Einhorn 1984 / Mental Experience 2016
Obscure, if shiny, artifact from post-Krautrock era with its zeitgeist intact.
By the ’80s, the halcyon days of Deutschland take on prog were effectively over, which didn’t discourage occasional questing soul from tapping into the past spirit of things. Out of Frankfurt area, two of those seekers, Mike Bohrmann and Dierk Leitert – playing guitars, synthesizers and other assorted instruments and collectively known as CIRCLES – released three LPs, this being their second. While the band’s debut (also reissued on Mental Experience) felt slightly parochial with its tracks titled in German and largely devoid of rock, “More Circles” finds their periscope raised high and directed towards international waters, and if success proved to be elusive, the record has stood the test of time.
Maybe that’s because, very un-Kraut-like, there’s humor in the album’s grooves, as illustrated by “Tranquilo Gonzales” with its cinematic vistas and sinister whispers – a cosmic laughter of dynamic kind, as transmitted through imaginary computer interface – but the chaotic intention is manifested from the start. Once jungle calls have shattered the ambient bubbling of “Minimal Instant,” epic “Several Steps Leading Through Different Rooms” offers an unhurried adventure via various textures, a six-string crawl weaving around organ oscillations and sucking snippets of conversations and street noise in its hypnotic pulse.
As if musique concrète was too down-to-earth a concept, and the brass-enhanced “Trio Atonale” too classically-minded, electronic swooshes of “Paris Cut” test the piece’s geographical ties to take it all to outer space before the sparse beeping in “Mental Dart” turns the drift inward. Yet the brainwaves in “Sequences” welcome smile back – delivered on the powerful bass throb – whereas “Consequences” is where the sonic debris get cleared and swept under the floorboards for “Spiral Dance” to chug happily upon its funky riff until the machine-gun crunch and Wagnerian licks signal the end of the party.
If a spiral is circles’ way to get high, here’s the ultimate realization of this idea.