Album: Nordic Circles
Released: 11 February 2013
From out of the electronic wilderness comes Nordic Circles (66'33"), the album by Norwegian duo Circular (Bjarte Andreassen and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik). While electricity powers the nine tracks it is but a strong musical aesthetic that propels them. Equal parts texture, rhythm and harmonic consonance, Nordic Circles offers an interesting range of moods. From atmospheric drama and nocturnal cool, to over-amped synth-zones and body reactive beats, this work moves at the speed of thought. With its organ chords, nature sounds and undulating dark tones, it asks our minds to listen - yet soft throbbing bass, jittery grooves and popping echo blips ask our bodies to sway. Circular understands drums, but they also understand composition. Well attuned to matters of balance, dynamics and timbre they seek equilibrium between ethereal textures and shuffling beats. There are also passages of abstraction - as beguiling as they are disorienting. Within these zones it can become difficult to distinguish large from small and the natural from the synthetic. As machine-like gasps and deep toned melodies toil beneath a lush blanket of synth strings, a mounting intensity gives way to thematic transition - in sensitive gradations of sonority. Nordic Circles possesses a dreamy, enchanted beauty. Loaded with transposing forms and evanescent effects it finds sparkle in the gloom.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 20 March 2013
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