Drum Circus is a shortlived Swiss band founded by the great drummer Peter Giger. The band he formed had three drummers (!) and many other musicians, including Joel Vandroogenbroeck, from Brainticket, playing Organ, Piano, Flute and Sitar. Carole Muriel from Brainticket appears also in the band doing vocals. Other curious thing about their only album is that the lyrics of two songs were written by the LSD guru Timothy Leary. After all this definition one can only think that the music contained in this album is rather crazy and in fact it is. If you like drumming/percussion, you will love this album.
The sidelong eponymous track "Magic Theatre", has many things and ideas included. The lyrics are inspired in the Tibetan Book of The Dead, written by Leary. The sound is varied, with a percussion intro, nice organ, good flute and drum passage, some drums with a collective chanting and then fantastic sitar sounds that are very skillfully played, along with some crazy saxophone, mridanga (indian percussion) and indian-inspired chanting. Then are some avant-garde parts with percussion, sax improvisation and great organ sounds. After some jamming, there is some spoken phrases interpreted by the singers like in a play. After that a calm part with sitar, flute and percussion. Then some jazzy parts, with jazzy piano and saxophone, plus very good drumming. In the end there is the return of the theme under the spoken part.
The other songs are good also. "Now It Hurts You" is short, but has excellent sitar, organ and drumming. The vocals are strange in this song. "Papera" is a rather jazzy song with some soft saxophone arrangement and good piano. Percussion is always present and very interesting. The song has some changes during it.
"La-Si-Do" is the strangest song with strange vocals and dominated by percussion, with many different sounds generating a good combination.
"Groove Rock" is really groovy, with superb saxophone soloing and great organ and percussion backing the solo. The song is jazzy and the highlights are the superb drumming and the great saxophone.
"All Things Pass" has an interesting piano and percussive sounds. The singing is inspired. The piano arrangement is somewhat jazzy and the drumming parts are very improvisational, with the usage of the less used parts of the drums, like cymbals.
Overall is a nice album with a great mix of psychedelic indian influences and jazz and impressive drumming. The sound is not so much varied and some shorter songs resemble the long suite, but this is a little common for their genre (Krautrock).
Songs / Tracks Listing:
- Magic Theater
- Now It Hurts You
- Groove Rock
- All Things Pass
Line-up / Musicians:
- Peter Giger / drums, percussions
- Marc Hellman / drums
- Alex Bally / drums
- Joel Vandroogenbroeck / organ, flute, sitar
- Gerd Dudek / sax, flute
- Isla Eckinger / bass
- Carole Muriel / vocals
- Polo Hofer / vocals