Circulatory System – Mosaics Within Mosaics
One thing that can be said about Athens-born Circulatory System: they take their fun very seriously. The group just released their third record, Mosaics Within Mosaics, a double LP packed full of electroacoustic fuzzpop. The band is a sibling of the famed Elephant 6 collective, a collaborative bunch that includes beloved Athens acts Neutral Milk Hotel and of Montreal, among others. Will Cullen Hart, Circ’s ringleader and the more experimental side of E6 group The Olivia Tremor Control serves as our faithful trip guide on what might be considered a continuous, hour-long diversion. The group delights in a meandering collage of sounds, albeit one more subdued than their explosive 2009 sophomore record Signal Morning – which is not necessarily saying much. Here, Circulatory System tones down the quasi-IDM, cotton candy grooves while amping up the wide-eyed strums of hippie-made folk rock.
Mosaics Within Mosaics is a noisy affair, though what stand out are the countless moments of undeniable pop bliss. The hooks, at their core, are simple enough. But they’re blanketed in a fuzzy coat of electronic trickery, disorienting rhythms, and seemingly a million different instrument sounds. This is why Circ’s compositional techniques shine so brightly, simultaneously lo-fi and meticulously constructed. Textures constantly break into melodies; melodies decompose into textures – often without warning. The record retains an aimless, idyllic quality, carving the path for an emotional journey that rewards repeating. It’s drenched in the most acidic Beatles moments – the monolithic one-minute mark of “Strawberry Fields,” the disorienting finale of “Lovely Rita.” The comparison is carried further by the uncanny resemblance of Hart’s vocal delivery to Lennon’s, heard across Hart’s body of work.
Mosaics Within Mosaics is an unstable entity, ever evolving and unfolding. With 31 songs in less than an hour, each number might as well be an interlude. Hart’s restless, psychomusical fascination reveals all kinds of Brian Wilson-isms, circa Pet Sounds. Like Wilson, Circulatory System glaze their sort of natural and spiritual discovery with a playful innocence. They invite us all to experience astral projections merely by having fun down here on Earth. And it’s certainly worth a try.
Mosaics Within Mosaics