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Circumjecta – Ulchi Hop

Circumjecta - Ulchi Hop

CD, Dars Records, 2007

“Ulchi Hop”, a selection of so-called “enigmatic rhythms and unknown harmony” by Russian composer/producer Circumjecta, kicks off in grand style with some of the most deeply unsettling sounds I’ve ever been subjected to. If nervous breakdowns had soundtracks, this would be on the recommended listening list. Buried far from prying ears, some sonic trigger that resonates with my terror centres lies hidden – the first three tracks literally had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. It’s deep, it’s dark and drops sinister hints of even more fearful psychic disturbances lying in wait…
Sadly, these menacingly whispered promises fade away, the intensity of emotion doesn’t last and somewhere in the middle of “Kosnaka’s” constituent guitar snarls, I realized that I wasn’t feeling much, anymore – almost as if the combined assault of the first half of the album had left me drained and apathetic towards what I was hearing. “Glork Growth” similarly fails to impress, with its over-delayed, incessant reverberation grinding my molars for eight and a half frustrating minutes.
Thankfully, the symphonic “d’vs’r” arrived just in time to save the entire recording from mediocrity – a quarter of an hour of audio insanity later and my faith was restored in the exceptional engineering behind Circumjecta’s music. Meticulously crafted, this penultimate cut is the highlight of the disc – atmosphere oozing from every cunningly compressed beat, this song practically redefines ambience, conjuring visions of cheap roadside vodka vendors in a pre-apocalyptic ghetto that the rest of Moscow pretends to have forgotten. Cue spinal shivers, please…


— David vander Merwe

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