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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Damon & Naomi - 'with Ghost' (Sub Pop)

The post-Galaxie career of Damon & Naomi is a gentle, beautiful one - they've made some great records, though none really as memorable as More Sad Hits, which I don't have, but this collaboration with Ghost ain't too shabby.  I remember D&N as being a more mellow, downbeat, and minimal group that Galaxie 500, but the opening cut of this ('The Mirror Phase') sounds almost exactly like the song 'Tell Me' from On Fire, except with slightly more ethereal vocals and an updated production from Kramer's whole thing.  Ghost isn't really on this record - just 3 of them - but to many, Masaki Batoh and Michio Kurihara ARE the meaty part of Ghost, and they're both here.  Despite the presence of a bitingly psychedelic Japanese psych band, D & N keep things pretty genteel.  Batoh limits himself to acoustic guitar, making this resemble his Ghost in the Darkened Sea record far more then the orange one with the long name.  And Ghost's more prog-rock tendencies, which really stuck out at me the one time I saw them live, are completely absent.  This is much more a Damon & Naomi record and the Japanese presence barely warrants the title this CD gets, but it's a wonderful balance.  It's only really the penultimate track, 'Tanka', where sounds converge into a large, powerful ball of magic - but even still, it's not a particularly dissonant one, and it doesn't overstay it's welcome.  Most of the tracks exist in a folk-pop strumniverse that recalls other artists at times - for example 'The New World' has shades of the Sallyangie - and actually has two covers   'Blue Moon' is the umpteenth cover of Alex Chilton but the melancholy is cut, quite a bit actually, especially compared to the His Name is Alive version I've listened to so many times.  Tim Hardin's 'Eulogy to Lenny Bruce' closes the disc with the lowest energy, most restrained psychedelic freakout that I can think of - it's repetitive and trippy, but it's laid back to the point that when it ends - with the slightest energy from Kurihara - I barely noticed.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Dadamah - 'This is Not a Dream' (Kranky)

Welcome to the D's, and welcome to the murky 4-track atmosphere of Port Chalmers, New Zealand.  This CD compiles the recorded lifespan of Dadamah, a project of Roy Montgomery and Peter Stapleton in the early 1990s.  Vocalist Kim Pieters wrote the liner notes but they're pretty damn hard to read, and as much as I've loved this CD for years I've never really forced myself through them all.  If you're looking for crystal-clear psychedelia this is the wrong place; Dadamah are lo-fi and have that classic kiwi downer vibe, much like Nocturnal Projections or Montgomery's first band, the Pin Group.  There's churning guitar chords, military drum-tapping (courtesy of Stapleton who rarely gets to shine, due in part to the mix, but knows his place) and dense organ chords over it all.  The band works themself into a Velvet Underground-jammyness on tracks like 'Brian's Children' and 'Limboswing' and it's all quite inspiring, or was to a teenage dronehead like myself.  'Scratch Sun' is repetitive and builds to a manic pulse, but it somehow stays grounded in space. Hey, punk and minimalism can co-exist, and we don't even need  to be aggressive.  There are "hooks", or at least song structures that get lodged in your brain.  Throughout, the deep male vocals of Montgomery and Pieters' earthy drawl complement each other perfectly on songs like 'Papa Doc', even if she is just wailing in the mist.  There's beautiful layers of chorus and reverb on the guitar - this is before he started making all of those beautiful, shimmery solo discs like Temple IV, but the shimmer is there, and it's fucking electrifying.  I've loved losing myself in the epic chord progression of 'High Tension House', Dadamah's masterpiece.  There's a gentle pitter-pattern behind it all and the swirl starts to come in.  This isn't noise, nor is it punk, but it's a fucking vision, painted with the broadest strokes possible.  

Leo Cuypers - 'Heavy Days are Here Again' (Atavistic)

More Cuypers!  This was actually my introduction to the wonderful works of this Dutch pianist, and I think it stands out as one of the strongest (and most accessible) entries in Atavistic's Unheard Music Series.  This was recorded in 1981 by the quartet of Cuypers, Han Bennink, Willem Breuker and Arjen Gorter, and the title is a reaction to Ronald Reagan's campaign song.  Despite the bleak outlook on the emergence of neoliberalism, Heavy Days is a bright and lively album.  There's somber cadences for sure ('Blue Tango' is a lovely, sad dirge; 'Mischa' could pass as a standard, though with that same smirking energy the South Africans always bring) and the ballads are actually the highlights.  'Als dat de olifant's tand' is a masterpiece - a slowly building melody that continues to develop and, while only 5 minutes, feels like an hour of being suspended in sugar and grace.  Breuker is more prevalent here than on Theatre Music (which we reviewed on the Underbite blog) and the tension is a bit more sudden - the strong, melodic passages erupt into frantic, free breakdowns and Bennink's drumming is full of sparks, as to be expected.  The cover shot only shows the group as a trio which is odd; this is as unified a band as you can expect to hear in all of Dutch jazz.  Gorter's bass playing is thick and meaty over Bennink's thumps, and 'Be-Bach', along with the title track, is when they really open up the throttle.  It's too short, sure, but if that's the only complaint then this is a true winner.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Curtains - 'Flybys' (Thin Wrist)

Curtains' second album continues the rampant short-attention span post-Beefheart pyrotechnics of Fast Talks, though with a bit more keyboards, a bit more space, and even some singing! ('Saga' is a weird, broken a capella plea to Spider-Man which is wonderfully off-key and distant and somehow just fits amongst all the instrumental malarkey).  Everything is brighter than before and the songs are both more deconstructed and more accessible at the same time  There's 22 of em, and it goes by pretty quickly, so the term 'song' isn't exactly a great description.  Atmospheric moments begin to appear in Curtains work now, even if they are sometimes fragmentary linking tracks.  These merge with the biting anti-rock, often transitioning from track to track quite nicely.  'Blink, Professor' is just a lumbering beast that keeps stopping as soon as it starts, and then fades into 'Asterisks by Moonlight', a great title if I've ever heard one.  'Asterisks' is brief but warm, with synthesised spacefuzz coming as a nice coda.  'Moment with Plankton', as the title suggests, could be interstitial background music for an educational science film from the 1950s - but while there's been plenty of synth bubbles documented already in these pages, it sounds unique and integrated with the more rock moments.   The guitar lines on Flybys are like a biting, attenuated version of Zoot Horn Rollo; the structured songs sometimes get into call-and-response hysterics ('Bummer with Cakes') or snake-eating-its-own-tail meanderings ('Telegraph Victories').  A few moments are actually tender, with the guitar having glimpses of bluesy pain before the unnatural setting takes over.  It's occasionally a cacophony but more often a willing, controlled holding back that seems to go against everything rock music should be.  Carducci probably hates this, but I think the rewards are vast.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Frederik Croene and Esther Venrooy - 'Hout' (Robo)

I don't know who these Dutch experimentalists are but this CD is a great exploration of electroacoustic space, built around intense miniature interactions. There's a lot of acoustics - piano (played by Croene) is the dominant instrument, but there are plucked and bowed strings, metallic resonances, and occasional field recordings and vocal samples. There's a stop-start jerkiness that keeps this lively, avoiding AMM-soup while retaining a delicate balance. At times, Venrooy's computer processing takes over and the pieces feel overly worked-on, but nothing lasts too long (the 11 pieces, with confusing two-column titles, make this "classic album length"). The movie dialogue samples are the nadir of this, just because it doesn't make thematic sense with the dancing prepared piano sounds. I'm more of a fan of Hout when the musicians actually feel things and respond to each other, even if I know this to be layered studio work instead of live improvisation. There's a lot of reversed/backwards tonalities - echoes that fold in on themselves, and ringing tones that seem to disintegrate instantly. They know when to hold a note and let the soundwaves reverberate. It's slightly academic, yeah, but has a spontaneity despite being delicate and (mostly) quiet. The final/epic track, 'Pine::Lodge', gets more built-up in terms of white noise/hiss than anything else, eventually opening into a shining bolt of what sounds like zither strings (though I assume is just piano, processed in some way). It rises and falls majestically; the focus and craft of these two is most apparent here on the juxtaposition between echoing room-sound and thick electronic density. You'll never get me to say anything should be on CD instead of LP, but this is definite "CD" music - a sadly obscure treasure from the world of electroacoustic composition.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Consonant - 'Love and Affliction' (Fenway)

Promo copy with no cover, hence this photo of the back. One of the justifications for these blogs is to rediscover all of the music I've accumulated in my life and revisit/reevaluate old memories. The previous post on Consonant clearly shows that my feelings from ten years age are still strong; just like then, the dulcet tones of 'What a Body Could Do' are now lodged in my day-to-day consciousness, and the song's melodic beauty and romantic longing ring more true than ever. I loved that Consonant album, almost irrationally, except it's really actually fantastic and worthy of the love, so there's nothing irrational here. So how to deal with Love and Affliction, the followup which I never really listened to in 2003? I mean, I did listen to it, several times, but it just never grabbed me like the first album. Or more accurately, I thought it was fine, but it just made me want to listen to 'Post-Pathetic' again instead of these new songs. Revisiting it with fresh ears, I feel pretty much the same. This isn't a radically different record than its predecessor - the lineup is the same, the songs are written again in collaboration with Holly Anderson, and the production is almost identical. There are maybe a few darker tinges to the rocky cliffs of guitar chords - opener 'Little Murders', named perhaps after one of my favourite films in history, is stark in it's raucous crashing, a theme returned to in 'Cauldron'. There are still pop hooks and vocal harmonies layers with the fuzz, with 'Mysteries of the Holiday Camp' holding a particularly brittle beauty. 'Cry' brings in the slightest country tendencies, but it's familiar, confident indie guitar rock otherwise. I think this was it for Consonant; Conley's been busy with Mission of Burma again, whose newer output hasn't interested me much either, but I admit I haven't given it a fair listen. Love and Affliction will stay on this CD shelf forever, because I can't find a bad thing to say about it; it's just never going to have the familiar, sentimental resonance of the first album.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Consonant (Fenway)

This Consonant album was one of the biggest surprises of 2002 for me, surfacing as a new Clint Conley-penned album of rock songs which was magic to those of us who worship at the altar of Burma. Nineteen years is a long time to hide away, and expectations were understandably low. The band had a guy from Bedhead and a guy from Come, but how good could the songs be? I guess if you spend nineteen years writing stuff, you're going to have twelve good tunes for a CD. But nothing could quite prepare me for how good this actually was. Or IS - because it still sounds absolutely great, a perfect merger of classic rock, 80's and 90's American guitar indie and a bit of the Burma fire. It's all love songs, of course, or rather contemplations of love and loss structured somewhat around these weird acrostic poems by Holly Anderson. There's bitterness seeping out of tunes like 'Call it L---' and 'Who Touches You Now?', but it's the more lunar language that kills me - a hopeless 40something romantic who is struggling to put things into context. Anderson's poems are built around the names of flowers and Conley has certainly adapted them well into rock phrasing, managing to sing lines like 'Cured but curious we embrace post-pathetic happiness: neutered, fixed, companionable' without it sounding as strange as it probably just did to read it. The fuzzy guitars, drum fills and amped-up energy ('Buckets of Flowers, Porno Mags'; 'That Boston Life') are raging with confidence and mastery; for an aging punk, there's no element of embarrassment. Chris Brokaw's guitars find the right places - for those of us who grew up with music that itself grew up on Burma, it's all just perfect. There's oodles of 'Trem Two' style moodiness, but still a hint of 'That's How I Escaped my Certain Fate'. And Roger Miller turns up a few times too. The pop hooks are there - not singsong like the Beatles but subtle, mind-burrowing lyrical fragments that I had bouncing around in my head for much of 2002. I remember having the 'We couldn't ever make enough / time for lips and hips and arms' following around my consciousness for so long that I was starting to go nuts; of course, for a song about the ghost of a relationship (and the song I refer to is the closing tune 'What a Body Could Do'), it's practically supernatural. 'Post-Pathetic' is an absolutely brilliant song, with a bit of college 80s jangle, sharp sharp sharp words, and a self-deprecating sexuality that gets better with every listen. It's the influencer meeting his influencees, and I was pretty much obsessed with this CD when it came out - my digipak is dinged and dented from taking it to work every day. Of course, I haven't played it for a few years which is why it feels so good and familiar now - I actually am on the third consecutive listen. Rock music connects when it's music and lyrics meeting in perfect balance, and that's what's here. I love lines like 'Wasn't she full of wild want / for is he and her she?' but even more when the band is providing the perfect presentation of it. My love for Consonant is pretty strong, and I realise a bit idiosyncratic, but just wait, cause there's gonna be lots of these as we go along.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Tony Conrad with Faust - 'Outside the Dream Syndicate' (Table of the Elements)

I like to say that Tony Conrad invented minimalism, when of course I know that's not true, and it's far more complicated than that, and I would never write such a statement academically, or on paper at all. This cyberspace world of blogspot is somewhere in between "provocative conversation line" and "something I would actually say, and mean" so i can write it here. So yeah, Tony Conrad invented minimalism. Which of course he didn't, but at times I think his Table of the Elements output is trying to make some sort of case for his lost place in history. Which is totally fair, because the stuff is brilliant and dense and when I first heard of Conrad back in high school still, it actually sounded dangerous and scary. An older girl I knew from the local liberal arts college told me her roommate had Four Violins on LP and to piss off someone else in their dorm, they went out, leaving it playing at full volume from their empty room. She described the record as four violins playing the same note really loud with screeching overtones, and I thought "gee, what is an overtone"? But I also thought this was maybe too extreme for me, and why would anyone want to listen to that, but she said it was amazing and because she was older than me, a cultural sherpa of sorts, I was interested. Now I didn't actually hear this for a few more years, but by that time, I think I had read the Nyman book and was pretty much ready to sign the dotted line for experimentalism in music. You can't listen to indie rock forever. Anyway. It's not quite as simple than that, but there's lots to hear in Outside the Dream Syndicate to reflect a complex, multi-faceted musical world. There is the sheer density of such a work, which with Faust's plodding rhythm section it feels even more endless and monotonous. And there is the attitude conveyed through aesthetic, because I still hear a little of my sherpa's "fuck you" that was described to me so long ago. But of course there's the innovative exploration of sound properties - the focus and dedication to unlocking new crevices in what we hear - that is really what makes this so amazing. This CD reissue (which I think was later expanded to a box set, but I just get 71 minutes here) tacks on an alternate version of 'From the Side of Man and Womankind', called, ready -- 'From the Side of Woman and Mankind' - which makes a nice sandwich with 'From the Side of the Machine'. I love em both, and would definitely love an LP for the symmetry, but I think the titles are inaccurate. Conrad is Conrad, and the sounds layer beautifully throughout, which I can't even write about really. The mix is somewhat less Conrad focused - the violin is of course central, but it's not overbearing and the drumset has room to reverberate. The distinction between the two compositions is most notable in Faust's rhythmic contributions. It's through these that I find the titles to be backwards. 'Man and Womankind' is machinelike; 'Machine' is organic. Both are unwavering in their forward progress, yet 'Machine' is focused around a bending bass guitar part. It's flexible, crouching under its own weight and threatening to slip off into another direction, but it never does. Of course, one could argue that Faust doesn't get room to be Faust here - there are no crazy explorations of collage and pastiche, no vocals, no guitar solos -- but the atmosphere is enormous, and this is one of the rare occasions of titans meeting and actually delivering the goods.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Confusional Quartet (Elica)

My knowledge of 20th century Italian art is really limited and I can only refer to the Futurists, whose ideas seem to saturate this CD. Even though it's recorded in the early 80s, this is fast, has that punchy prog of Area but filtered through a slightly punk edgyness -- and uses short song lengths almost as a reaction against the bombastic solo-heavy approach I associate with Italian progressive rock. So scanning the (poorly translated) liner notes, it's nice to see Futurism mentioned. Which actually makes Confusional Quartet a bit out of their time, too wild for the progheads and too proggy for the punkers, perhaps. It's not like these songs blaze by at speed metal velocity, but there's a neverending momentum driven by a pretty fantastic rhythm section. The guitars and keyboards twist and fight, with a pretty raw synth sound that is the Confusional Quartet signature (though not the centre). You want chops? You'll get em - time signature changes, quick shifts, and a whole lotta tight - but then there's also something wonderfully plastic about it all. The artwork makes me think of Dillinger e morte or whatever the hell it's called in Italian, though that film's laconic pace is somewhat at odds with things here. This was a great band and this CD sets a pretty good case for them as lost gods, though what the hell do I know about Italian new wave? There is a danger here that I can't quite articulate - not nihilism necessary, but a propulsive blast into territories unknown. Of course, the music is all rock - it never gets too improvised, but rather stays within tight boundaries. I like that - there's a focus and coherence of vision, and it defines the Confusional Quartet aesthetic as a mighty one indeed. There's a lot of radio broadcasts mixed in throughout, and one gets the sense of technological saturation creeping in as a statement of sorts. The songs are actually pretty catchy too, almost singalong despite being instrumental, and even the '1Sigla'/'4Sigla'/'6Sigla' suite (which is a gradual deconstruction of one compositions).

Sunday, 1 May 2011

John Coltrane - 'A Love Supreme' (Impulse!)

This ended up on my shelf because I got it for free or someone left it at my house or for some other reason like that. I'm not making an excuse because A Love Supreme is certainly nothing to be ashamed of; but I never actually listen to it, or any other Coltrane records for that matter. And I'm not sure why - I mean, certainly there's a lifetime of rewards to pull out of the grooves on all of those classics (or between the 1s and 0s here). Maybe I'm just a bit sick of hearing about A Love Supreme, and I just never came across any of the others on vinyl. This is certainly the Coltrane album that graces the most university dormitory CD shelves -- wait, who am I kidding? College kids don't own physical pressings of music anymore! But regardless, this is an insanely venerated record that is certainly a bold, confident statement of emerging free jazz spirituality -- I just prefer the more discordant explorations of the Alice/Ali years. Particularly Sun Ship! Now that's a record. But actually listening to A Love Supreme is a supremely harmonious act; the tone of Coltrane's sax is like a giant buttery raft and the Garrison/Tyner interplay is as telepathic as reputed. Everything swirls in a big ball of magic and it's a sound that has become such a template over the past half-century that is almost sounds clich├ęd. There are some solos of note - or duos at times, like Tyner's leading of the middle part of 'Resolution', with chords so perfectly chosen and Garrison/Jones responding to the chopping with the perfect support. Garrison's solo in 'Pursuance' has that classic, elegant feel, like a wood nymph stepping confidently out of the darkness, wrigging in the spotlight for a bit, and then retreating to some other role. I think a good reason for A Love Supreme's popularity is how peaceful and content it feels, and that it comes just on the precipice of total madness in his own life. Crescent, from about the same time, is just as confident (from what I remember) and it's like one last glance backwards before taking the door to Interstellar Space. Maybe I also have a bit of a snobby elitist chip on my shoulder, just thinking about how for many this might be the one free jazz or Coltrane disc they own. And ironically, the latter is true for me.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Coctails (Carrot Top)

This is the final CD by the Coctails, the cover photo emulating their previous album Peel, only with a feeling of rot and decay here. This is an album that I hold close to my heart - an idiosyncratic, personal favourite that becomes more obscure with each passing year, but that I still feel a strong rapport with. Because I don't own anything else by this band, this is taken a bit out of context. The Coctails were a Chicago band in the early 90s who merged indie rock with eclectic instrumentation and jazz/lounge influence; their earlier LPs, such as Long Sound, were bouncy and owed a debt to Dave Brubeck and stuff like that. Peel took things into a somewhat more guitar-based territory, and then this masterpiece ends up almost totally eschewing the quirks of their early work (with the closest reference being 'Cadali', a jaunty tune that is lovely, but out of place here). The Coctails is a dour, depressed record that's about half-instrumental, half-vocal. There are bright spots - 'Circles' is a major-key instrumental with vibraphones and a really perfect, brief use of casio beats - but even this has a somber tone. The vocal tracks are set by the opening cut, 'When I Come Around' (released around the same time as the Green Day hit of the same name); your typical white-guy indierock vocalist, emoting despite not actually having a great singing voice. This is heard more clearly on 'So Low', where the singer (either Archer Prewitt, John Upturch or Barry Phipps; not really sure) bellows a dramatic dirge. I can't speak highly enough of how wonderful this record is, but I have been listening to it for almost 15 years. The credits reveal the source recordings to come from various points throughout the 90s - 'When I Come Around' and 'Never Knew' were actually recorded with Stuart Moxham back in 1993 (this album was released in '96). So rather than being a cohesive statement of melancholy, this was a collection of what didn't fit on the other records; whatever the motive, it ends up being the most rewarding work of their career (and I think it outclasses anything Prewitt did subsequently in the Sea and Cake or solo). This is guitar-based indie rock, with carefully chosen notes that ring out delicately like a Bedhead record. And like Bedhead's last album, there's one fuzzy stomper near the end of the record that would be out of place except it fits so perfectly - the grunge anthem 'Cast Stones', a snarled rant that feels more frustrated than angry. The Coctails is filled with moments of utter beauty, such as the delicate 'Starling' and the epic 'City Sun'; it closes with a Terry Riley moment, 'Last Organ'. It's a thick, elliptical organ drone, clearly intended as an elegy for the band who I think had broken up by the time this was released. At the time, I'm sure this album complemented the livelier tunes on their other records - completing the picture, and fleshing out the band into a more fully expressive unit. But since it's been at least a decade or more since I've heard even Peel, I'm left remembering the Coctails by this, their Sister Lovers.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Circulatory System (Cloud Recordings)

It's been a decade since this CD came out, which makes the Olivia Tremor Control feel like eons ago. And while I was utterly buried in Olivia-worship around 1999, by 2001 this was more of a surprise than anything. The Olivias allegedly split due to Bill Doss/Will Hart tension, so Circulatory System became Will's showcase featuring most of the rest of the band. Practically this meant a more cohesive unit, with less overt Lennon/McCartney gestures; aesthetically this also meant a slightly darker, more introspective record that lacks the balance of, say, Black Foliage. The Olivia dreams - the unrealised motion pictures, the tape hiss ambience of the Black Swan Network - all get pulled back so the Circulatory System can focus on the album itself. This is an hour long and it came out relatively quickly after the dissolution of OTC, so you know Hart had a lot of these songs in the bag. I particularly remember seeing the Olivias play 'Inside Blasts' the last time I saw them and being somewhat blown away by it. Interestingly enough, it took 8 years for the followup record, Signal Morning, which I still haven't heard. The lo-fi recording technique that was so charming on Dusk at Cubist Castle is probably my biggest complaint with Circulatory System. It's almost like they had mastered their sound by then, and therefore weren't experimenting as much with recording techniques. Everything sounds fine, but it all sorta sounds the same. This might also be somewhat due to Hart's songwriting, which favours the subtle shifts more than the bombastic pop uppercuts. This record was lovingly assembled and the details are everywhere. There's tiny clarinet peeps, piano runs, accordions and organs to flesh out the midrange - it doesn't feel like guitar-driven pop music at all. Eric Harris (the main drummer) has a light jazzy style and it rolls along without any of the songs imploding under their own density. When they turn on the drone, like with the raga-like 'A Peek', it's quite impressive. But why I loved the two Olivia Tremor Control records is that they had these long, deranged side threes - 'Green Typewriters', for example - where they did pile on all of the layers and noise they held back from the other songs. The density is simultaneously the best and worst thing about Circulatory System. It's a great record, surely, and I always considered Hart far more interesting of a songwriter than Doss, but to go back to the Lennon/McCartney parallel, there's a reason you have two songwriters. It's not just balance but it's perspective; Circulatory System is far more of an introspective record. While neither songwriter will win prizes for their lyrics, Hart's are certainly more interpretive. Songs like 'Illusion' retain that simple elegance and acoustic strum that I loved about 'Marking Time'. And that's why I feel like a dick by ultimately finding something slightly disappointing about Circulatory System (though I don't think I realised this disappointment until, possibly, right now). What would have happened if this was the first band, and they later joined forces to create Olivia Tremor Control? I can't help but constantly draw these comparisons because the teenage me loved the ambition and over-the-top artifice of OTC, and that's definitely missing. Of course, you'll notice that here, like many times in these pages, my comments about the music are based far more on me -- on my feelings at the time this music impacted me -- than the music itself. But I'm afraid that's part of what music is, and to argue otherwise would silly. It will be a few years before I get to the Os, but I've made my feelings about the Olivia Tremor Control clear here. To discover a band, at 16, that brought together a seemingly impossible merging of experimentation with killer pop songs, was life-changing; the fact that they looked poised to take over the world with their rampant ideas and ambition made it even better. Of course this dovetailed with my own discovery of musique concrete, minimalism, experimental synthesisers and lo-fi recording techniques, so it felt at times more like a partnership in evolution than just a band I loved. And getting to meet and know the guys was great too ... so of course in my twenties, Circulatory System can't offer that same magic, even if now I listen to it and recognise a work of total genius. Remember, I too wanted to take over the world and start bands that would be equal, if not surpass, their ambition. By 2001 I think the Circulatory System was just focused on making an awesome record, which they did, and my own transparent dreams had died (aka, reality set in). So it's taken me this long to realise that I'm associating Circulatory System with that narrowing of my eyes; but I don't hold it responsible.