REVIEW: Soul Circuit – “Evolve”

By JHR

Chain Border

EvolveThis CD has been the bane of my life for the last six months. It's just been...there. Sitting on top of the NeXT and taunting me in a flat and round sort of way. Its arrival in an anonymous jiffybag pretty much coincided with a series of events that led me toward the realisation that I was best served by avoiding rockstars on general principles and should any of their horrible number threaten to accost me I should belabour the fellow and his horrible accomplices with the nearest stout object.

So anyway. I kind of dig the harpsichord. It lends an aura of C=64 game music for some largely indefinable reason. Meanwhile there are arpeggios in the style of early Orbital and, unfortunately, the sort of whispered/mumbled vocals that even chummy out of Snog (And there's another over-hyped filthy racket you'd be as well to avoid…) can't get away with. There are probably drums. Very polite ones that aren't too sure about bothering you with something as forward as a rhythm, so they'll just sit there and clatter to themselves and hope you notice.

Time passes and like the sight of the first caravan of spring signals the arrival of a terrible family from Smethwick, the arrival of track four signals... Oh, it's stopped.

No matter, the next track sounds just like it, only with some Dr. Who villain at the controls. Big it up for MC Cardboard And String Robot Bent On Enslaving The Human Race as the naked bloke off the start of Monty

Python continues to plonk away at the harpsichord patch in a disused and echoing bakery somewhere off the A6.

Soul CircuitIt says here that track six (Hope) is a 'live improv.' I was expecting observational comedy or perhaps a skit performed in the manner of Whitehall farce, but instead we are treated to (or indeed with) chuffing drums, more arpeggios and a synth patch that's obviously the harpsichord's best mate. In-game music for some Amiga thingy crufted up by demoscene coders after an evening at the pub.

I wish the bloody songs would evolve some. Really. I could be listening to Two Lone Swordsmen (I heartily recommend the latest CD – The Double Gone Chapel), but no, I have to listen to track seven, which is 4 minutes and 37 seconds long. That's four minutes of my life that I could have done something more useful with like downloading filthy pictures of mixed groups of people performing degrading sex acts. On the other hand, it was four minutes that I didn't use to go and look at Slashdot, so it's not all doom, gloom, harpsichord and arpeggios.

I'm going to have bloody nightmares about being chased through darkened corridors by a sodding harpsichord now. See if I don't.

Oh, bugger this for a game of soldiers. You know how, oh, I dunno, Billy Bragg for instance, managed to wrench an entire set of different emotions and sounds out of just the one guitar when he recorded Life's a Riot With Spy vs. Spy? So you'd maybe think that it should be similarly possible to at least wrestle a harpsichord patch into engendering anything other than boredom. Ha. Fat chance.

Buy The Album
Buy "Evolve"

Contact Information:
Soul Circuit
E-Mail: brett@soul-circuit.com

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