The expectations surrounding Gesloten Cirkel’s debut album Submit X prove that this artist has defied every accepted rule and approach. For starters, no one really knows who Gesloten Cirkel is apart from the fact that he apparently comes from Russia. Sure, a lot of electronic music producers like to keep their identity a secret for a variety of reasons, but this one has only put out three records in the space of five years and doesn’t have a be-masked anti-image to cling to.
Despite this, each Gesloten Cirkel record has stood out and sold out, with each one subsequently selling for high prices online. In the absence of any marketing, the popularity of Gesloten Cirkel’s records can only be explained by the fact that they sound so unusual. While the artist draws on well-worn tropes, he then adds bizarre signatures to make his music memorable. Whether or not this is because he approaches electronic music in a different way to European or US producers is a moot point.
What is undisputable however is that it’s impossible to forget the deranged cockerel crowing on his debut for Murder Capital or indeed the haunted, spacey electro on “Yamagic” from his 2011 Moustache Techno release. Submit X provides many such moments; there’s “Zombiemachine Acid”, which start with Rother-style electro rhythms but then quickly descend into gurgling acid lines and high camp vocal samples commanding the listener to ‘follow your leader’. “Feat Liette” also revisits the by now over-familiar acid sound, but its 303-led grind features a kooky female vocal, the squat party techno stomp of “Vader” breaks into an over the top funk bassline and, despite starting with dense electro 808s,
“Arrested Development” turns into an unforgettable farce thanks to a squalling guitar solo. “Chatters” also shows that Gesloten Cirkel isn’t beyond crafting sublime melodies – its complex rhythms have echoes of early Lone – while his tongue is firmly in cheek on the Gothic vocals and doomy synth lines of “Stakan”. It’s possible that “Stakan” will help him gain a wider appeal, but even if it doesn’t, this hardly seems to matter. Submit X has set the standard for all other electronic music albums to aspire to in 2014.
1. Zombiemachine Acid
3. Submit X
7. Feat Liette
8. Arrested Development
9. Secret Area