Soft Circle

Shore Obsessed

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An album by Hisham Bharoocha sounds intriguing in theory, especially for anyone who has seen him in action on stage, where he builds songs from the ground up by way of looping samples and furiously beating his drums. Unfortunately, his second album recorded under the name Soft Circle fails to capture his inventiveness or technically amazing abilities. Shore Obsessed is a far cry from the aggressive experimentation of his former projects Lightning Bolt and Black Dice. Here, Bharoocha is set on making positive, thoughtful dance music. Chances are, he was going for a more ramped-up version of the Blow or ESG, or even something like Zach Hill, but while the beats are ever cyclical and tribal, the synths sound like MIDI new age. The worst part is that drumming seems to be an afterthought, with the energy focused instead on electronic programming, guitar, bass, and vocals. It’s no coincidence that “Bonzer,” the only instrumental on the album, is the most exciting.

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