Boomkat Product Review:
Latecomers to the Krautrock party, Circles created a manifesto of frenzied inertia in the late 1980s, swimming in the same gene pool as Cluster and Popol Vuh. Ambient music for the end of time does not get any more authentic than this.
"The Structures album is a time capsule unlocked, containing previously unreleased recordings from the years 1985 to 1989. Music which meshes the extremes of “end of time foreboding” and “drifting lightness” to beguiling effect. Music which suc- ceeds in sounding more contemporary now that it did when it was made. Its time has come.
Circles, a band comprising Mike Bohrmann and Dierk Leitert, first saw the light of day in the year 1983. Krautrock’s twilight phase flickered with a few final successes before sliding into obscurity. For a relatively unknown project like Circles, finding a distributor was virtually impossible, in spite of all the time and effort they had invested in their third LP. “We had already pressed up the album and we didn’t want to bin it”, Mike Bohrmann explains. “So Dierk simply painted roughly 100 white sleeves and we left the other 400 covers blank. Then we visited all the record shops in the Rhine- Main region and gave the LPs away.” Collectors are likely to tear their hair out just thinking about the prices such a Krautrock rarity can fetch nowadays.
With little prospect of success, further recordings disappeared into the cupboard, unreleased – until now. The shining treasure of Structures has been opened up and dusted off. Right from the start, the first song decelerates ceremoniously into tones which resound for minutes on end. Guitar figu- res exude a lightness as they complement and carry the track. Sweeping variations are rare and ex - cursions into harmony even rarer, yet everything connects in a perfectly balanced arc of tension. Each of the tracks which follows has a magic all of its own.
Electronic keyboards and guitars are the dominant sound sources. One can hear a Korg Trident, a much-prized analogue synthesizer, noted for its string and brass section “... for the warm, deep layers and harmonies in the upper ranges and bass”, Mike remembers. They also used a monopho- ne analogue synthesizer, the Moog Source, a classic of space age industrial design. Considered by some to be the most beautiful synth ever built.”