CIRCULUS (A Lick On The Tip Of An Envelope Yet to Be Sent) CD
Not really psychedelic, CIRCULUS are a folk influenced band of seven musicians from the UK. They have perfected an amalgam of rock, medieval music and various traditional folk styles which could, I suppose, be called folk rock. But in opposite to bands like early-Clannad or Pentangle, CIRCULUS have added more trippy segments to their musical body, instead of being just a pure folk band. Now, this is the '05 debut, and it's an excellent start, that welds violin, flute, bass , vocals, guitar, drums, percussion and beautiful melodies to form a compact and very listenable whole. The male/female vocals soar over a Celtic wave of sounds that is reminiscent of the early 70's English folk boom, however the music is not so easy to pinpoint.
"Swallow" is a delightful jig, mixing early Jefferson Airplane with a subtle medieval vibe, whereas "The Aphid" is much more spaced-out, having a strong Ozric Tentacles feel. For example, a song like "Orpheus" could have been transfered from the 12th century; somewhere in the Middle Ages in a small village, a band's playing in the market, cold fresh beer is flowing and an artist is doing his tricks - if you can image this scene, you know how the song is sounding! CIRCULUS have a good sensibility for playing most of their tracks in a strong authentic and historical way, as if the songs are old traditionals from a long gone period of mankind.
But they are also very successful, when they 're underway in lysergic regions and create some mind-altering psychedelic rock, what makes this album not only interesting for fans of obscure folk music. I love the moody vibe of this album, and it's a very good and diverse journey, filled with melancholy and sorrow, but also with joy and spirituality. Rise Above Records have open their label to another musical style from the early 70's, and CIRCULUS are a very promising beginning for both: the band and the label. So, if you're not only into 70's Doom/Heavy Rock, and you're looking for an alternative, then give this band a try. Especially recommended for long and cold winter evenings!