Formed in the wake of the ambient house/techno explosion of the early '90s, Circular was inspired particularly by the more experimental end of the ambient spectrum, creating distinctively dark and often beatless soundscapes that betrayed a debt to fellow Norwegians Biosphere, among other modern ambient touchstones. Partners and longtime friends Bjarte Andreassen and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik formed Circular in the fall of 1995 in their native Bergen. After contributing a track to the Hypnotic sampler Psychedelic Ambience in 1996, the pair recorded their debut album, Nanotopia, for Origo Sound in 1997. It received positive reviews, and Circular was recruited to create music for TV and advertisements in Norway. Their sophomore album, Divergent, was released by Beatservice in 1999. Gjelsvik also released material as part of Neural Network (which went on hiatus following his success in Circular) and with the solo project Debris (on Beatservice's Arctic Circles compilations).
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