Closed Circuits – Live Tape

Closed Circuits Live Tape

Industrial white noise, a workmanlike clanging and erratic fuzzy shivers of noise do battle with a despairing, wailing tormented vocal on Holy Intro. There’s a sense of both barren expanse and claustrophobia at play on this lead track that quickly and effectively plunges you into the distinctive and menacing atmosphere of Closed Circuits. The churning grumble of Come Assassins is better yet, the voice a possessed and strangely pronounced muttering in the fog of noise, odd flutters of electronic trills rising up out of the mire before the track collapse into a sullen grimy rattle that sounds oddly like a demonic coffee percolator, as a threatening march of sound rises and the title is repeated in a submissive fervour.

A determined metallic tap-tap repeats on an Electrical Hex, a gutteral utterance of; ‘They will not give heed to your warnings’ is both a threat and statement of intent before the track launches itself into a cloud of frenzied maniacal noise, the sounds jostling, buffeting angrily like commuters played at triple-speed. Within the squall arise moments of delirious rhythm and tribal power, a bassy descending pounding contrasted by his vocal scratching at the edges of collapse. It does erupt into near nauseating dementia as the track draws to a close, before a pitchshifted squeaky voice closes the track.

Penultimate track The River has a rattling sound like a broken school bell over glitchy, sputtering noise and an ominous ceaseless wind-tunnel like drone. Like many of the best moments on this record its visually evocative and immediately creates cinematic snapshots in the mind’s eye, for me they’re the harsh contrast between dark and light, at once both troubling and unsettling but steeped in a peculiar sense of wonder and optimism. Here it is the vocal that brings that the most, two murmurs, one deep and glottal, the other weary and hopeful, sharing the lyrics a beat apart whilst a reassuring creaking guitar swoons in the background.

This EP ends with St. Vitus/The Drift, a bulldozer of sound at first, moving unstoppably forward, bass a heartbeat, guitar scratching like a radio trying to make contact and lyrics inaudible and mantralike in the background. It all comes to a close with a softer, looping sound, the wash of waves and what sounds like the line; ‘Every man and every woman is a star.’

At once challenging and uncomfortable, this is a fascinating and visceral listen, its industrial noise will be polarising, but listened to at the right time and in the right frame of mind, this is a powerful, strange, beguiling and passionate record.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.