Squaring Circles are enigmatic & atmospheric on their debut LP ‘Motion’

After twelve months of drip-feeding singles, Melbourne experimental electronica/alternative duo SQUARING CIRCLES have finally unleashed their debut LP Motion, out today via Best & Fairest. An eight-track LP of amorphous, atmospheric and contemplative experimentalism, MOTION is an engaging and evolving listen.

An album 18 months in the making, Motion was the product of abstract production methods and collaboration. Initially the project of Brendan Anderson, he recruited vocalists Lilibeth Hall and Hayden Somerville as well as producer Julien Huynh to help shape the record. Together they eschewed conventional songwriting in favour of improvisation and automatic writing, letting their subconscious do all the talking. The result is a dynamic album presenting an ecosystem of constantly evolving textures and feelings.

If you take the most experimental and atmospheric cuts of Radiohead and mix it with the laid-back atmosphere of post-rock legends Tortoise, you’re halfway to defining the beast that is Motion. Tracks like the opener ‘Unknowing’ convey this perfectly, with layered percussion and contemplative bass guitar grounding the listener among layers of looping guitar textures and alien samples. ‘Trials’ feels very Radiohead; movie samples and vocal melodies buried underneath a wall of synths and guitars, while the very Phillip Selway-like drum beat keeps an anxious pace. There’s times like ‘Anima’ where the album takes on an almost drum-and-bass feel similar to the jazz-inspired works of Brazillian producer Amon Tobin, while other tracks like the lead single ‘Movement’ and ‘Inresolve’ sound almost like trip-hop cuts from the glory days of UNKLE. Closing out the album is single ‘Anergyne’ which rounds things out nicely with a downtempo tempo vibes, with notes of dub techno just to make things interesting.

Kind of like how people discovered you could sync up Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz and have it sort of fit, Motion feels a bit like the soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist yet. Maybe the movie exists in another dimension. In any case, it’s a fascinating album that merges countless sounds, genres and ideas into an engrossing grab bag of experimental goodness. Take a long train ride, read a book, or maybe just sit in a dark room and pop this bad boy on – and it’ll click a thousand times over.

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Words by MAX LEWIS

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A triple threat; he writes, makes music, and is a dumb bitch.