Review

Circus Underwater

Circus Underwater

Soundway • 1984

Friends Richard Sales and Jay Yarnall from Maryland were avid fans of prog rock, as you can hear on their project Circus Underwater’s only album, released in 1984. The flat guitar experiments by one Robert Fripp seem to have appealed to them. Psychedelic influences are also present, which was already a bit out of step with the times in the eighties. The interesting thing about this is that they were not disinclined to use electronic equipment either. In addition to the keyboards, a drum computer is used, which takes the atmosphere away from the usual rock noise. They prefer a clear sound that was also present in the prog rock of their day, but under slightly different auspices. The tracks on Circus Underwater are less songs than jams, in which flat sounds are allowed to abound. This positioned them between styles that, from the perspective of the time, might have been difficult to reconcile – although Pink Floyd had long since begun to bring such things together on songs like »Shine on You Crazy Diamond« in the Seventies. Circus Underwater had merely gone one step further. With extremely charming results. »Entrance of the Deacon« might even be described as melodic ambient to the exclusion of guitar strings. Originally, the album ended with this title track. Six unreleased tracks are added for the re-release, extending the record to more than twice its original length.