Record: Circuit Breaker – Cairn

The circuit is already broken, it seems. The songs are disjointed things; tugging in multiple directions at once as a commotion of overlain ideas, remaining in some taut limbo between phasing electronic drones, guitars and vocals that drawl through bleak and unspacious slap-back delay. They don’t jar exactly, and there’s a sort of vague external awareness that keeps the elements connected via loose, half-coherent communication – a sort of indefinable behavioural similarity that keeps chattering the synthesisers and ticking hi-hats from collapsing into meaninglessness.

The sound feels boxed in, and one can imagine a compacted room in which instruments, wires, amps and limbs all negotiate space within restricting intimacy; synthesisers plod and whirr as slithers skirting across the high-hat and rimshots, with guitar wafting warmly from a small amplifier positions at the back of the room. Circuit Breaker emphasise process at the expense of presenting a series of whole, sanded-down finished product; effects chains are simple and the source of each sound can be easily traced. The fact that I consider it a mysterious record resides not in its coming into sound, but the warped sense of “song” that spawns each composition, bringing to mind the unnerving and suppressed abstraction that lies within the experiments of Dome and early Throbbing Gristle.