Album Review: Circle, Phil France (Gondwana, August 2018)

Phil France is a UK-based producer and musician known for his work with The Cinematic Orchestra, most notably their soundtrack for the nature documentary, The Crimson Wing (Walt Disney Studios, 2008).

He also likes circles. His bandcamp page explains the concept behind this album as one that uses circular musical structures to echo a more universal notion of “unity, strength, and inclusiveness.”

With Circle, France uses mostly electronic arrangements that loop, meander, and overlap, having an almost narcotic effect on the listener. Curiously, the album’s two most acoustic tracks, “Circle (reprise)” and “The Breaks” are its most enchanting.

France is said to be inspired by the likes of Vangelis and Philip Glass. Indeed, this album evokes Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack (Atlantic, 1994), not for its sonic similarity but for its immersive quality. With his compositions and arrangements, France creates a place you don’t wish to leave – a place wherein you’d rather revel in the music, round and round in circles.

 

 

 

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