Boomkat Product Review:
At the behest of Lawrence English, Aussie electronic minimalist Eugene Carchesio and drummer for Squarepusher, Adam Betts, cycle tight, sick and ruffneck permutations of drums and bleeps .
Through 21 short, sharp blasts ‘Circle Drum Music’ delivers the duo’s take on the African tradition of rhythmelodic trance music. Rather than long, open-ended jams, as implied by the album title, they throw down intense concentrations of shifting patterns that chain up to an archipelago of discrete jams that resemble frayed locked grooves. Within these succinct frameworks they beat out repetitious tattoos that forego any urge to bruk out, playing with sinewy restraint and making each hit count for textural, attack and space, sometimes recalling Mark Fell’s work in commanding instrumentalists with electronic signals, or even the generative miniatures of NYZ.
“A note from Lawrence English: Occasionally ideas present themselves in ways that no one can expect. This recording from Australia’s Eugene Carchesio and the UK’s Adam Betts is one such unexpected presentation.
A couple of years ago, Eugene passed me a collection of recordings that he explained were in the orbit of his now legendary Circle Music series. The recordings, in Eugene’s particular manner, maintained an intensely rhythmic quality rooted in a deep and unwavering sense of minimalism. Eugene has a way of making a tiny cosmos from just the barest of materials. He wondered though, about mixing it up and adding something unexpected to the pieces, and asked about some drums being added.
At almost exactly the same moment, I had been reminded of the amazing work of Adam Betts, who I have been fortunate to be in the orbit of for more than a decade now. We’d first met at Bad Bonne, sharing a bill, and then crossed paths most recently in Tbilisi where he was performing with Squarepusher.
The reason Adam was on my radar though was entirely unrelated to music and it was down to the fact that he had just participated in a welsh toss competition and done quite brilliantly. Somehow, watching Adam lug those weights made me think he’d be the perfect candidate to work with Eugene on this project. To my delight, he agreed.
What results here is a melding of two incredible musical spirits, each of whom have an unerring sense of restrained energy and rhythmic ferocity. It is a parallel reading of how minimal motion can create giant affective waves of energy. It’s also a record of careful listening and generous exploration.It’s not everyday music can emerge from such curious orbits of thought, but when it does it is a cause for celebration. With that in heart I am so pleased to share this incredible edition with you.”