My God, Sunburned Hand of the Man and Circle collaborating on a record; could you get more out there? I doubt it.
Sunburned Circle – The Blaze Game
My God, Sunburned Hand of the Man and Circle collaborating on a record; could you get more out there? I doubt it. This is truly great stuff, though at the same time (initially) surprising, as I really expected this release to go utterly bonkers at some point. That it doesn't is testimony to some sharp thinking on the extended band's behalf, as the finished work is much more spacious, organic and dangerously spaced out than any pre-conceived blitz.
Majava is a concoction of whispered vocals and guitar scraping which sounds for all the world like the water dripping off pine trees deep in a Scandinavian forest. It's incredibly atmospheric; dare I say it, Pagan? A semblance of a guitar line guides us gently out into a clearing... Heinavelho is more chaotic, though the inordinate sense of space remains. It's incredibly reminiscent of Wahn off Tangerine Dream's Atem LP, though there's no structured, epic conclusion to this particular piece music. Rather it spins out into a chaotic gipsy dance which never lets up for its nine-minute life.
Vuoren Valloitus carries on where Heinavelho left off, albeit with a more noticeable vocal part, and a gradual build up of unearthly noises. Variksenpelatin is a much quieter affair, a gently brooding thing – despite the guitar pyrotechnics - that has the odd reference (in the piano part) to a Gong track I can't remember the name of, (it's on Angel's Egg I seem to recall). Elsewhere, Yksi Hirvi Miljoona Metsastajaa is a fabulous up-tempo groove, full of jangly guitars and hand-held percussion. Lentava Lionnoitus starts its life with some strange whistling noises, sounding like psychedelic wildfowl flying over a swamp. It's a strange track, and still leaves this listener just as perplexed as when he first heard it.
Tappajahauki threatens to become an atavistic battle cry, but settles down to enjoy some serious noodling. It's damned intense as noodling goes, not letting up for a good 3 minutes. Finally, Last Song does for 45 seconds what I thought this LP would do all the way through, make a racket. In some ways a very funny ending, cocking a snook at all of us second guessers.
A brilliant album, but not for those who like their music explainable...
Words: Richard Foster