Circle - Miljard 3xLP
Label: Hydra Head
Delicate? Calm? Circle? Yes. If you're expecting the NWOFHM (New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal) stylings of Tulikoria or Sunrise, or the motorik krautrock of Alotus or Guillotine, or the heavy prog of Prospekt, or the spacey jazzy dubbiness of Pori, or all of the above; well that's NOT exactly what you get with Miljard. There's really no comparisons this time to Neu!, Can, Tortoise, or Hawkwind, let alone Judas Priest! Instead we'll mention Thuja, The Necks, Morton Feldman, Bohren und Der Club Of Gore, Philip Jeck, 3/4hadbeeneliminated. It's still definitely Circle. It's just that, as their own website put it, "rocking has been traded for some quiet reading on the couch at home". And boy is this hauntingly atmospheric, instrumental music perfect for such activity.
Miljard requires more than one LP, because this music is so spacious and expansive, a slow-moving stream, or the ripples in a pond. The pond, perhaps, frozen in the Finnish winter, in a twilight landscape softened with snow. The first track "Parmalee" is a twenty minute piece that sets the relaxed and gorgeous tone of this record. Meandering, pretty piano, reminding us of Rob Reger's playing in Thuja, quietly joined by abstract electronics and guitar. Circle's usual repetition and pulses are still there, at about 11 minutes the pulse becomes more noticable. This is a fantastic record, and there's still five sides to go!! The next track, "B.F.F." is slightly more uptempo, but still has the classical vibe from the piano. And then another twenty-minute cut "Duunila" emerges as a whispery dark drone, hushed with some sparse clatter and gentle bass notes. Sheer beauty. And on it goes, all the way through to the gauzey, vaguely gamelan-like 20 minute "Viitane" which occupies the sixth side, nearly two hours all told of amazing music, the soundtrack to a limpid dream from which we'd never hope to wake.
Geez, what can't they do? Recommended, people!!!