To call this new album by Circle Sky “bi-polar” would be doing it a disservice – since it certainly presents a seamless listen. However, the tracks contained do fall into two distinct categories. First there’s the pop. Bouncing, floating, featherlight, trance, whose songs are melodic mindful mantras, whispered by angels as they dance deliriously to skipping rhythms, buried beneath complex kosmische counterpoint – zig-zagging, crystalline, criss-crossing, friendly audio fractals. Songs full of hope and encouragement. The sound of unworried, unburdened, hearts in flight. Chart worthy confections that are perfect distillations of Bicep`s break-driven rave remembered. Love Hertz is a hymn to heartbreak that vamps on Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle’s classic anthem of desire, while Your Name is a shot at Top Of The Pops – imagine Romeo & Juliet scored by Daft Punk. The closing Home starts all Apollo / Eno-esque atmospheric – before the vocoder-ed vocals, and before the organ drones and sustain are joined by a pumping beat. In amongst this sugary sophistication, though, there are also a few moments aimed more at the “heads” – heralded by Circle Sky’s hardware mimicking a Peter Hook b-line on the pounding, Ghost In The Machine. When I close my ears I picture E23 as some kind expressway – rather a reference to the 23 enigma – given its purposeful propulsion. That said, maybe it`s exit 23. Then again the track could been named in a nod to Manuel Gottsching, and his E2-E4, considering its emotionally effecting, trippy, post-acid-house march – building from bleeps into something symphonic, that at seven and a half minutes, still fades to fast. The titular tune, Dream Colour, also seems to channel early house. Mixing the menacing, bass heavy throb, of say Master C&J`s Dub Love, with breathless vocals that recall Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy`s MDMA adventures as Dr Calculus. This complimentary clash of cultures coming on like a Creation Records roof top rave meets a RIP party at The Clink.
Circle Sky are Martin Dubka and Richard Norris. Dream Colour is out now on BMG.