Circle of Phenomenon (75'49") is another step forward on the restless journey of Michael Daniel and Phil Booth. Their music is not really about tomorrow, that is just where it sounds like it comes from. Aspiring to the past, present and future all at once, this is a work to get inside of, not just listen to. Unfolding beneath the yawn of the night sky the four tracks form a constellation constantly melting into and out of being. In a remarkable consistency of mood Circle of Phenomenon achieves a sustained atmosphere - away from the familiar climax and release of conventional content. In arrangements of gentle gravity, which take shape in recurring motives and portentous contrasts, expressive gestures register and resonate across time. From textures of desolation, and still chill zones, to a charged musical charm, Daniel & Booth embrace a great spirit of openness, energy and exploration. Never far from the scenes of Encore and Ricochet this EM release is not a mere compilation of sonic data - here an enigma is being circled. Swirling strings land in dark restless drones, leading minds to roam as much as the sequencers do. Where electric guitar solos rise in liquid leads, an energy strengthens below, is made continuous, and attains direction. A yearning Mellotron surges with vitality, and is soon displaced by dreamy synth lines. Hovering above the pulse of echoing patterns melodies race ahead, only to recede into a shadowy spiral. With an open-endedness true to the spirit of the Berlin-School, Circle of Phenomenon means to expand the genre. Heading out upon the deep Daniel & Booth shelter in their dream. Yet, as introspective as it is, this album is constantly reaching out - transporting the listener in ways they could never imagine.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 2 September 2021