Circle (band)

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This article is about the modern Finnish band. For the 1960s American rock and roll band, see The Cyrkle.
This article is about the modern Finnish band. For the 1970s jazz band, see Circle (jazz band).
Circle band.jpg
Background information
Origin Pori, Finland
Genres Krautrock, experimental rock, avant-rock
Years active 1991-present
Labels Ektro Records
No Quarter
Bad Vugum
Website Band website
Members Jussi Lehtisalo
Mika Rättö
Janne Westerlund
Tomi Leppänen
Julius Jääskeläinen
Pekka Jääskeläinen
Tuomas Laurila
Past members Olli Joukio
Teemu Korpipää
Jyrki Laiho
Jani Viitanen
Teemu Elo
Janne Peltomäki
Janne Tuomi
Bruce Duff

Circle is an experimental rock band, founded in Pori, Finland in 1991.[1] Their eclectic style is "ever changing, ever Circular", classified into genres such as progressive, Krautrock, ambient, heavy metal, speed-kraut, and avant-rock, among others. On some albums they have defined themselves as New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal (NWOFHM).[2]


Formed in 1991, Circle is the most visible and prolific name in the Finnish avant-rock underground. Having survived innumerable lineup changes, the band and its founder, bassist/vocalist/guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo, have constantly reinvented themselves, weaving hypnotic mantras out of exacting Krautrock beats, heavy riffs, arty noise, dark psychedelia, and soundtrack-like beauty. Hard, chilly repetition has served as the lone unifying theme throughout 15 years of experiments.

Circle's line-up has constantly changed over the years as the founder, Jussi Lehtisalo, is the only member who has been in the band the entire time. However, since recording 2003's Guillotine the core line-up has consisted of Lehtisalo with Mika Rättö, Tomi Leppänen and Janne Westerlund. Since 2009, Julius Jääskeläinen and Pekka Jääskeläinen have appeared on all recordings by the band. Sound engineer and experimental musician/composer Tuomas Laurila is also credited as a member of the band on a number of releases.

Circle are known for their extremely prolific release schedule. In 2007, for instance, they released three studio albums, three live albums (including one double CD), a 7" single and three album re-issues, one of which (Arkades) included an entire disc of unreleased material. However, in more recent years Circle releases have slowed, as the members of the group spend more time on side projects. Lehtisalo, Leppänen and Westerlund also comprise the regular members of stoner rock spin-off group, Pharaoh Overlord. Rättö and Lehtisalo also perform and record together as a duo, and as a trio with Kauko Röyhkä. Other projects featuring members of Circle include Steel Mammoth, Ektroverde, Plain Ride, Lusiferiinin Armosta, K-X-P, Aavikko and Doktor Kettu, amongst many others.

Whilst recording the album Miljard in 2006 the band was filmed by Esko Lönnberg, and the resulting movie, Saturnus Reality released as a DVD, by No Quarter Records (2007). Bizarrely, Lönnberg's attempt to make the film itself became the subject of another movie, The Man With The Video Camera, filmed by Petri Hagner, which has also been released as a DVD by Fonal Records (2010). The band are also closely associated with the filmmaker Mika Taanila: in 2011 they provided a live soundtrack to his 1998 silent film Pori (released as an album, Suur-Pori); and in 2012 recorded several new tracks for Six Day Run, also released subsequently as an album.

In 2011 Circle/Pharaoh Overlord were artists-in-residence at Dutch rock festival Roadburn Festival.[3]



Live albums[edit]

Soundtrack albums[edit]

EPs - 7"[edit]

Compilation appearances[edit]


External links[edit]