, short songs that are sometimes a little aimless. This is an album that seemed very strong at first but as time goes by I'm less and less interested in it. These are all songs that seem to have largely been sculpted in the overdub process, so it's more focused on the synths, vocals and percussion than usual. We have a lot of metal riffage usually contrasted with clean chimey lines a little farther back in the mix. The highlights for me are Ratto's layered synth masterpiece Four Points of the Compass, Torpedo Star Throne with the relentless machine drumming courtesy of Leppanen and Understanding New Age, which features a majestic Mika Ratto vocal in the middle section. This might be a good one for people with shorter attention spans who like a lot of variety and shorter, more colorful songs.
Miljard - This 2xcd extravaganza is something else entirely, a truely exceptional oddity in a catalog where oddities are the rule of the game. Like I said somewhere above, it sort of sounds to me like frozen notes floating in an isolation chamber somewhere in Antarctica. All atmosphere, soundscapes and disembodied sounds cushioned by some excellent ear candy reverb effects. Still and calm are the rules of the game, along with rubato time. That is to say that the tempo is as slow as possible and supremely flexible. There is a general pulse in the place of the usual strict rhythm, and the notes are laid out in time with utmost freedom so this album is kind of like Circle at their most expressive or emotional, riding on pure instinct and guided by purest feelings. Ratto's piano dominates throughout and he gets a producer credit for his efforts. It seems during the session they recorded a lot of slow formless songs like this and Ratto took them and sculpted them to completion on his own. According to an interview with Jussi, Ratto calls them "piano pieces" and indeed, there is a LOT of digital piano here. These songs feature all sorts of pinging, ponging, tinkling, well placed low notes and little melodic squiggles distributed tunefully throughout. There is very little percussion, Leppanen seems to have limited himself to some little synth work way in the distance, and sometimes free stuttering percussion hits on the rims of the drums, both performed with admirable restraint. There is a lot of great tangled-sounding clean guitar work and also tons of tasty slow bass improvisation from Jussi. Some of it is even quite smokey and jazzy! The only tune that resembles a normal Circle song, and only remotely at that, is the final song. This 20+ minute long tune, Viitane, is a definite career highlight and is seriously, righteously awesome. Leppanen plays some tasty propulsive clip-clop percussion with toe tapping rimshots wayyyyy in the background giving it that inmitable Circle motorik vibe so lacking in the rest of the album. It's not at all clear what Jussi and Westerlund are up to, however, as the main backing track mostly gets mixed out! This is all Ratto's show and he delivers the goods with gusto. It's one of the scariest and most menacing Circle songs, conjuring up all sorts of hellish imagery with super low dissonant piano notes drenched in some incredibly atmospheric reverb. In fact, it's almost a study in the psychological effects of the tritone note! The mixing here is remarkable, nothing stays still and the different sounds all seem to have taken on lives of their own. There's really not much going on here except tons of deep synth drones, blurred piano ostinatos, the occasional bass piano notes and some wheezing sound effects but it never gets even remotely boring. A sort of zen masterpiece, really. Without this song, the album would be much weaker but with it Miljard becomes an indominatable shapeshifting monolith of droning noodley ambience, a yin yang mirage of minimalism; pretty and simplistic on the surface but hellish and dense when you truly listen. A truly special Circle album, one you can take home and play for your mother even!
Saturnus Reality DVD - A quasi-documentary about the Circle recording session which produced the Miljard and Katapult albums. I say quasi because much of it is staged and there isn't much playing at all! There is a lot of music of course, the music is in fact a main character, we just don't see them play it!! Overall it is not what you expect necessarily (although it is rather tripped out) but is actually a very beautiful film documenting the friendship of four musicians and how their friendship strengthens their music. The best part is a cut up slow motion segment towards the end, when the film becomes pure montage. In this segment you pretty much just see Jussi and Ratto goofing off! There is some of the prettiest Miljard music backing their hijinks and shots of daylight and the car journey home through the beautiful landscapes are intercut with it all so that a truly inspiring sense of nostalgia is evoked. Also worked into the film at various parts are old family films in 8mm or 16mm and the contrast is very nicel; we see how this is a kind of family film documenting the band members' friendship at that exact point in time. The filmmaker didn't get much out of the band as far as soundbites go, but Ratto has some wisdom which gets repeated as a kind of thematic motif to tie the film together. He speaks of rituals and how our lives are composed of rituals, we're always repeating our mundane daily tasks, and upon reflection it's all very relevant to Circle's music and why it works so well... good stuff, indeed! The Saturnus Reality DVD is unfortunately light on footage of the band actually playing but you do get to see Jussi recording the vocals for the Katapult song Saturnus Reality on the front porch in the middle of the night! Then they all discuss how it isn't commercial and the people abroad won't be able to understand the lyrics! Haha, okay guys! There's only two truly killer jams of any length, the first is a Forest type tune - Leppanen plays some crazy awesome ethnic/tribal robot drum patterns, Westerlund riffing it up on a banjo (!), Ratto alternately speaking in tongues and playing some demented harmonica (which is gripped between his teeth!!!) while also playing rattling percussion with his two hands... all the while Jussi plays an open bass guitar note with one hand and also rattles percussion (or sings into a mic he picks up) with the other!! The second longish jam is also a Foresty one but also with elements of free jazz in the drumming, like one of the Vesiliirto songs. After they come to a stop we see Leppanen grinning and nodding with pleasure and then Jussi reaches over to rewind the cassette recorder so they can listen to it!!! Really cool, if ultimately only a curiosity for non fans!
Man With A Video Camera DVD - This is a film by (i think!) the editor and one of the camera operators on the Saturnus Reality DVD. It's a documentary about the maker of the SR DVD, a bearded old head named Esko, and it is more an examination of his and Mika Ratto's personal creative process in the making of the aforementioned film. I think it's a bit more richer/rewarding the SR proper, but not as interesting an artistic statement. It is a more candid, that is to say less staged, look at the week-long recording session and the working artistic processes of Ratto are quite illuminating. Ratto is a full partner in the endeavor, it turns out, and neither of the film makers has any clear idea what to do with the concept of a Circle documentary. It's a great companion piece to SR and offers an interesting alternate perspective of the earlier DVD. It might have worked better as an extra on SR, but it's fine on it's own too assuming you've seen SR or have a vested interest in the band. There is also a bonus short film, scored by Circle and quite good really, about a Japanese restaurant owner who's shop is in Finland and how he has to close it down.
― liam fennell, Monday, 23 January 2012 19:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
1) will rather prominently feature my photographs of the band from when I met them in Birmingham on the same UK tour! of course! your photos are the best, it was only a matter of time. congrats!
2) i am listening to the Tower LP, which I just bought today on a whim. The clerk had exactly 0 comments about my purchase, which i am chalking up to inexperience on his part and not lack of discrimination on mine ;) anyway, it's super mellow and really perfect for the twilight hours.
― La Lechera, Sunday, 29 January 2012 23:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks very much La Lechera!
I have started to tweet Circle-related news-type things here, just in case anyone is interested... https://twitter.com/#!/NWOFHM
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Thursday, 2 February 2012 00:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
shit, thanks Krakow, didn't know about this Split Cranium thing!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 2 February 2012 18:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
Getting my first listen to the Split Cranium 7'' right this instant!
― brain (krakow), Friday, 3 February 2012 23:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
nice! pretty curious about this one but def not spending $9 plus shipping on a 7".
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Friday, 3 February 2012 23:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
It's good! Fast & heavy. A lot going on in under 3 minutes, it moves quickly. Some nice screaming guitar work.
― brain (krakow), Friday, 3 February 2012 23:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
― brain (krakow), Saturday, 4 February 2012 00:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
Is it just the one song?
Mixed by Kurt Ballou!! Always nice to see his name!
― Gonjasufjanstephen O'Malley (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 4 February 2012 00:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, one song & a Daniel Menche mix on the 7''. There is an album in a couple of months too, around March time.
― brain (krakow), Saturday, 4 February 2012 08:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
New Jussi solo album out on LP at the end of the month via Full Contact/Svart, see the usual Ektro websites...
― brain (krakow), Thursday, 9 February 2012 10:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
placing an order from Profound Lore, and thinking about getting 1-2 of these Circle records from the distro section. what's best of these??
- Rautatie- Rakennus (live)- Taaatumus
― ilxor, Sunday, 12 February 2012 15:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
from searching this thread, i see LOTS of love for Taantumus, not so much for Rautatie (new 2010 album?) and not a peep about Rakennus either way. Taantumus it is.... still would love to hear some chatter though! are the other two any good?
― ilxor, Sunday, 12 February 2012 15:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm absolutely in love with Rautatie nowadays! It has some amazing hard-rocking catchy tunes on it, for example this absolute stormer...
― brain (krakow), Sunday, 12 February 2012 20:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Rautatie = a prog rock explosion, with their most intricate compositions and 3 guitars all tangled together. I LOOOOOVE it, but it is a grower.
Rakkenus = has one KILLER live song, a version of virsi, but otherwise is a straightforward live album that is sorta warts-and-all like a Grateful Dead dick's picks or something
Taantumus = classic, classic, classic and lots of songs/colors
Am rally looking forward to another Jussi solo! Rotta is a wonderful cloudy atmospheric journey
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 14 February 2012 15:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
I second liam on all of that.
― brain (krakow), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 15:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
haha the giant picture of Tuomas is almost too much krakow
― liam fennell, Monday, 20 February 2012 13:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
not quite though, i want to hang it on my wall! Album rules, too
― liam fennell, Monday, 20 February 2012 13:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks liam! It's a belter!
Oddly enough, after being off work for a week, I returned to the shop today to find that a certain Jussi Lehtisalo had bought a CD from us via Amazon marketplace! It certainly livened up the potentially blue first day back at work for me!
― brain (krakow), Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
Love the record although tbh I remember Here Come The Warm Jets being far straighter on the evening.
― Aunt Acid and the Gaviscons (aldo), Thursday, 1 March 2012 00:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
i sold a bunch of DVDs today and bought the taantumus LP! haHA!
can't wait to properly listen to it
― Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Sunday, 4 March 2012 23:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
I just clicked the button on an exciting, but almost certainly financially foolish, plan that has been bubbling away for several months now...
― brain (krakow), Monday, 19 March 2012 23:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'll make my own announcement as soon as feasible, but in the interim...
― brain (krakow), Tuesday, 20 March 2012 23:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
avant-AOR, ha. Dilation!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
Is Hydra Head going to issue Manner in a non-limited way outside of RSD? I know my chances of snagging that are super slim, but I really want to hear it, especially after the positive review in the latest Decibel.
― stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
is that your eye?
― Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
I read that same review jon and I'm really excited about this one. particularly want to hear the zeuhl (!!!) track.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
Haha, one of my friends also asked that Lechera! I am maintaining the possibility! :-)
― brain (krakow), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks for the tip on the review as well folks, it has me even more excited!
― brain (krakow), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
new Ratto Ja Lehtisalo is pretty great/crazy! The atmosphere and theatrics have been dialed up considerably and Leppanen is back on board.
A friend told me you can reserve Record Store Day albums in advance? I'm emailing the local store about Manner right this second. I don't know what the deal is with RSD really but I guess I'll just have to be extra-vigilant if I can't reserve a copy. I feel bad for people who don't live near record stores thought!?
― liam fennell, Monday, 2 April 2012 16:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
You CAN'T reserve record store day items, it's part of the strictly enforced rules of the day. Registering interest with a shop is totally cool though.
If anyone wants the Manner LP and can't procure it from a local independent record shop (which I do encourage you to do) then get in touch with me, as I may end up with spares...
― brain (krakow), Monday, 2 April 2012 16:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Okay thanks a lot Krakow. Put me on the short list for a spare? I'm gonna go and be there right when they open first thing in the morning but it'd be awesome to have a backup plan!
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
think i'm just going to end up holding out for a non-RSD release. i'm not going to go stand in a two hour line to not be able to buy this.
― stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 16:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ah, wait, what, you have to wait in a 2 hour line!? I'm very confused by all this, I'm way way out of the loop guys, sorry... surely you get some kind of ticket and at least get to go browse or something in the meantime at the very least? I thought this was supposed to be fun!!!!
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 19:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
i'm sure its different at some stores, but the one nearest my house last year made everyone wait outside while the line slowly shuffled to the front of the store where you were allowed to point to the remaining releases that hadn't been crossed off the master list already. no browsing allowed. it was horrible and has pretty much put me off RSD completely. i'm sure there are many record stores that handle the atmosphere much better, but i've yet to have an RSD where i get even 1/10 of the releases i want. i don't like to spend a lot of extra time in a crowded record store to be letdown.
― stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 19:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
I wouldn't necessarily expect the Circle LP to sell-out immediately, certainly not everywhere, so you should be able to visit many a shop at your leisure later in the day on RSD to pick up a copy.
I've ordered a lot of copies, because of my personal obsession and its crossover with/spillover to a lot of my friends who will be picking it up, but I do expect to have some left after RSD is finished.
We run the queue system for the first few hours, only letting in as many people in as we can serve at one time (with all four staff members on), because otherwise it descends into absolute mayhem and genuine fighting and only a couple of people can browse the RSD-specific racks at one time anyway. By the time the main queue has gone down, which is a couple of hours, things are basically back to a busy version of normal.
― brain (krakow), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 19:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
seattle's a big vinyl & indie record store town, but i've never seen anyhing like that here. long lines, sure, but browsing encouraged. stores just get CRAMMED for a few hours early in the day. then again, i didn't go last year, so maybe everything's gotten exponentially worse, i dunno...
― preternatural concepts concerning variances in sound and texture (contenderizer), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 20:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
well, to be fair, i am talking about the first couple hours they were open, i'm sure it was better later in the day. but i was about halfway into the line and they were already down to about 10% of the list actually available by the time i got to the counter.
― stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 20:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
i mean, i don't want to crowd up the awesome circle thread with this, but i really hate the way the RSD focus is now just all about people on a scavenger hunt for specific, artificially limited items instead of just celebrating record stores in general.
― stan this sick bunt (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 20:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks all for the info! My local store's getting a few copies so I'm sure it'll work out.
The new RjL is righteously awesome, with a very eclectic and experimental prog feel!!! A lot of the songs resemble stuff from Mika's main band, Kuusumun Profeetta, only super-powered by Jussi's relentless riffage and Leppanen's usual ultra precise drumming. Ratto deploys a lot of different keyboard sounds, particularly organ sounds and the fender rhodes also makes a few appearances. The album is soaked in reverb and there's a lot of experimenting with nifty effects and of course pop hooks galore. All and all, a very rich tapestry and a nice progression from the colorful UUmama.
Plus there's a lightning fast barn burner of a song seemingly about Anne Frank!!!!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 14:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
I love "Le Mans", but am still waiting for the CD to hear more...
― brain (krakow), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 19:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
I picked up the RSD release 30 min before the store was about to close and the clerk was like "Hey, I think they played here earlier today" (this was at Reckless) and I looked at him like o_O really? And he insisted and then we realized that he meant Circles. Anyway, I think they had other copies JVC, if you want one.
I didn't know it had a cover of HERE COME THE WARM JETS on it!?!?! Packaging is beautiful too.
Anyway, that's my update.
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Sunday, 22 April 2012 15:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
I managed to score one of these, as someone had (deliberately?) hidden it amongst the stack of stock for some other band. The eyeball sticker on the LP is torn, which is a tiny bummer, but other than that - Jesus, it's gorgeous. The vinyl is white with red vein-y swirls!
― She Got the Shakes, Sunday, 22 April 2012 20:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
Only spotted black vinyl here in the UK. If anyone finds spare copies of the 'red eye' or 'eyeball' coloured versions, then I would love them, please!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 22 April 2012 21:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
I got mine at Rough Trade East, so some of them made their way over here. I didn't know there were multiple versions.
― She Got the Shakes, Sunday, 22 April 2012 21:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
I had 10 copies in store, all black. Would love to get the other colours myself too!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 22 April 2012 21:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm sure it would cost a fortune shipping-wise, but HydraHead is selling the other colors (but running out very quickly, by all accounts): http://www.hydraheadlines.blogspot.co.uk/
― She Got the Shakes, Sunday, 22 April 2012 21:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, shipping for 2 LPs is far too expensive for me, unfortunately. If anyone in UK or Europe spots the coloured ones, you can trust me to purchase them from you, if you felt so kind!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 22 April 2012 21:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
I got the white eye with veins version! It's in perfect condition, no tears or anything. Also sounds great!
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Sunday, 22 April 2012 22:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Anyway I think Reckless has more copies -- they did at closing time last night.
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Sunday, 22 April 2012 22:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
She Got The Shakes: I got mine from RTE in the same manner...
― Conan The Asshander (Doran), Sunday, 22 April 2012 22:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Might have a lead on an eyeball version! Excited! Open record shop open!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 23 April 2012 07:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
In retrospect I guess I didn't have to stress out too much about this ha. My store let in 10 people at a time and gave out numbers so it was pretty orderly and you could browse. Got a white eye with veins. The xerox of the guitar chords/tabs is pretty funny too!
― liam fennell, Monday, 23 April 2012 12:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
For anyone interested in pictures over words
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Monday, 23 April 2012 13:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
It comes with tabulation?!
― Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Monday, 23 April 2012 14:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
It's a photocopy, one sheet, I can take a closeup if you'd like?
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Monday, 23 April 2012 14:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
Man I want that so bad. Oh well.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 April 2012 14:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
You don't even have the option to try and order it from Hydra Head. Fuck this Record Store Day nonsense, tbrr. I mean, I'm all for the day in general, happy to support my local stores, love the vibe, but hate SO MUCH that it is now all about music that you can't possibly get any other way.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 April 2012 14:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
JON have you tried to call Reckless on Milwaukee? They may have another one!!
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Monday, 23 April 2012 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
I have no way of getting there until Thursday, at the earliest unfortunately. I'm flying out to California for work this afternoon, so I wouldn't be able to go get it and I know they don't hold stuff that long. I'm going to check the Reckless Loop location, because I could get there over lunch.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 April 2012 15:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
Success. The Loop location actually had five copies still! Somehow I'm questioning that there were only 500 worldwide.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 April 2012 15:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
i dunno, maybe it was fatigue from the bigger name releases or maybe people just don't knowthe guy working at the store where i bought it got them confused with another band (as i mentioned) and didn't show any indication that he knew what the record was when he located it in the boxesthere's clearly one person working there who knows because they carried it and always have pharaoh overlord in stock too, but my guess is that THIS person has never been the one who rang me up.
congrats on finding it!
― two overweight dachshunds with three eyes (La Lechera), Monday, 23 April 2012 15:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
i probably just overestimate the popularity of Circle, i'm just used to their stuff disappearing really fast.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 April 2012 15:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
Blue Collar Distro still has mailorder copies (for $21): http://www.bluecollardistro.com/hydrahead/product_info.php?products_id=7109&cPath=4_137&store=
― Walter Galt, Monday, 23 April 2012 17:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
1000 copies across the three colours. Apparently black vinyl is actually more limited than eyeball. I will have copies of the black vinyl at least to sell in a couple of weeks...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 23 April 2012 20:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
So, I never actually told all you good Circle-loving people my exciting news that I alluded to a while back...
I have set up a specialist UK-based mail-order for all things Circle, Pharaoh Overlord, Ektro, NWOFHM!, ... and related. I have the support of a number of labels already, including Jussi at Ektro, have lots of stock (as listed) in hand, loads more new releases and back catalogue to come, and plenty of exciting plans and developments on the horizon!
'Like' the facebook, 'follow' the twitter, browse the website, sign-up to the mailing list, make an order, spread the word... if you would like.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 27 April 2012 22:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
So that is you I've been following on Twitter! Nice work! Do those of us planning to order from the U.S. need to know anything special?
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Saturday, 28 April 2012 00:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
In terms of ordering from the USA, I don't think that there's anything special to know, except that postage is horrific!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Saturday, 28 April 2012 07:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
ha, yes horrific is the word. Congrats Krakow. Seeing that you deal in rarities... if you happen to run across a Circle Noiduttu cassette hold it for me! Should I send an email?
― liam fennell, Monday, 30 April 2012 13:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Please do email liam. I am setting up lists for rarities wanted.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 30 April 2012 18:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
'Zopalki' 2xLP reissue is out, on black and aqua blue vinyl.
Erkki Kurenniemi & Circle's 'Rakkaus Tulessa' LP has been repressed.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 4 May 2012 07:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
If any Circle-loving ILX-ers in the UK (or maybe even Europe) would be interested in being part of a group buy of Hydra Head's new glow-in-the-dark skull Circle t-shirt, in order to mitigate the ferocious postal costs from the USA, then please drop me an email via www.nwofhm.com...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Saturday, 5 May 2012 23:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm now in communication with Hydra Head to bulk order these t-shirts, so if anyone in the UK or Europe is interested, then please get in touch asap. Thanks.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Monday, 14 May 2012 21:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
NWOFHM! road trip for me next week...
I'm flying to Amsterdam on Tuesday, then heading to Antwerp, Belgium to see Circle with Pharaoh Overlord in support at Muziekcentrum TRIX on Wednesday night and on to Tilburg, Netherlands for Circle with Harvey Milk at Incubated 18 on Thursday night!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 3 June 2012 12:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
I had an amazing time in Antwerp and Tilburg - the gigs were incredible; I've barely been happier than when letting it all go during the Incubated 18 set.
Circle @ Incubated 18 at Paradox in Tilburg by Crimson Glow Photography, on Flickr.
In other news, the 2004 Circle album 'Forest', originally released on CD by Ektro and No Quarter, is getting its first LP release. It will be appearing on black vinyl in an edition of 500 copies on Full Contact at the end of June...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 07:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
Forest vinyl is a dream come true... play loud!
Jealous you got to those gigs, I too totally wig out when I see Circle live. Someone put what seems to be the full Incubated Circle set on youtube and I totally ripped the audio and have been listening to it recently. Good stuff!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 13 June 2012 12:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
oh and it's super cool to hear them rip through one of the Myllari songs live!!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 13 June 2012 12:51 (1 year ago) Permalink
You should email me liam still!
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 17:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sometimes I get discouraged about how hard it is to find stuff by these guys without paying tons for shipping. But then I get to go somewhere like Waterloo, in Austin, and get to come home with copies of Serpent, Rautatie, and Raunio. You guys, this band. Fuck. I mean, this fucking band.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 22 June 2012 20:54 (11 months ago) Permalink
anyone else hear hisko detria? it's not like there's a lack of circle material out there but this scratched the same itch nicely for me:http://hiskodetria.bandcamp.com/
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Saturday, 23 June 2012 19:33 (11 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, I got their CDr through a couple of months back. I've only had a chance for a couple of listens, but it's good stuff. I second that it's worth checking out.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Saturday, 23 June 2012 20:16 (11 months ago) Permalink
Amazing looking show at Dunajam 2012 on the sun-kissed beaches of Sardinia earlier this month... definitely worth checking out the last video of the playlist...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Tuesday, 26 June 2012 22:16 (11 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, there was some talk about that in another thread, can't remember whether it was the 2012 spacerock one or the bandcamp one, but I love it.
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 26 June 2012 22:18 (11 months ago) Permalink
Dunajam youtube vids rule! Jussi's costume... Fuck. The end was beautiful. Much belated email sent, Krakow, thanks and sorry!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:07 (11 months ago) Permalink
Circle 'Forest' LP on Full Contact is out now! My copies arrived today for those in the UK...
This album was originally released in 2004 on CD by Ektro and No Quarter. This is its first appearance on vinyl. Black vinyl, 500 copies.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 6 July 2012 22:32 (11 months ago) Permalink
Got your email liam, thanks! Hoping to have a chance to reply this weekend...
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Friday, 6 July 2012 22:33 (11 months ago) Permalink
Delighted I found this forum.
― FRUG, Sunday, 22 July 2012 11:05 (10 months ago) Permalink
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 22 July 2012 11:30 (10 months ago) Permalink
Gosh, sorry liam, I'm still WAY behind.
― only NWOFHM! is real (krakow), Sunday, 22 July 2012 11:31 (10 months ago) Permalink
I went to the store looking for Forest (didn't find it) but I did find a used copy of the Saturnus Reality dvd, for which I paid a modest $7. I don't really know what to expect other than 98 min of Circle.
― nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Sunday, 22 July 2012 13:46 (10 months ago) Permalink
Don't worry Krakow, no rush! Unless you find a copy of Noiduttu that is ha!
Saturnus Reality is indeed 98 minutes of Circle... goofing off in a cabin in the woods!
― liam fennell, Monday, 23 July 2012 13:05 (10 months ago) Permalink
Big Circle fan but to paraphrase Woody Allen: "If I had to live my life again, I'd do everything the same, except that I wouldn't see Saturnus Reality."
― Terabytes of FLACS of screaming (Call the Cops), Monday, 23 July 2012 14:15 (10 months ago) Permalink
― nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Monday, 23 July 2012 14:20 (10 months ago) Permalink
B-b-but it's the Finnegans Wake of Finnish rock docs
― that one guy (loves laboured breathing), Monday, 23 July 2012 16:17 (10 months ago) Permalink
Call the Cops and loves laboured breathing... both of those are great quotes! Can I use them on NWOFHM! to 'advertise' Saturnus Reality, please?
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Monday, 23 July 2012 21:45 (10 months ago) Permalink
I'm about to watch this in 15 min increments, pausing for frequent status checks as to whether or not I'm regretting it.
― nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Monday, 23 July 2012 22:00 (10 months ago) Permalink
Not regretting it at all so far, a few thoughts because why not:
-- love the electric orange baby bottle eye-- Christmas tree discussion was typical for Finnish people in general or no? -- love the sun through the trees, lots of pretty things to look at-- shiny and dull in all the right places
* caveat, i love things that are extremely banal, including but not limited to frederick wiseman movies, dry history books with excruciating details about normal life during different eras, found items and sentimental crap that winds up in thrift stores, shit like that
it has been worth my $7 already. can't imagine the rest being a full out assault on my sensibilities.
― nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Monday, 23 July 2012 22:28 (10 months ago) Permalink
A wee clip from Circle's performance at Jättömaa 2012 this weekend just gone...
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Monday, 23 July 2012 22:36 (10 months ago) Permalink
― that one guy (loves laboured breathing), Tuesday, 24 July 2012 13:25 (10 months ago) Permalink
I rather like SR myself although it took a bit to grow on me. It's worth a second and perhaps even a third look IMO. If nothing else the soundtrack, especially towards the end when it all gets dreamy and nostalgic, is very nice indeed.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 24 July 2012 17:20 (10 months ago) Permalink
I finnish friend who turned me on to Circle told me never to watch either Saturnus Reality or Man With a Video Camera... I wondered if that was just his personal taste but reading the above I can perhaps see why!! Not sure I'd like to have any insight into the band whatsoever, so as to be able to take the music at face value and not have anything else colour that. Also it's a help that I havn't a notion about any of the lyrics, my finnish friend again told me they are, for the most part, total nonsense!! (He did translate Laake for one time we were listening to Rautatie and it actually did give me a further appreciation of that song, the picture of a spilt bottle of pills on the youtube vid for the song is quite apt!)
How do people feel about Manner??? Only got it last week and I've literally listened to nothing else this week except it and Lunar Jetman (which is also phenomenal, didn't expect much since I hated Out of the Darkness)
I think New Fantasy will become a "Circle classic"(a la Nopeuskuningas), such a fantastically written track. I was unsure after Infektio if Circle would return to that perfect NWOFHM/psychedilic mix on Rautatie, and so delighted they are still evolving it!
― FRUG, Sunday, 29 July 2012 10:02 (10 months ago) Permalink
Frug, you're prob right, it's better to get to know them through the music, the mystery is half the fun! But once you do Saturnus Reality is an interesting insight into how they operate and how much playful humor and joy actually goes into this seemingly very serious and heavy music. I too like not knowing the words, it's why I mostly listen to foreign stuff in general in fact. Then they can be about anything!
Haven't heard Manner yet because I don't have a record player! Fuck! I borrow one from a friend to rip things every now and then but I wait until they pile up. I like the songs from the live disc Serpent and the stuff floating around youtube so I'm sure the album proper rules.
― liam fennell, Thursday, 2 August 2012 14:36 (10 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, I haven't heard Manner yet either. I managed to snag one of the last copies at my local shop, but my record player is in storage right now (much of the music stuff had to go when we converted our second bedroom into a nursery).
― heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 2 August 2012 14:39 (10 months ago) Permalink
Circle followers may be interested that Janne Westerlund (Circle and Pharaoh Overlord guitarist and singer and leader of his own band Plain Ride) has a debut solo album 'Oran' coming out on CD on the label 9pm Records in September.
There are a couple of tracks available on his soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/jannewesterlund
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Thursday, 9 August 2012 11:06 (10 months ago) Permalink
Cool, all the Plain Rides are kinda samey but this lullaby stuff is a nice change. It makes me really wonder what a 2012 Chainsmoker album would be like.
Quick search of youtube turns up JW doing a Forest song! Cool:
― liam fennell, Thursday, 9 August 2012 12:02 (10 months ago) Permalink
Thanks liam, I'd not seen that before.
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Monday, 13 August 2012 22:40 (10 months ago) Permalink
In Circle news...
'Hissi' and 'Fraten' get the reissue treatment on Ektro! Remastered CD versions are due 7th September. These are the third and fourth albums, from 1996 and 1997 respectively, originally issued by Metamorphos (and Captain Trip).
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Monday, 13 August 2012 22:43 (10 months ago) Permalink
Man I love Lunar Jetman; I still haven't heard much from these guys, but this might be my favorite thing they've done
― ^loves belaboured seething (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 21 September 2012 05:39 (8 months ago) Permalink
They've got a new split with Grails coming at the end of October, which I'm anticipating greatly!
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Friday, 21 September 2012 07:49 (8 months ago) Permalink
They being Pharaoh Overlord, as per Lunar Jetman, I mean.
Awesome news Krakow!
I'm really looking forward to the Kuusumun Profeetta, too. Although this one seems completely different, their last album from 4-5 years ago called Lyhtykuja is easily one of the best albums in the whole Circle axis. That cd is highly recommended to anyone who is a Mika Ratto fan and likes the idea of minor key and mysterious synthesizer prog. It's kinda like an operatic take on the band Goblin.
Can't find any Lyhtykuja videos from the album proper but here's a live version of the best song on it (which doesn't quite do the tune justice, but...)
― liam fennell, Friday, 21 September 2012 12:03 (8 months ago) Permalink
The new Quietus mix opens with Pharaoh Overload and may (or may not) be relevant to this thread's interests:
Quietus Mix 71: Hexvessel Present Current Affairs Of The Finnish Psychedelic Underground
(the rest isn't Circle-related to the best of my knowledge, though there is a lot I don't know about such things, but I check the Quietus's weekly mixes every week and thought I'd take the opportunity to plug one)
― still small voice of clam (a passing spacecadet), Friday, 12 October 2012 13:18 (8 months ago) Permalink
..."check" in a purely home-listener sense, in case that read like I actually have anything to do with their curation or anything
― still small voice of clam (a passing spacecadet), Friday, 12 October 2012 13:20 (8 months ago) Permalink
New Circle 7'' coming in the next couple of weeks! Circle cover Jesters Of Destiny's 'End Of Time' and 'God Told Me To' with Jesters members Bruce Duff and Ray Violet as part of the Circle line-up. Out around 30th October on Full Contact...
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:14 (7 months ago) Permalink
Amazing news! That sample is fucking great!
As for the recent slew of albums that came out recently: I think the Arkhamin Kirvasto rules although I'm not crazy about the death metal singing, the Kuusumun Profeeta is very beautiful but very easy-listening AOR and the Janne Westerlund sort of totally kicks ass in a very mild mannered and quirky way... with lots of banjos.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:50 (7 months ago) Permalink
I have Janne Westerlund coming up to Glasgow for a gig here on Thursday 6th December while he's in the UK with Mäkkelä's Trash Lounge...
― NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:55 (7 months ago) Permalink
So what were the Janne Westerlund gigs like Karakow? Did he have a band?
Finally heard Manner now that it has a CD reissue. It is... very mannered, ha. Stately. Much of it is sparse rhythmically, at least the framework, but the whole is dense with novel sonic textures and effects. So many little details. Very cool. Very colorful. I'm personally not crazy about the Eno cover but that's only because it's a song I don't like much and it drags a little. For me it fits better into the context of Serpent.
Manner might be the Circle album with the most singing, the Ratto songs are all performed with completely different vocal styles. He's very much an actor performing different roles in these miniature melodramas! Overall it is pretty great stuff but slightly weaker overall than the Rautatie and Infektio albums which precede it and feature the same lineup. Weaker only in that it's not quite as exciting/adventurous. Also have been loving the Kuusumun Profeeta which is almost like a whole album of the most mellow and spacey Pink Floyd tracks from the 70s. Incredibly lush and understated (almost precious) but still very prog in spirit, it's all driven by the bubbling bass guitar and subdued synth textures. Highly recommended if you like that sort of thing!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 7 February 2013 17:14 (4 months ago) Permalink
busted out the last kuusumun profeeta again today. still love it.
Incredibly lush and understated (almost precious)
this album often sounds so emo to me! not a pejorative thing, I kinda dig it tbh. "sataa lumi maahan hiljaa ja varhain" is like american football with chops. so then maybe... how it feels to be something on?
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 17 April 2013 04:59 (2 months ago) Permalink
also listened to circle's suur-pori the other day. fairly aimless jam session. not sure it even needed a cassette release, really.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:01 (2 months ago) Permalink
Still haven't played those new cassettes! I'm looking forward to the Ektroverde one most. The Circle/Verde Giardino was pretty WTF and perhaps not really necessary too, ha. Still glad to have it.
I still really love that last Kuusumun album also. It really hits the spot. I agree it is very American Football!! I haven't thought about that band in years.
The PO split with Grails has one super good new song along the lines of P0 #3 (except with way busier guitars!) and one song that is some weird slowed down jam ala Guillotine which is kind of a let down after that first song but still interesting, a real head scratcher. I need to spend more time with it.
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 17 April 2013 11:58 (2 months ago) Permalink
the ektroverde tape is fun! I like giardino as well.
sounds like I need to hear that split since #3 is easily my favorite PO. trying to imagine busy guitars on top of that ultra-minimal sound...
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:19 (2 months ago) Permalink
The PO is really cool! Leppanen and the two brother guitar guys, one left channel and one right, really own it. Someone put the first song up on youtube I guess:
The second song might not be slowed down, I did a close listen and it's possible they might be playing with extreme discipline, ha.
― liam fennell, Thursday, 18 April 2013 12:19 (2 months ago) Permalink
I have to say I think Suur-Pori is awesome and totally essential! I don't find it aimless at all, just confusing in the best possible way. If Leppanen wasn't there as an anchor it'd be harder to take but he IS there and so is Janne Tuomi! Good stuff, I can't believe it's 80 minutes long. Still the best and most interesting working band in the world that I know of!
The Ektroverde tape seems to be the complete session of the Music for Supermarket EP, and is indeed fun and charming in a quirky, robotic way.
New Ratto ja Lehtisalo 7" is really great too. Very colorful!!!
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:47 (1 month ago) Permalink
guess I have to give suur-pori another listen, huh? maybe I just wasn't in the mood?
dug that PO track, thanks for posting.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:44 (1 month ago) Permalink
No prob, Alan. They had put that PO song up on Soundcloud at one point but I guess they took it down after the album came out.
As far as suur-pori I guess it depends on how much you appreciate confusing improvisation, ha. It is something I personally really go in for when the performers have very distinct personalities like these guys! I listened with headphones and had a lot of fun but I did only listen to only one side of the cassette at a time. The whole thing is indeed a bit much for one sitting!
Maybe it's worth listening for the percussionist's contribution, he is always adding subtle color, and also the work of the mixer guy. The latter is very active in shaping the overall sound and adding the effects (they never had effect pedals the times I've caught them live at least.)
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 18:23 (1 month ago) Permalink
yup, I'm definitely into improv, so I'll listen again soon and hone in on the percussion. ;-) I honestly don't remember much about it at this point (only listened once) except that I found it a bit too 'jammy' for my tastes.
also recently spun the second ratto ja lehtisalo record for the first time and it's been on high rotation ever since. pretty killer. love all the percussive vocal stuff on it.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 19:26 (1 month ago) Permalink
I know, right! Glad you checked it out. That Ratto ja Lehtisalo is so neglected and so fascinating. The typewriter song is so funny. And also the one that is like "jue jue, ou ou ou, knock knock, push push, bebopaloolaloolaloola" is just out of this world with the goofy chanting contrasted by the kind of sacred church atmosphere!
Did you ever hear their side of the split 12" they did with Reverend Bizarro? So great, along the same lines vocally as the 2nd album but with motorik Leppanen drumming, electric guitar & synthesizers!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 25 April 2013 14:24 (1 month ago) Permalink
no, I'd never heard this until just now, but wow, I love it!
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 25 April 2013 14:48 (1 month ago) Permalink
and yeah, the typewriter and "knock, knock, push, push" tracks are both hilarious and great!
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 25 April 2013 14:50 (1 month ago) Permalink
listening again, and although they don't sound awfully similar, this one definitely reminds me of pharoah overlord #3. both lps strip things down about as far as they reasonably can and this intense focus really makes individual elements pop out. the impact of sounds interacting magnifies and becomes a lot of fun for the listener to follow and the introduction of new elements gets more dramatic as well.
― (⊙_⊙?) (Alan N), Thursday, 25 April 2013 16:31 (1 month ago) Permalink
It's always a happy day when a new package from Aquarius shows up on my desk with new Circle. This time I picked up Manner on CD (already had the vinyl, but hey) and the Golem/Vesilirto reissue. Particularly excited for the latter, as I've not heard that one at all yet.
― i kant believe it's not buffon (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 1 May 2013 19:54 (1 month ago) Permalink
The Manner, Golem/Vesiliirto and Horn reissues are all essential! The bonus tracks on the latter two are pretty unexciting, though. Jon, if you get a chance let us know what you make of G/V, it's pretty confusing stuff! I find the Vesiliirto disc in particular pretty rewarding with the manic clockwork drumming, bass noodling and strange swirling freak out space organ.
I agree about the POs, Alan. I always thought #3 was super skeletal, it is so stark and high contrast. Maybe the artwork also reinforced this reading! They just sound so great as a band unit. The timbre of the drums and the bass is so delicious. Focused. And the guitars are so very insistent and tastefully stripped down. I also love how you can hear the minute mistakes, a stray missed drum hit or a single dead guitar note, they don't go back and overdub everything to perfection, they get a great performance and let it breathe and live - in high fidelity!
The two guitar playing brothers are pretty interesting on the newer Circle and PO albums, they aren't so rigid/disciplined and they often improvise and let their guitars get all tangled together in a very organic way. Which is part of the fun in listening to Suur-Pori. They work in unison. I don't know if they are actually twins, but they sound like twins. You can't really tell them apart, kind of like when the Beach Boy brothers harmony sing together. It is a cool dynamic!
― liam fennell, Thursday, 2 May 2013 12:04 (1 month ago) Permalink
Heh, I've only had a chance to spin G/V once so far, but right now I'm slightly preferring the studio stuff - there is a nice jazz vibe going on that I really love.
Speaking of Pharoah Overlord, I swung by a shop yesterday afternoon and picked up not only the Horn reissue, but also CD copies of #3 and #4! I was pretty excited to find 'em all at once.
― i kant believe it's not buffon (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 20 May 2013 20:54 (4 weeks ago) Permalink
Ha, you're going to have a lot of fun with that haul! Cool shop! The ersatz metal of #4 might not line up with most people's tastes but I sure think it's a blast.
― liam fennell, Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:42 (4 weeks ago) Permalink
Well I've heard both #3 and #4 before, just happy to finally have copies of each.
― i kant believe it's not buffon (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 21 May 2013 13:57 (4 weeks ago) Permalink