The Circular Ruins "Full Circle" CDr
Two years have passed since the previous solo TCR release "The Birth of Tragedy", but in the meantime Anthony Paul Kerby (APK) has been quite busy collaborating with Specta Ciera and Mystified, as well as with his Lammergeyer project and also focusing on his co-works with Robert Davies (as The Winterhouse), and Tomas Weiss. The brand new album "Full Circle", released at the beginning of November 2014 in the usual slim poly case packaging, also introduces a new design concept realized by the artist himself. Full wrap-around insert printed on both sides looks again very elegant, so no wonder the previous design, which featured photographs by Angela Weiser and paintings by Robert Davies, became DataObscura's hallmark. Nice job!!!
The album unfolds with the 10:30 title track, "Full Circle". Serenely meandering primal drifts are permeated with fragile transparent glitches, tickling the listener's ears, while a nostalgic melody placidly floats throughout along with reverberating layer and soothing tinkles. An array of additional sonic accompaniments keep emerging and fading away, always in a very gentle way, which makes headphone listening a truly rewarding exploration. Gorgeously embracing opening!!! Short "Protozoan" remains safely on the tranquil path, although led by mildly pulsing euphoria. The next piece, "All Your Questions", hangs on joyful tracks with its richly tinkling structure, yet always warmly refreshing and engulfing. "Slipstream" incorporates repetitive and progressing rhythm surrounded by evolving crescendos, which transmute occasionally into lushly colored escapades of bouncing pitched bleep-like sounds. Again with each detail precisely polished. "Hall Of Mirrors" returns to delicate glitchy terrains bridged with stunningly gorgeous poetic horizons, utterly warm and longing expansive drone beds, joyous melodic patterns enthrallingly percolated across, silently emerging nuances, all meticulously coalesced together into a blissfully harmonious and immersing sonic Eden that can only be The Circular Ruins. Hats off!!! Brief "Sublimation" floats on the immense retrospective clouds of its predecessor, while the longest, 11-minute "The End Of Everything" shifts into richly organic realms, distinctively intensified with trumpet-like infusions, sparse flimsy tinkles and continuously perceptible hissy wistfulness. "Delayed Gratification" resurrects euphoniously spacious landscapes, magnificently grandiose and soothing, which are inconspicuously intermingled with the vague clickety-clack of machinery-like sounds. "In Memorium" dives straightly into breathtakingly infinite and sorrowful choir-infused drone expansions, masterfully conjugated with miscellaneous biotic grumbles and ear-warming chimes. Definitely a gracefully embracing conclusion awaits here!!!
Nine individual chapters generating totally exquisite "Full Circle"!!! I can't help it, but I have always been deeply fascinated by APK's ability and sense to precisely insert all kinds of highly sophisticated embellishments into his soundscapes, without being too disruptive or too fragmented. Every time a true sonic elixir unfolds when taking active listening involvement with your headphones on. Top-notch sound quality "Full Circle" is again no exception, your deeply focused attention is required and even if my following words might sound cliché, this album must be labeled as a magnum opus of The Circular Ruins. Thus my nomination for "The Best of 2014" Award is quite obvious in this case. Bravo, Anthony, this is a true virtuoso performance!!! And thus "Full Circle" album is another shining pearl in the already admired body of work of this proficient Anglo-Canadian soundcarver!!!
Richard Gürtler (Dec 28, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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