Sirkus — The Noise of Time
(Nasoni NASONI 195, 2018, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, 2018-07-06:
Three years ago German band Sirkus released their debut album Dream Factory. And this past April saw the release of their second album The Noise of Time. Sirkus is a group of friends with a variety of musical backgrounds, integrating influences and experiences from the Congo, Burkina Faso, Middle East, and the West Coast. The band is Nathan Geis (drums), Lukas Sauer (lead guitar), Marcel Bickert (djembe and percussion), Max Sauer (vocals and rhythm guitar), Michael Hauck (bass), and Patrick Stäudle (keyboards). They are also joined by several guest musicians for additional percussion, flute, bass, and voices. The result is a set of ten gothic western, psychedelic, stoner rock songs. The whole album makes me think of The Doors’ L.A. Woman, but without any obvious comparisons to Jim Morrison or Ray Manzarek, just a general sense of their West Coast L.A. ambiance. I am also reminded of Brit psych rockers The Alman Mulo Band. Across the tracks, Lukas’ tremolo guitar flirts with surf music, to accompany Nathan’s and Marcel’s funky tribal rhythms, Max’ gritty vocals, Michael’s cool bass, and Patrick’s bluesy keyboards. Much of the music is brooding, but a couple of tunes stand out for me. “Cigarettes” is a particulary evocative song. You can easily imagine a dark cocktail lounge and a cigarette burning in an ashtray with the smoke slowly curling in the light. And then there is the rapid and repeated four-note sequence of “Road Song” that evokes driving down a straight highway through the American Southwest and watching the road stripes pass by. Overall The Noise of Time is a pretty cool album.
by Peter Thelen, 2018-07-06:
Sometimes you just don’t know why, you can’t put your finger on the reason, but a sound carries some kind of magic that can’t easily be explained. Case in point: Sirkus is a six-piece from Dusseldorf, and after their 2015 debut Dream Factory, this their second full length release. Their sound rocks hard but definitely carries some strong West African, Moroccan, and Middle-Eastern influences that provide a distinctive sound like no other. Right out front is singer Max Sauer, a soulful and emotional vocalist with a powerful and scratchy delivery, who also handles rhythm guitar. Lead guitarist Lukas Sauer always has something interesting to add to the band’s sonic fabric, and all of the material on The Noise of Time is group written. There are two percussionists here — kit drummer Jonathan Geis holds down the basic rhythm while Marcel Pickert embellishes that with djembe and other percussives. Rounding out the sound are keyboardist Patrick Stäudle and bassist Michael Hauck, and additional guest players join on double bass, flute, additional percussion, and spoken voice, song depending. The overall sound varies from song to song, sometimes bluesy, sometimes psychedelic, with jazzy touches falling into the cracks, but it’s always direct, and the songwriting is memorable, with lyrics in English. One of the standouts among many is “Hotel Room” which is built on a powerful bass line along with intense percussion, and a near manic delivery on vocals, wrapped up by an intense keyboard solo; “Road Song” is another that delivers the story of a tragic car accident in the third person, with a powerful groove driving it forward. Opener “Goldmine of Truth” is brings the Middle Eastern and rock elements together with a catchy riff, while “All Your Teachers” captures a bluesy style mixed with a memorable vocal refrain, underpinned by an almost Carribean sound. “Sea” mixes a strong percussive element with jazzy groove styles from the keyboards, with flute and guitar solos. There are ten tracks in all, and the more one listens, the more captivating it becomes.
Related artist(s): Sirkus
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
David Sancious and Tone - Transformation (The Speed of Love) – David Sancious came at the genre of jazz-rock fusion from a rather different direction than most of the key figures. Rather than coming into it as an established jazz player or from the progressive... (2003) » Read more