The music of The Circular Ruins has always struck
me as lush, as very full. An intricately detailed canvas
of sound art that captures a sense of both time and
place. With the release of "Land of the Blind",
The Circular Ruins have collected eight stunning pieces
that continue to engage and delight in the same manner.
The disc opens with "A Storm of Secondary Things".
Delicate sweeping pads loop and swirl, while complex
percussive patterns play underneath. Shimmering melodies
unfold as the piece progresses. A beautiful introduction
to the disc.
"Holiday in Reality" is built around fluttering
patterns of sound, a series of squelchy electronic patterns
rising and falling throughout. A sense of movement,
of journey permeates throughout the track, a lovely
feeling of travel. Wonderful. "Thought is False
Happiness" builds upon a laticework of pads and
waves, intricate folds weaving and gaining in complexity
as time passes. A stunning piece. Track four, "Anamnesis",
is a much more subtle piece, a minimal sense of movement
that uses silences to accent the tones throughout. Patches
of dialogue pass through like fragments from half forgotten
dreams. A fantastic track that I find myself drawn to
again and again.
"The Abyss of Proof" is an ominous track,
a dark foreboding introduction leading into a tense
claustrophobic environment. Be careful when you stare
into the abyss, it has a way of staring back at you...
"Interior Distance" features a repeated arpegio
overtop an organic backdrop of landscape sounds. Delicate
and simple, yet somehow vaguely threatening. A slow
and steady journey through the familiar territory of
reason to the darker lands of delirium.
"Standing in Violent Golds" is a more dense
piece, dark matter and alien elements clashing, conflicted.
There are small pieces of beauty that stand in contrast
to the controlled chaos at play here, but they serve
only as small reminders of order, in effect bringing
the confusion more into focus. Disc closer "A Distant
Assembly" is an epic track that utilizes oblique
motion to anchor simple melody lines, slow waves of
sound rising and falling like tides. Tones gain in strength,
finding order and reason, gradually melting into other
forms, taking on other shapes and meaning.
A hundred vistas pass by during the course of it's
length, each another glimpse of alien worlds, different
spaces, a thousand more just beyond reach. And then
it is done, an afterimage reflected in our mind's eye
the only reminder of what we've seen. Without doubt,
"Land of the Blind" lives up to and surpasses
all of my expectations with regards to The Circular
Ruins. A truly wonderful disc featuring a truly wonderful
collection of music, I recommend it wholeheartedly to
fans of the ambient genre in all of it's forms, as well
as to all those who enjoy the discovery of inner journeys.
Reviewed by Rik Maclean of
Visit Rik's Ping Things website by clicking