Circular: Radiating Perpetual Light

circular_radiThe title Radiating Perpetual Light is something of a misnomer. If there is light coming from the music on the new release from Circular, it is the suffused glow of a sliver of moon hidden behind thick clouds. Or, as musician Johannes Riedel says of it on his site, a dark and glowing sunset. Whichever murky light source we’re talking about, Radiating Perpetual Light surges forth with plenty of rich bass as a landscape over which float shadow-shrouded pads and warm ambient structures. Beats, pulsing waves, and acoustic instruments seep Into the midst of all this to create a very engaging and, ultimately, fairly soothing groove. The ride growls up out of the grim rumbles of “Dissolved,” and the worry here is that those quick to label might mistake it for dark ambient. If it was, it would be pretty workable dark ambient. Sliding into the next track, however, Riedel starts to slip in that pulsing rhythm and some higher tones to play against the bass, and now we’re on the move, headed through several different states. Guitar finds its way into the mix. It’s a nice touch, from the heat-shimmer glisten in “From A Concealed Perspective,” which reminds me of Suso Saiz’s work with Steve Roach as Suspended Memories, to the simple, post-rock strokes that carry through “Beneath the Luminous Sky.” Riedel drops a guitar melody into the end of “All Colours of Space” after a few minutes spent in slow ambient washes paced off by a bass drum beat. As the disc moves along it picks up much from good chillout music, and the effect is heightened by Riedel’s choice to keep to the low end of the scale. There’s a graceful lacing of melancholy to the laid-back feel, the beat patient but irresistible. You’ll particularly feel it on “Deep Time Illusions.” Not a good track to be left along with when you’ve got a lot of things on your mind that you’re trying to avoid thinking about, y’know? I also like the windy electronic hiss of “In A Distinctive State.” Electronic burbles pop through the sound, and a string melody appears from out of the mist. This track becomes very human toward the end–listen and you should understand what I’m saying.

It’s been easy to come back to Radiating Perpetual Light for the repeat listens I give discs I’m reviewing. It’s soothing in its own way, as I said, but its grooves run deep and dig right into you. There’s a lot of dimension at work, and the mix of electric and organic, slight though it is, shines through. Moving work from Circular.

Available from Loki Found.

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