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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CIRCULAR: Moon Pool (2014)

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

Moon Pool is a tremendous experience where morphic down-tempos and Vangelis' vibes a la Bladerunner float among a thousand eclectic sounds particles

1 Lunokhod 13:33

2 Selenic Light 5:33

3 Theory of Tides 12:10

4 Ashlands 6:03

5 3 Moons 6:22

6 Imbrium 5:09

7 Synchronous 8:31

8 Meteorites 8:08

(CD/DDL 65:33) (V.F.)

(Psychedelic and industrial ambient music)

Water lapping and a synth wave tinted of blue make-up which subdivides its linear breeze with delicate morphic voices open the tasty floating moods of Lunokhod. There are murmurs, like there are discreet hoops and stroboscopic riffs, which hide behind these streams from where appears a totally unexpected guitar which throws some pensive, wandering and incomplete harmonies while always the music navigates on the ruptures of its moods. There are some small bits of rhythms which threaten its tranquillity. But still Lunokhod is like an aquatic beast and is hiding in the comfort of its oceanic depth. And then there are pulsations, a little like noises of footsteps in water, which resound, and some metallic arpeggios which seem completely mislaid in this pond of vibes, as well as these delicately stroboscopic thin lines which refuse to die and which swirl in heavenly synth lines. And the pulsations come back. This time they hang on and beat a rhythm. A kind of soft hypnotic techno which pulses among seraphic voices. The cadence increases appreciably beneath a sweet concert of synths of which the meditative lines sound like the breezes of elephants belonging to another planet. And it bangs more and more. Fast and strong with glaucous percussions which adopt closely the vertical movement of the hypnotic pulsations. And the guitar gets back to close the delicate harmonies, as incomplete as the rhythm, of Lunokhod which slowly returns home, under waters. All through its 14 minutes, this track depicts marvellously the musical cloth of this last album from Circular. Everything is story of black and even apocalyptic ambiences a la Vangelis' Blade Runner and of outer world. A world where the cosmos joins the bed of oceans, as well as suave down-tempos, thus sometimes unfinished and of mislaid melodies on this 3rd album from the Norwegian duet consisted of Bjarte Andreassen and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik.

MOON POOL invites us to a fascinating sound fresco where the sounds of all kinds explode on an interbreeding of ambient music and rather lunar down-tempos. Intense and very meditative, Selenic Light offers a curtain of synth lines which hide some felted explosions and psychotic murmurs. We hear horse gallops and dogs barking? Certainly! Because this album has no limit to the sound creativity of Circular who by moments fed my ears of Vangelis' memories, here as on the very quiet Meteorites, with arpeggios of glass which ring in secret while the moods swell themselves of new vocal breezes. Everything is linked here into an intense sonic mosaic of 66 minutes, while that Theory of Tides infiltrates our ears with a thick cloud of interrupted melodies which float in astral ambiences swollen of white noises and of voices of human beings smothered in a helmet. Like in Lunokhod, the pulsations are chasing away bit by bit these moods to force a morphic techno, punchier this time, where are ending to swirl some fascinating cybernetic melodies. Ashlands follows with a steadier shape of rhythm fed by percussions which click and flicker around bass pulsations. The ambiences are so to make the ears shiver with a thick cloud of astral waves which blow as much as they roar all over a sound fauna where organic breaths and human voices dream in opposite ambiences. The use of headphone is strongly recommended here because there are always cosmonauts' murmurs, cracklings, organic noises, felted explosions, voices lost in synth waves and interstellar scrawls that encircle the structure of MOON POOL which quietly implodes with the arrival of the very good 3 Moons and its beat waving like a big snake on a line of bass and of its delicate morphic melody a la Solar Fields. We are in heaven. Implode! Even if the structures of this last album from Circular get excited in an indefinable sonic flora, its structures of rhythm never reach an explosive nirvana. They implode and stuff themselves of wealth with moods weaved in a surprising ingenious creativity, except for Imbrium which presents itself to our ears with a heavy, resounding, jerky and up-beat structure where are beating some arrhythmic percussions in vibes as dark as the other side of a mirror. The melodious ghosts of 3 Moons drag their bundles here but disappear as soon as the impulsive beatings and the echoes rodent of sounds cut out the ambiences. Synchronous loops the harmonious loop of 3 Moons with a sweet suave rhythm which beats slowly in a strange fusion of electronic reggae or allegorical down-tempo which melts bit by bit and brings its vestiges until the quiet finale of Meteorites and its deep synth chants which remind enormously the universes of Vangelis.

What comes out of Ultimae Records is good! It can have several forms and kinds, but it always remains good. And it's exactly the case with this last album of Circular. Without having the beauty or the poesy of the allegorical dreams of Solar Fields (I make it reference because the music sticks to it enormously), MOON POOL offers a surprising palette of sounds which color our ears of a fascinating musical mosaic which leaves as much place to the rhythms and melodies as the imagination can do. I like this subtle crescendo which settles down from the first notes and which implodes towards the finale with 3 Moons and Imbrium as I like this constant allusion to the metallic and cold universe of Vangelis' Blade Runner. And I insist; the use of headphones to be immerged by this incredible sonic fauna turns out to be essential to drink of these heavenly 63 minutes of MOON POOL I experienced it in 5.1 Surround....Stunning!

Sylvain Lupari (July 17th, 2014) *****

Available at Ultimae Records Bandcamp

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