Thursday, 11 July 2019

Circular - Ghostwhite

Album: Ghostwhite
Artist: Circular
Catalogue  no: LOKI 69


     1.      Initial Texture
     2.      Spectrum Unfolding
     3.      Golden Amber Shades
     4.      The Iconic Circle
     5.      Abstract & Vertical
     6.      Deep in Red Contrast
     7.      A Wideness
     8.      Slight Variation
     9.      A Visual Rhythm
   10.  The Glowing Shapes

Recorded over the last three years, this is Circular’s fourth album and the ten slices of audio sculpture on display here define the project’s sweeping, elevating cosmic stylings. Here, though, I use the ‘cosmic’ advisedly: this isn’t the ‘everything is lovely, isn’t it?’ type of new age blandness the word often conjures up, but rather an admixture of the yin and the yang of universal processes: for as beautiful as a supernova appears to us, for instance, we have to remind ourselves that lying behind such an awe-inspiring sight is a tremendous catastrophic event whose magnitude and dark destructive power we can’t even begin to comprehend. Circular achieve a delicate balance between opposites, the light and the dark, using high and low registers equally. Mood is everything here.

Resonant chords sweep in majestically and swell in grandiose loops, leaping and sparkling over deep bass frameworks, grasping the listener and pulling them on a journey to regions both turbulent and static, where heated bow-shocks from the remnants of supernovae are travelling at unimaginable speeds, or where universal forces have shaped and sculpted clouds of dust and gas into beautiful columns and nebulae light-years in vastness. What’s more, what we imagine overwhelms us with its sheer magnificence and inhuman scale. This isn’t a physical journey, however - instead it’s one where the ‘spaceship’ is merely a mental construct, a psychic vehicle projecting us into uncharted territory. We’re at once reminded that the universe is vast and illimitable, and even though we’re insignificant in scale compared, we are still a part of this mighty edifice.

Some music is easier to encapsulate verbally than others: the only way to do justice to Ghostwhite is to buy and listen to its ambitious scope and breadth of vision. Standout tracks for me are ‘Initial Texture’, ‘Spectrum Unfolding’, ‘Golden Amber Shades’, ‘Slight Variation’, ‘A Visual Rhythm’, and ‘The Glowing Shapes’. This is a release of imagination and one which utilises imagination to create its fullest expression. It’s a deeply meditative opus that deserves to be listened to without any distractions.

Psymon Marshall 2019

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