Saturday, 26 February 2011

Circus - Movin' On ( 1977)

Movin' On
Circus has a reputation for having one of the more uncommon line-up of the genre - no KB and no electric guitars. Not so for the guitar for there are bits of it although staying discreet, some sounds I cannot see done other by a guitars through effects. This absolute masterpiece ( I strongly insist on this) gradually builds up to a superb climax progressing from one track to the other. Hauser is a real top-notch percussionist and puts in an impressive performace using all sorts of instruments and makes some of the loveliest vibraphone lines since Greenslade in Colosseum. Bassist Cerletti is the only non-Alemanic Swiss but is certainly a impressive bassist and an acomplished guitar player. Grieder and Frei are simply an amazing duo on wind instruments and and together with Cerletti make a superb vocal section. The music is rather unique in some points making you think of VDGG (mostly the saxes but also in one superb section of singing much better than Hammill himself because more melodious) , but also Maneige during the classical influenced moments , Crimson but IMO not much like Tull although this album is loaded with orgasmic flutes.

Bandsmen is a nice tune poppish but intentionally simple , only the unusual line-up intriguing us enough to go on further. Laughter Lane is quite a gem and a solid progression from the opening track but stays in the song format and one knows that much better is to come but this would be a real gem for any other band. With their third track Loveless Time still in song format , we now move in serious business and we are aware that this will be a real interesting Oeuvre that is to come. Movin' On (get the album title?) with Dawn is entirely instrumental (8 min long) and is one of the better example ever of what descriptive music is , and ranks up with some of the masterpieces of impressionist classical composers of early 20th century. In between some realy gloomy athmospheres at the end of the night to the soothing birds calls and wind breezes to the first rays of the sun, this is simply astounding.

And now comes the "piece de resistance". They could've easily made a suite of this 22 min+ number but chose to let it express itself as an entity of its own. This pieces starts of with the most genial rythms sprinkled with sax and flutes lines and 6 min into the number comes in some scatting (no jazz feeling though) with suddendly one of the three vocalist breaking into another scheme making this grandiose. Bass and flutes take over only for Roland Frei to break into this Hamillian-singing worthy of Pawn Heart. We are now just barely half-way through and are now lying on the floor ready for the final blow , the ultimate nail into our coffin. The music flutters by, twiddles , twirls around you and circles , swirls not giving you an instant to recuperate and now comes the blow. The finals verses are shared in the most beautyful call-and-respond manner so well delivered that if have not shot your intellectual wad by now, you must be frigid or impotent. The number closes of with fabulous music unfortunately (the only slight mistake) sticking to close to my fave number from Crimson , Starless.

Wow! Repeated listening in the last four years still have not calmed me down as I shot my intellectual wad just writing this review not even listening to it. I don't know how this album is almost never cited in a desert island list, because this belogs on everyone's . Hurry up at Greg Walker , he still has a few copy of this one and their debut also well worth it. SIMPLY ASTOUNDING. CIRCUS Movin' On music reviews and MP3 ( Review from )

One of the most brilliant progressive rock albums ever which certainly deserves a much wider audience for this sadly obscure release.
The only album i've heard from this Swiss band but what a corker. The first side has several songs ( with very finet vocals)  which are all excellent in there own right.

The second side is just one long mostly instrumental piece and is  a real showcase of this bands awesome musicianship. One could draw comparisons i suppose with "King Crimson" or "Menaige" but there are no keyboards or electric guitars and amazingly it doesnt need them or leaves one feeling they are missing. The bass, flute/ winds and percussion are amazingly well put together with beautifull progressive movements before reaching an astounding climax in a similar way to "King Crimsons" "Starless". A real masterpiece if ever i heard one and is way up there with my all time favourites such as "Bubu'. UTTERLY INCREDIBLE!

Songs / Tracks Listing 1. The bandsman (4:25)
2. Laughter lane (4:11)
3. Loveless time (5:32)
4. Dawn (7:51)
5. Movin' on (22:23)

Total Time: 44:20

Line-up / Musicians - Marco Cerletti / bass, bass pedals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Roland Frei / lead vocals, acoustic guitar, Tenor saxophone
- Andreas Grieder / flutes, alto saxophone, backing vocals, tambourine
- Fritz Hauser / drums, percussion, vibes

Circus - 05 - Movin' On [1 of 3]

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