Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Phil France ‎– Circle (2018)

Style: Leftfield, Downtempo
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Gondwana Records

Tracklist Hide Credits
1.   Circle
2.   Bells
3.   River
4.   Prophet
5.   Mr Jackal
6.   The First Thing That You Say
7.   Cathedrals
8.   The Breaks
9.   Circles Reprise

Mixed By – Seadna McPhail
Recorded By – Brendan Williams, Lee Aston
Written-By, Producer, Keyboards, Synth, Programmed By, Mixed By – Phil France

For the second week in a row, Gondwana Records has released another great record, this time the sophomore album from Phil France, titled Circle. The Manchester-based composer, bassist and producer is probably best know as a key collaborator alongside Jason Swinscoe in the Cinematic Orchestra where he co-wrote some of the group’s best albums including Everyday (2002), Man With The Movie Camera (2003), Ma Fleur (2007) and award-winning soundtrack for The Crimson Wing documentary in 2008.  
His new record picks right up where his 2013 debut, The Swimmer, left off, with layers of melodic electronic textures and minimal arpeggiated patterns that build and shift throughout each song. The title track “Circle” is not only the album’s opener, but acts as the overall symbolic concept for the album. France states “I consider circles to be a strong symbol of unity, strength and inclusiveness and ultimately I’ve aspired to make something beautiful with those values at its heart”.  
Overall, Circle is solid from start to finish, taking listeners on a sonic journey using atmospheric sounds, multi-layered textures, and harmonic melodies. The album has a soundtrack-like feel to it, with each track complimenting the one that came before it. Some of my favorite tracks include “Circle,” “Bells,” “Mr Jackal” and “The First Thing That You Say.” The album appropriately ends with a reprise to the title track, creating what could be considered an infinite sound experience.
TJ Oliver-Gorton / beat caffeine 

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