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Circulus

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Biography

A fanciful blend of traditional British folk, prog rock, psychedelia, and folk-rock, with a cultural mindset that is rarely seen outside of a revival screening of The Wicker Man, Circulus is the brainchild of Michael Tyack, a songwriter and musician who has set out to create music that exists in the 20th and 16th centuries at once. Based in South London, with Tyack the only constant member after dozens of personnel shifts, Circulus incorporate the drums, guitars, and Moog synthesizers you'd expect from a rock band with a retro early-'70s approach, but also features a variety of medieval instruments, including crumhorns, recorders, and a reed instrument called the rauch pfeifer, whose intense volume Tyack declares "isn't really acceptable to modern ears." Circulus are nearly as well-known for their collective fashion sense as for their music, with Tyack costuming himself and his accompanists in thrift-shop capes, caftans, hats, and masks that are equally influenced by the British hippie scene and Tyack's self-proclaimed model in style, Philip the Good, who was the Duke of Burgundy in the 13th century. Add to this the stated belief of Tyack and his bandmates in pixies, fairies, and "old gods" and you get a group whose reputation for eccentricity precedes it, but Circulus have also won a loyal audience for the strength of their music, with fans ranging from traditional music enthusiasts to death metal addicts. Circulus made their recorded debut in 1999 with an EP entitled Giantism, but it wasn't until 2005 that the band found a sympathetic record label interesting in financing an album-length recording — Rise Above Records, an extreme metal label that issued Circulus' full-length debut, The Lick on the Tip of an Envelope Yet to Be Sent. A second album, Clocks Are Like People, followed a year later.

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