Boomkat Product Review:
Key Ghost Box familiar, Cate Brooks returns to the hauntological research centre with her first new venture as The Advisory Circle since 2018 - a masterfully nostalgic evocation of library music, sci-fi themes, early electronica. RIYL Wendy Carlos, Boards of Canada, Carl Craig, Ernest Hood
Leading down the garden path from her Café Kaput album ‘Maritime (Themes & Textures)’, and contributions to The Pattern Forms album ‘The Scenic Route’ for Belbury Music already in 2022, Brooks’ is left to her own devices with classic-sounding results on ‘Full Circle.’ Retro-futurist goggles firmly on, they scan visions of the past’s promise in 17 succinct parts that toggle the nostalgia nozzle between blissed melancholia and euphoric motorik electro kosmiche, with neatly flowing track sequencing allowing for an underlying narrative to emerge from implied instrumental gestures.
While it’s maybe nothing new, the album is a resounding refinement and distillation of what makes The Advisory Circle tick. The cinematic fanfare of her titular opener gives way to synth folk mysticism on ‘Wait here Now’ and burnished echoes of The Conet Project in ‘Autres Voix’, with charming slugs of serpentine electro for sexy boffins in ‘Russian Doll’ and Schulman left in ‘Blueprint.’ The tangy melody and strutting energy of ‘Fit For Purpose’ dials up days fixed in front of a flickering tub-lit telly playing early computer games while ‘Away Days’ and ’The Architecture’ even recalls the sultriest Carl Craig, saving the frothed choral voices of ‘Sky Court’ and bedroom eyes of ‘The Luxury Spectrum’ for dessert (surely fruit cocktail and blancmange on quivering skin, or MD-infused brie).