Circle - Six Day Run (Ektro)

The new soundtrack to your next exercise regime...
Release Date: 
16 May 2013 - 11:30pm

I'm not into jogging, running or any other form of regimented exercise (my big fat belly is a testament to this) but if I was, this is the stuff I'd have on my headphones as I pounded the streets or the treadmill. Founding member Jussi Lehtisalo (who also does bass, guitars and vox - not that there's really any vocals on here) made Six Day Run as a soundtrack to Mika Taanila's short film of the same name. Apparently there are mentalists who run for six days in some sort of weird extreme endurance sport? Freaks...

Anyways, the six tracks are titled Day One, Day Two, Day Three etc and, in my mind at least, each track appears to represent the mental and physical state of the runners. Day One starts optimistically enough; one riff on a clean guitar is repeated over and over. It's hypnotic and is definitely running music. It's not complex but mid-way in some nice harmonies kick in - the organic nature of this tune reminds me of Brant Bjork, and it's something for your attention to latch on to as you jog about the place while I'm sipping fine brandy on a chaise-lounge. Day Two is grittier and mildly industrial; the jaw is set as you push through the fatigue and become more focused. Some ambient keys swirl and whirl through the composition. I will make it. I will! I WILL!

Day Three highlights the psychosis setting in - why the fuck would anyone try to run for six days straight? The jazzy drumming loops around the repetitive electro signals. The dead eyes of the runners stare blankly as they stagger around the track. It's slightly fuzzed out with snappy percussion and delayed guitars that imply the onset of hallucinations. The track reaches a crescendo then cuts to the hysterical meanderings of Day Four. There's an easy comparison to be made between the hypnotic riffs and ritual dancing; the endurance and the exhaustion are suggested by some lovely, trippy delayed guitars over the main riff that force you to carry on running/dancing.  Day Five is hyper-hyper - frantic, even. This album isn't metal but it's bloody catchy. Some bass breaks are thrown in with some uplifting synth layers. With this on your iPod, you would run and run...

Day Six offers a Kraftwerk-esque structure - the soul has departed the body which has been running and running for six straight days. Death is all that's left - but it's an uplifting track as the last wo/man standing takes the trophy, surrounded by the corpses of those who could not keep up.

An excellent album whether you're exercising or not. Top marks.