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Circulum Musicum - Phases

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"This mysterious band has opened an interesting chapter into Ambient music, an extremely mature and elaborated work that really surprises as debut on the also debutant label Thar Records. The work shows diverse preambles within ambient music to generate a very vast aural journey of great versatility and crystal clear production. While watching the cover artwork detailing what apparently is some kind of ubiquitous vista on an unfathomable fractal structure the listener may get a close anticipation on what this music may lead into, in a way, the infinite, the fabric of eternity, but above all a very evocative experience of sonic beauty and smart elaboration.

The work presents a conjunction of various musical fusions, first of all, Ambient music is used here to step in quite different directions and dynamics, first taking a ride into Space Ambient with subtle influence from Dark ambient to generate the basic atmospheric mood, then strengthening the rhythmic side of the work with a marked influx from Tribal Ambient and rounding everything up with some Industrial mechanizations and Electro Acoustic adornments. The result is a monumental sound of ambient music with soul and spiritual aim. „Phases„ shows a sound demarked mainly by an organic atmosphere complementing some orchestral instrumentation and curious natural sounds to sum its core. Samplers of real instruments gets arranged to create interesting structural puzzles and when joined to the core of Space like atmospherics juxtaposing cold and warm sound dynamics the whole thing slowly grows in intensity and vastness. In between the atmospheric a subtle beat infiltrates progressing with the music and catapulting everything from space into some kind of shamanistic voyage of tribal rhythm intensity. In general the music is contemplative and mind altering, at times utterly mystic, alternating from moments of universal profundity and space divagation to intense ritualistic thematic.

„Respect„ and „Meta„ respectively comes as the Space oriented tracks, volatile and expanded, presenting ominous atmospheres of cosmic grandiloquence but „Meta„ presents a divergence and that is the introduction of some beats and mechanized rhythmic sequences that contrasts the rest of the work, generally organic by definition. First track is a display of finest ambient filled with passages of vibrant magnetism in a veil of spacey atmospherics with glitch details and electro acoustics. „Quest„ retakes the Space Ambient induction and transforms it in a sequence of obscured layers and then introducing a catchy bass line where some metallic tribal rhythms will commence their progression. Cellos alternate in several different layers creating a vast orchestral background progressing in a crescendo of pure ecstasy. And then its the ace of the album: „Assimilation„ an amalgam of shamanistic mantras sung by a mysterious female vocal surrounded by the power grid of a succulent tribal progression, this track is really mesmerizing. Divergence comes with „Way to the Light„ that presents more industrialized rhythm logic contrasted with organic atmospherics and then „Broken Bonds„ that plays with highly progressive electro acoustics that finalize in a cascade of ever crescent tribal sequences.

Circulum Musicum marks a high note with his debut, something really hard to acquire in just the first delievery and it clearly manifests a defined character that displays experimental clarity and musical method. Must say this is an extraordinary album, already in the same league with renowned bands from the European Ambient from all nature. Recommended for all the lovers of Space ambient with touches of drone, orchestral grandiloquence and virulent tribalism." (Jack - Heathen Harvest)

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"I’ve always found it somewhat hard to describe this sort of earthy, organic ambient music – mainly because I don’t really class it as ambient I suppose. It’s more of a new sort of sound with hints of, among other things, Art of Noise, Brian Eno and various other influences. It’s beautifully produced and manages to keep a strong musical structure while flowing freely around a set of electronic ethnic sounds that are very pleasing to the ear and really quite exotic. If you’ve ever heard the monumentally good album Life Before Land by Another Fine Day you’ll find that this is very much in the same ball park – and that, as far as I’m concerned is a very good thing indeed." (Smallfish - UK)

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"Even if the members of Circulum Musicum remain unknown and I am not going to reveal this secret, I must state that music of this project is highly attractive, colorful and sophisticated when skillfully blending together several styles and moods, but always marked with enough complexity. Each composition on "Phases" floates through various levels, with ever-changing, developing and emerging textures. Maybe that's why its title "Phases". In any case, more tranquil and drifting passages overlap into up-lifted structures where tribal tempos are mixed with dramatic, more industrialized parts, always richly layered with ear-catching adventurous arrangements. This is just the way the opener "Respect" sounds like with some Middle/Far East spices added. Deeper drones with slowly invading mechanized rhythms can be explored on "Quest" while the following piece, "Oracle", is loaded with dramatic and marching tribal industrials. "Assimilation" is the next highly enterprising piece colored with tribal pace and enriched by mysteriously expressive vocals of Annemarie Borg. But this adventure keeps on going also on the following stunner, "Way To The Light", that masterfully blends unique noises, rhythms and soundscapes, definitely one of the winners on this richly diversified album!!! The next composition, "Broken Bonds", is full of life and energy with rapidly emerging and changing texture, again filigreed with few exotic fragments, this is another extraordinary piece available here! Stimulating "Meta" with slowed-down techno/trance ingredients is perfect closer of these "Phases"! Not to forget, on the back cover are credited also Tomas Weiss for his mixing and mastering job and Markus Vogt for his spectacular cover image. For sure, "Phases" is a truly sensational debut for both, Circulum Musicum and Thar Records!!! Musically, sonically and visually!!!" (Richard Gürtler, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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"The 71-minutes of soundscape music on „Phases“ offers a blend of organic textures, drones, and lush meandering plains of sound, occasionally flavoured with sustained piano keys and straightforward tribal/rhythmic elements. It’s quite a deep and sometimes darkening affair, as it slowly morphs along, but there are some rather groovy patterns featured as well (e.g. in „Quest“), giving the music a lively, encompassing vibe. Classic strings and tribal rhythms show up on the minimal, cinematic and slightly Eastern sounding „Oracle“, while „Assimilation“ is spiced-up by the mesmerizing vocals of Annemarie Borg. „Broken Bonds“ is the most active track found here with it’s lively, versatile and expressive tribal percussion and spacious realms, before the album closes with the rattling percussions, spacious guitar licks and almost ghostly choirs of „Meta“. „Phases“ makes an very interesting and pleasant listening experience, also due to the excellent mastering and mix." (Bert Strolenberg - Sonicimmersion)

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"Circulum musicum is one of the most promising names in contemporary ambient/electronic music. With the use of classic-orchestral elements in combination with a variety of electronica, Circulum Musicum creates a atmospheric, deep, lush, spacious and beautifully put together sound. There's a lovely balance between the dark, atmospheric and the ethnic, thematic side and although it's contemporary electronic music, there's a old-school tribal ambient feel to it all. Combined with the excellent sound quality, makes this album an absolute winner." (Dennis Knopper - DB)

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"A balance of soft and shrill electronics serve to generate a roiling ambience that persists in evolving into structured tuneage of enticing charm. Fragile tones coexist with crisp electronics, mingling to establish harmonic streams of gaseous definition. Piano threads wind throughout, evoking a classical milieu immersed in subtle ilbient agitation. In fact, a plethora of unconventional sounds offer unexpected contributions to this material, snippets of additional instruments shouldering their way into the mix only to vanish into the pleasantly whisking flow. There's literally no end to the surprises assembled here, as glitchy noises and keyboard sweeps rise and fall, mallet harpsichord and lively rhythms sway into view, grating cellos slice through riffs, shakers and wind tunnel breathing accompany vocal crooning. These compositions merge diverse aspects with melodic definition, producing waves of gentle ambience tempered by the elusive flurry of strident elements. A sense of dreamy calm is generated, then seasoned by musical innuendoes that serve to escalate things with decisive results. Ambient passages swing into measures of demonstrative melody, flourishing into vivacious activity before sinking back into somnambulant auralscapes. The result would be downright perturbing if everything wasn't knit together so adroitly into bewitching compositions." (Matt Howarth - Sonic Curiosity)