Based on name alone, The Divided Circle suggest a macabre inner sanctum with perhaps an interest in geometrically precise electronica. It turns out that opinion is not far from the truth but as their new EP title ‘These Regrets’ implies, there is a core of sadness underneath the glacial pop surroundings.
‘The Bright Lights’ sets the tone with a wash of melancholic keyboards, evoking a lonely, futuristic city. It takes a full two minutes for any vocals to come in and when they do they are gentle yet haunting and foreboding as they predict “the ghost lives on”. The title track recalls the early subtlety Depeche Mode or even the dark disco of DK7. ‘Monster’ takes us back to our childhood with the line “You’re the monster under the bridge, waiting for me” but the overall chill effect generated by the Hammond organ frills and disconsolate guitar is definitely aimed at adults. Elsewhere, skeletal Kraftwerk-esque synths and steady beats cast a black spell on the moving ‘Transcience’ and the only blot on the copybook is the use of digitised vocals on the otherwise lovely ‘All At Sea’.
‘These Regrets’ contains the kind of quietly insidious and eerily atmospheric electronic music which is all too rare nowadays. They remind me of several of the fine acts on the Australian label Hidden Shoal Recordings and long may their enigmatic journey continue.
DK7, Glassacre, Kraftwerk