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R.P.M. - Circle Line

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: ICR - ICR90
Release Year: 2020
Note: a project of COLIN POTTER, KEITH ROWE and PHIL MOULDYCLIFF that started back in 1989 (graphic score from Mouldycliff for Keith Rowe), was continued in 2002 in Potter's studio with additional "Circle Line" tube / subway station field recordings, and later performed live by all three on various occasions = a rich and ambitious experimental work in 8 sections (8 different tube stations), not to be missed !
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"A very peculiar journey........

It's not often we would say this, but listening to this on headphones is a most unusual experience!

Circle Line initially started life as a graphic score created by Phil Mouldycliff as a piece to be played by Keith Rowe in 1989. Over a period of twelve years this open form composition developed to the point where by 2002 an opportunity arose to make a recording of the work at IC Studio in Preston, using ambient recordings taken from Circle Line Tube stations made specifically for the project by Phil and Colin Potter . Keith effectively solos over the assemble tape collage of sounds from the Underground, starting and finishing with material collected at Edgeware Road. Given that a full circuit of the Line takes upwards of fifty minutes, the individual stations are grouped together to create workable sections delineated by geographical boundaries. Since making the recording the work has been performed live by Rowe, Potter and Mouldycliff on a number of occasions."


"R.P.M. stands for (Keith) Rowe, (Colin) Potter, (Phil) Mouldycliff, whereas the Circle Line is an integral part of Londons complex underground network. On such grounds pun intended Mouldycliff developed in 1989 a graphic score for Rowes performance; the trio recorded this version of the piece in 2002, accompanied by field recordings captured during a trip on the same route. In synthesis, what we hear is Rowes trademark dissection of the object previously known as the guitar mixed with structural sounds of wagons, other mechanical entities and human reverberations (voices, steps and so on) typical of an hour spent on the CL.

Having often traveled with this very medium in the past, the problem was usually having my players musical selection smothered or otherwise ruined by the surrounding clangor-cum-hubbub. In this case we have Colin Potter who fortunately for us balances the wholes overall level, skillfully processing where necessary. The advice we are given is to listen with a good pair of headphones, and should definitely be followed. Only in this way does the music reveal its clever microscopy, giving the listeners hearing apparatus the respect it deserves.

Beyond banal classifications no, it is not a drone album Circle Line represents an exercise in careful listening aided by sonorities that stimulate the innards of our discernment, although complementary to a day of ordinary commuting. Enjoying these extemporaneous inventions that is, everything which exists between subsonic engrossment and exploitation of timbral oxidation is a special pleasure in this particular context. I might look at commuting with earphones from a different perspective, after all." [Touching Extremes]