Circulation follow up their 1999 'Colours' debut with another selection of their...
Jack Smith 2003
Some songs were created to be listened to whilst travelling alone: Circulation's "Terracotta" is one of them. A warm slice of gently meandering electronica, it provides a surprisingly reflective intro to Paul Davis and Matt Jackson's new LP, the long awaited follow up to 1999s Colours.
Since they formed in the mid-nineties, Circulation seem to have become one of those dance outfits that seem to do no wrong. Their music which ranges from sinewy techno and twisted tech-house to disco-influenced tunes and trippy ambience (sometimes all in the same record) has gained support by a dazzling range of DJ luminaries, from Sasha and Digweed to Lawler and Howells.
Colours Two is hence highly anticipated not only by Circulation fans, but also by others intrigued by the hype.
Like its similarly named predecessor this albumcollects tracks from the legendary colour coded back-catalogue of Circulation twelves.
After luring us in with their ethereal opener, the chaps begin to re-introduce us to the more muscular side of their repertoire with tracks like the relatively starchy "Chocolate", the enormous and immediately gratifying "Neutral", and the slightly gentler "Khaki", which allows a few chinks of light to penetrate the dark, druggy atmosphere.
By now we are reminded exactly what Circulation excel at: creating driven beatscapes and decorating them with thin, surrealist veils of electronica until the balance is utterly compelling. Their rhythmic beef tugs persistenly at your feet while at the same time the veiny, psychedelic swirls massage your head; before you realise it you're in deep, sucked into a state of ecstatic reverie.
Cuts like "Neon", "Taupe" and end track "Sepia" give us some distance from which we can calmly reflect on our experiences, but it's never long before we're being whisked back into the rainbow of strong-arm dance floor missives again.
Though certain Circulation tracks can feel a bit samey (and where are some of their brilliant b-sides!?), for the most part they are more hypnotic than Paul McKenna and more colourful than Prince. It's safe to say that Circulation live up to the hype - and a whole lot more.