Artist Profile – Russian Circles

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Official Site

MySpace Page

RC is a Chicago, IL instrumental rock band that were formed out of ashes of another instrumental outfit called Dakota/Dakota. Since their formation in 2004, the band toured along with the likes of Mono, Pelican and Minus The Bear and they also opened for Tool during their UK tour in 2007.

Enter-150x150 Artist Profile – Russian Circles
Enter - 2006

Formed in 2004, the band initially consisted of Colin DeKuiper, Mike Sullivan and Dave Turncrantz. They first recorded a self-titled EP, which was followed by a debut full-length – 2006 “Enter” that came out on Flameshovel label.

All Music Guide commented on the album – “Comparisons to Pelican and Isis have been tiresome at best — and inaccurate at worst — as RC differ in key ways. The construction of their tunes is more intricate, not reliant as much on the heavy riff and the elegant phrase — though it’s not quite as delicate as Explosions in the Sky or Growing, either.”

Further on, AMG compared the album to “a form of instrumental poetry, woven, articulated slowly and deliberately. and concluded that “the buzz on this band in Chicago has been big and it’s easy to see why. Enter is a very impressive debut.”

Station-150x150 Artist Profile – Russian Circles
Station - 2008

In 2007, DeKuiper was replaced with Brian Cook (Botch / These Arms Are Snakes) and in the following year the band produced “Station”, their second full-length. The album was produced by Matt Bayles (Isis, Soundgarden, Botch, Mastodon) and was their first record for Seattle, WA label Suicide Squeeze.

AMG commented on the album – “Texture and dimension have become a big part of Russian Circles sound on this six- track album. They’ve tried to get themselves out of the post-rock “build up and up and up and finally explode” equation that has actually hampered the growth of the music. They haven’t left metal behind, but have tempered it somewhat with some softer sounds, a more gradual expansion, and layered textures on any given theme, or some set thereof. About half the album relies on this technique, and admittedly, it can be a bit frustrating on first listen because there are so many parts folded into one another it simply isn’t as obvious as Enter was.”

In the end, AMG concluded that “The bottom line is that this diversity is not a lack of focus, but growth and development that make the band stand out from the pack, making the effort to spin this a few times yield very big rewards.”

Geneva-150x150 Artist Profile – Russian Circles
Geneva - 2009

The band’s latest effort (as of 2009) is “Geneva”, which, like its predecessor, also came out on Suicide Squeeze. AMG commented on the album – “On Geneva, their third full-length outing, we find a band that has matured as songwriters. With a larger, more atmospheric set of tools at their disposal, the band crafts songs that are more about buildup than release. Instead of down the usual “build, build, build, destroy” route that’s so common, the songs grow organically, with changes unfolding so naturally that the big finish is more of a logical conclusion than an explosion.”

AMG concluded that “Geneva is an album that builds like an old building being demolished, starting out with an explosion and ending with the dust clearing to reveal a changed landscape that’s ready for something new, as if the band is symbolically clearing away their old sound in favor of something new and exciting. If you weren’t already on the Russian Circles bandwagon, this is the perfect opportunity to jump on.”

Current Line-Up:

Brian Cook (Botch, These Arms Are Snakes)

Dave Turncrantz

Mike Sullivan

Former Members:

Colin DeKuiper (Like Young)

Discography:

Enter CD / LP (Hewhocorrupts Inc. + Friction, 2006 / Flameshovel, 2006 / Black + Flameshovel, 2007 / Sargent House, unknown year)

Upper Ninety 7″ (Suicide Squeeze, 2006)

Station CD / LP (Suicide Squeeze, 2008 / Daymare, 2008 / Sargent House, 2008)

Russian Circles / These Arms Are Snakes 12″ (Sargent House, 2008)

Geneva CD / 2×12″ (Suicide Squeeze, 2009 / Sargent House, 2009)

Compilation Tracks:

“Station” on All Areas Volume 09 (Visions Magazine, 2008)

“Station” on Cargo Sampler #100 / 08 (Cargo, 2008)

“Harper Lewis” on Independent Innovative Creative (Vital Sales Markating, 2008)

“Fathom” on All Areas Volume 108 (Visions Magazine, 2009)


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