By Paul POP!, First Coast News
Circle Research are a team of mad scientists who dig through crates and crates of records looking for the sounds, snippets, and beats that you never think about, that you never knew existed but do and are so important that they're part of the pop lexicon. Their latest album, Who? is a Donuts style throwback record an is loaded with 36 tracks, and a zillion samples but clocks in at only 38 minutes long. It's got tons of stuff you've never heard of but is based around snippets and beats that you swear you know and in fact do know because they are based on the some of the most classic hip-hop breaks and samples but given a 2008 spin.
Who? is an amazing trip through the greatest record collection that you should have but don't. It's mixed, tweaked, scratched, and manipulated into a frenzy of drums that threaten to destroy your stereo and have a good time doing it. What Circle Research do with records is absolutely amazing. A perfect example, "Nothing Can Save Ya," has so many legendary hip-hop snippets in it, it's almost impossible to keep track of but the end result when it's all said and done is stunning. To think that there are 35, yes 35, more tracks like that one just makes this a non-stop party that has plans to go on and on til the break of dawn.
This record is absolute DJ mastery at it's finest and it doesn't matter if it's done with Ableton, Serato, or whatever, the sheer artistry that Circle Research puts into these blasts of sampling pandemonium is amazing. It's hard to believe that songs which, are no longer than two minutes long, could actually be entertaining but the 36 tracks that make up Who? are ridiculously good and when they're all mixed into one giant colossal turntable tornado it's completely unstoppable. With funk, soul, hip-hop, and rap all being layered into the short but sweet compositions these tracks have more grooves than the records they were taken from and will punish the stylus on any turntable that plays them.
Who? truly is one fine sampledelic record that any one who has ever considered DJing needs to own. Who knew crate digging could produce something this good? I guess Circle Research knew because they make it look effortless. Essential stuff.
First Coast News / Paul POP!