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Record Review


Admit it -- you were sort of hoping that so-called "postrock" would, in fact, rock a little, at least some of the time. It may be a bit late to salve your overall disappointment, but the domestic debut from Finnish group Circle does prove that cyclical rhythms, dubby textures and even flutes can co-exist with Bonham-esque drum stomp and crunching guitars.

Andexelt is actually Circle's sixth studio album and was recorded in 1998. While members have come and gone and some elements of its sound have changed from album to album, the band's basic approach has remained inviolate: long, hypnotic, repetition-heavy instrumentals built in layers over a basic pulse just a few lanes over from the driving motorik beat of krautrock pioneer Neu!

The emphasis on rhythm is what really makes ends meet with Circle. The title track kicks off the album with Jussi Lehtisalo and Teemu Elo's big-balls guitar riffing and drummer Janne Peltomäki's steady, arena-ready pummel, but quieter cuts such as "Zomilate" and "Kidul90s" actually work up more traction as the quintet winds tighter and tighter around each other in intricate syncopation. Even the more atmospheric tracks, such as the snaking, vaguely folkish "Humusaar" and the percussion-free drone "Friitalan Nahka" are based on an unmistakable throb. All in all, Andexelt offers a potent reminder that, even at its artiest, "rock" is a verb as well as a noun.

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