The Circular Ruins - realm of possibility Maximize

The Circular Ruins - realm of possibility

  • Release Year 2002
  • 9 Tracks, 71 Minutes
  • CD in Jewelcase

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10,66 €

DATABLOEMS second release and The Circular Ruins remarkable CD debut, a lesson in rhythmic ambient excursions : deep, complex, and beautiful.


'The Beginning of all Things' starts with humming and other swirling sounds as well as insect noises which form an interesting backdrop to a delicate lead line. Its not that melodic and remains firmly in the middle of the mix forming just one element to the fascinating tapestry of sound. There is also a simple loop / sequence but again this is only one small part of quite a complex picture. Further gloops, bleeps and cosmic effects are added as well as an organ lead. Some elements are rather cosmic but then others are completely unclassifiable. The title track is next. Faint growling / machine sounds are heard low in the mix and a rhythmic loop enters. A really nice fat, but of course, unique lead slowly rises and falls as the rhythm becomes increasingly train like. 'Echoes from Stone Part 1' has a slow dripping type sequence emerging out of an undulating drone. More drones / pad sounds are added then a percussive rhythmic line appears out of the hazy backing. It made my mind think of swirling psychedelic colours- no need for iffy substances here just let the music do it all for you. Wow what a trip! 'Excursion' begins with odd windy sounds and waves breaking. A tinkling melodic loop starts up. Many other sound effects are liberally thrown in some of them sounding like rummaging around in a scrap yard whilst robots maintain the rhythmic backing. The last track was a little challenging but so is 'Ancient Island'. The beat is ever so slightly tribal. Around it are a liberally sprinkled a number of sounds. Its hard to work out how exactly they relate to each other. These die away in the fourth minute as the track regroups. Its still hard to follow any particular thread however, maybe that's the point. It could be that we are being treated to something of a new experience in sound. 'Truth and Waiting' is a much easier track to get on with. A lovely melodic loop appears out of a shimmering background. Its as if we are in a beautiful garden, the sun causing rainbows through a fountain. A relaxing rhythm starts up getting the head to nod slightly. A more upfront lead comes in giving it that little extra oomph, I'm still chilled though. Could it be that after a couple of more difficult numbers the mind is now being given time to relax? A deep throb like the sound of some vast engine gets 'A Language for Shadows' underway. An echoing pulse as if someone is hammering from the depths of the Earth becomes a focus of attention. This is quite a dark track which gets more intense as additional sounds and effects are added. Its like being in some nightmare unable to get out. With three minutes to go however the mood unexpectedly lightens as a bright loop enters and takes us to the end. Another percussive train rhythm and fast drumming give the first few moments of 'Echoes from Stone Part 2' an energetic feel. Then suddenly all descends to tranquil pads through which are faintly recited a few lines of poetry. It's all extremely effective and as with the first part of this track I really liked it. 'Reverse Alchemy' is an atmospheric closer. There is rhythm in it but it tends to come in flourishes adding detail here and there. It's rather pleasant but also fascinating at the same time. I have played this album a number of times and still don't know if I actually enjoy it or not, I'm still trying to get my mind in tune with a completely new listening experience. I certainly don't dislike it however and have a great deal of respect for the musician taking his own path and coming up with something that is to these ears genuinely new and fresh.( David Law)