Discussion in 'Music Chat' started by runaways, Jan 12, 2015.
Prospekt and Taantumus are my favorites I think.
That would explain why it was familiar but I couldn't place it. I've listened to bits of the Falcon (ex-Circle) record online but never got round to buying it.
Not exactly an unbiased opinion (I have about 35 Circle LPs and probably another 30 or so by their various side projects) but - they are definitely a good band. Their records are VERY varied, so if you get the wrong one it could really put you off, and you probably need to be into the idea of transcendent/meditative music at least as much if not more than the idea of a metal band to get much out of it.
My (brutally truncated) top picks, categorised and working roughly backwards:
Six Day Run, Sunrise, Prospekt
Miljard, Tower, Forest
Telescope, Tyrant, General
I would also strongly recommend Pharaoh Overlord #1, Pharaoh Overlord #3, Lunar Jetman and Battle of the Axehammer by Pharaoh Overlord, the first two Rättö Ja Lehtisalo records (Kopernikus Hortoilee Näkinkengässä and Pari Lepakkoa Transylvaniassa) and the first three Steel Mammoth records (Atomic Mountain, Kingdom of the Golden Hammer and Nuclear Ritual).
If I could only have one it would probably be Sunrise. That's the first one with the current "core" line up intact, it is fairly metal sounding but maybe sort of a bridge between the clinical 90s noise-rock/post-rock type stuff and what they do now. And as I say, the metal element is somewhat incidental to what's really going on anyway. Otherwise maybe a weird pick but probably Telescope. It's all improvised material I think, or at least stuff that never appeared in studio versions, but it is tight and focussed, and most of the tracks are 15-25 minutes in length (it's a double CD) so they really get time to develop stuff and get really, really hypnotic.
Regarding setlist for Bradford, I can't really pinpoint much specific, it was primarily stuff from the last few records, Falcon/Manner etc, but I can't remember which tracks or in what order which is a sure sign that I was enjoying it on a very deep level indeed. It was easily the best time I've seen them since around 2006/2007. Possibly the best ever but it would be very difficult to pick a winner from their show at the Packhorse around 2002 (pre-Sunrise tour), Holy Trinity in 2004 (improv set, documented on the Mountain live album) and the shows they did at Corsica Studios in London in 2006/7 when they were doing the material that ended up on Hollywood, all of which were absolutely spectacular but all have special significance for me for various other reasons which make it hard to be objective about these things. Anyway, yes. Fucking Circle. Between that and seeing Magma a couple of weeks before I need a bit of decompression time before I watch more bands I think...
Great post tnf, cheers. Agree with pretty much all your picks, although I would warn neophytes that "General" is a pretty heavy place to start. Like you say, pick the wrong way in, and you could be put off for life. I'd stick with "Sunrise" as a 'safe' way in.
Don't know the Steel Mammoth albums at all - as the more 'generically' metal end of Circle's stuff is not my favourite, I've always been a little hesitant. That said, I do like the Lusiferiin Armosta album quite a bit. Have you heard the Bensini record?
I was at the shows in Leeds you mentioned - both amazing performances. But as you say, they were playing at the same level in Bradford. Seen them a couple of times at Supersonic in Brum too. They actually played one night when I was in Helsinki on holiday, which would have been amazing but, having seen them play in front of about thirty people at 1 in 12, I underestimated their popularity in their home nation. It was sold out. The man on the door told me, "In Finland, we take our metal very seriously." Still, my wife and I did see Kylie Minogue in the Haartwall stadium the night before. Swings and roundabouts.
Ha! I haven't heard the Bensini record yet but I've heard good things, it's on the list for next time I place an Ektro order.
Those first couple of Steel Mammoth records are, despite the imagery, not really that metal at all, the lyrics are in that area and there's the odd riff that sounds quite metal but the general sound is fairly laid back rock and roll, sort of Stones/Creedence/1st Judas Priest album type area, so imagine that but with singing about mutants and nuclear fallout, i.e. totally brilliant. The last two they did are much harder, I far prefer the early style:
Weirdly I saw those mid-2000s Circle/PO tours in both Bradford and London, the London ones were both mind blowing but I wasn't really into the Bradford gigs, which I think was a really down to the 1 in 12s long running "knackered PA" issues. The London gigs, which I think on both occasions were either the day before or day after the Bradford ones, with the same sets, were absolutely stellar, I'd love to go and see more stuff at Corsica, it's a really nice venue. I also saw them in Manchester around the time of Katapult/Panic and it didn't quite connect in the way those earlier gigs and the Threadfest set did (although I think Panic is a really good record). Maybe the room was too big? I dunno.
I was speaking to Tomi and Jussi after the gig who told me that only Jussi and Mika still live in Pori, the rest are in Helsinki, so when they record they generally meet up, write and record an LP in about 2 days now. If they're going on tour, they might have "a practise". Insane.
I got a few of the steel mammoth albums. The record I have is really crusty and heavy, but the CDs I have I found to be really hazy rock, a bit like the PO albums but like you say, with incredibly daft lyrics. Awesome though.
I've got the Split Cranium LP too which I think I've listened to once....
Split Cranium feels like it's more Aaron Turner's baby to me. The only track I listen to regularly is the Daniel Menche remix at the end. "Panic" is one of my favourite Circle albums; really weird, yet somehow it all fits together. And I do like the punky numbers that Janne sings. There's an EP of similar tracks, isn't there, but I can't remember the name at the moment?
Thanks for the heads up on Steel Mammoth - I might try out an earlier album, likewise next time I place an Ektro order!
Beer and Ribs is a great party song! Another song that Janne sung was Lääke from Rautatie.
The really old song was Point from their second 7" - from 1992!
Thanks, great! I couldn't decide if it was "Point" or "DNA" or something else from around that time. "Laake" (apologies for missing umlauts) was much better than the album version. I do like it when Janne sings, although I'm not keen on the Plain Ride stuff I've heard. Liinu, are you from Finland? Just wondered because your name has a slightly Finnish ring to it. Apologies if I presume too much.
Aye, I'm Finnish but live in Scotland at the moment.
Then I should say kiitos for the information!
Ole hyvä! Ohgee, you are not Finnish are you?
Talking about Janne Westerlund, what is it about Plain Ride you don't like? Have you heard Janne's solo stuff? If you like his singing you may like Sweetheart and Chainsmoker, his earlier bands from 1990's and early 2000's.
Worth checking out if you haven't heard them before.
No, I'm not Finnish, but I went on holiday to Helsinki once and have a good friend who hails from Karelia. The only Finnish word I remember from being there is 'kiitos'. I'm not great at languages at the best of times, and everybody in Finland speaks such flawless English, I'm afraid I didn't make much of an effort. Had a brilliant week there. The impetus for the trip was to take my wife to see Kylie Minogue, as it was actually cheaper and a much better venue to see her in Helsinki than some enormodome over here. It was in February so it was still cold beyond belief. Really great to experience it at that time of year. My Karelian friend lived in Helsinki at the time, so we had a nice apartment to stay in, and had an altogether great time. My wife even went for a dip in one of those holes in the ice (too much for me I'm afraid!).
I can't really put my finger on want doesn't appeal to me about the Plain Ride stuff I've heard. Perhaps I'll give it another go. I'll definitely have a look at the other links. They all have so many side projects, though, it's really hard to keep up!
A related question to anyone who was at the Trinity Church gig in 04. I saw Guapo down at Raw Power this year, who I had a vague recollection were one of the other bands playing that night with Circle. I had an idea in my head of what band they were but what I saw in London was nothing like my memory. I had in my head an instrumental trio with a Rhodes piano and a fucking big gong on stage with them. Am I mixing them up with another band? Have they simply changed tack a lot since then? Did I dream the whole thing?
Glad you enjoyed your trip to Helsinki ohgee!
Sweetheart and Chainsmoker are actually not side projects as neither of the bands has been active in ages (I think they were Janne's main bands at the time, Sweetheart first and then later Chainsmoker). But I do hear what you say about their numerous side projects...! Take Jussi for example: He plays or has played in Circle, Pharaoh Overlord, Rättö ja Lehtisalo, Steel Mammoth, Aktor, Susi-Unto, Slussenanalys, Lusiferiinin Armosta, Mercedes Hell, Tracktor Pulling, Krypt Axeripper, Arkhamin Kirjasto, Split Cranium and Doktor Kettu, and made solo records... I'm sure I have forgotten some of his projects! :-D
EDIT I knew I had forgotten something: Bensiini!
EDIT And Motorspandex!
You also forgot Motorspandex!
Guapo did indeed play with Circle at Holy Trinity. The only member left from that line up (which was around from about 2002-2010ish I think) is the drummer, but musically I don't think they're that different now. Perhaps you are thinking of my old band who also played, also a three piece (guitar, drums, flute/vocal) I had a Fender Rhodes that I played as well as drums, no gong but I did have a giant sheet of steel suspended behind me, because obviously a drum kit and a Rhodes was not enough shit to carry around.
Anyway, the full line up at that gig was: Birds of Delay, Like a Kind of Matador, Jazzfinger, Guapo, Ultralyd, Circle. Possibly Jazzfinger and Ultralyd might have been swapped in that order but otherwise that was it. The saxophonist from Ultralyd was a right mardy bastard.
Thanks tarandfeathers! How did I manage to omit Motorspandex?? Original post now edited.
Wow, it's weird how the memory skews things isn't it? I would guess it was your band, then, tnf, as the gong that turns out not to have been a gong and the Rhodes seem to chime with what I recall. What was the name of your group?
I was in Like a Kind of Matador, which did one album that came out on Tumult Records. They also put out records by CIrcle and Guapo so it was something of a Tumult showcase that night! They're, slightly unfairly, known mostly as a black metal label but have put out some brilliant non-metal stuff as well, in fact they've done several of my all time favourite records. Very very good label.
Separate names with a comma.