Thought Becomes Reality

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Still widely (and wisely) feted as the logical musical successors to the various psychedelic-folk revivals that helped shape the underground of the early 2000s, South London's Circulus reach their third album with their original charm resolutely intact, but with such self-confidence that almost all of the early comparisons now fall away like so much journalistic hyperbole. Elements of the Incredible String Band may spring to mind, but that has more to do with the well-spoken idiosyncrasies of Michael Tyack's vocals than any reliance on that band's quirkiness; that aspect of Circulus' appeal has more in common with the darker corners of the early-'70s prog boom, shot through with such maddening eclecticism that it's no shock at all to find the sci-fi exhortations of the opening "Transmuting Power" merging into the chorale folk of "Fortunate Ones," set to a jig-like theme that will be reprised for "Trotto" and then trampled by the fuzzstorms of "Tristan's Lament." Indeed, listening to Circulus may strike older ears as akin to experiencing a new Jethro Tull LP, back in the days when they still made LPs -- yes, you know where the bandmembers have been, and what they may have listened to while they were there. But you have no clue whatsoever about where they are going and, if thought truly does become reality, as this album's title insists, the imaginations that engendered this masterpiece must have been working overtime before bringing the disc to fruition.

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