Plasticine Jewel by Circarama | Reviews by Indie Accent

PLASTICINE JEWEL
by CIRCARAMA


"“Plasticine Jewel” did not meet my initial fears at all."


CIRCARAMA DEBUT ALBUM
RELEASED ON 2017


Old is new. One of the most prominent features of pop culture is its fascination with anything that is “retro” or “vintage”. Perhaps we could compare pop culture to a swinging pendulum in which different phenomenon take turns for their time to trend, or rather, pop culture is like a carousel—where the people who ride it exposed to a variety of different colours in a cyclical motion. What has passed shall always will, return. The hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” is a tribute to the 80s culture, the kits in the upcoming World Cup are all inspired by Maradona-era fashion, and even established local bands like White Shoes and The Couples Company, and The Upstairs rely heavily on their interpretations of older styles of music. Following the footsteps of those two acts, the up and coming Circarama, have a similar mentality in which nostalgia is a weapon, but instead of disco, their silver bullets are inspired by the late 60s.

As a primarily classic rock man, Circarama has been instrumental in helping me familiarise myself with the local music scene. Their sound, their appearance and how they present themselves instantly reminds me of my long dead idols. I watched them live for the first time in March 2016 at Salihara in a shared-billing with the like of Feast and The Trees & The Wild. I was charmed by their session and was immediately hooked by their music. I distinctively remember that they played “I Don’t Mind” an old-fashioned, psych rocker with some elements of prog, and “Trap 1” a song that perfectly showcases the band electric dynamism and dreamy quality (two of these songs appear in the album). Ever since that first show, I’ve been eagerly waiting for a full release.

Before I listened to “Plasticine Jewel” I have to admit that I had a few doubts. Not that I don’t believe in Circarama, but rather, I was afraid that the album could fall into the same rabbit hole as other “retro” acts, over-relying on it’s older inspiration that it ended up being cliche and boring. Thankfully, I didn’t get that impression at all after the end of the last track. The album managed to deliver enough variation to keep it fresh from start to finish despite its dated source material. Aside from the two songs that I already mentioned, my highlights are “Sweet Shining” a sweet tune with a mantra like chats that will charm any George Harrison fan. The instrumental “Kasuari” highlighted with some awesome drumming (a prominent feature throughout the album) and the bouncy acoustic number “Since You Gone”. There are some moments in which the song may feel a tad too predictable for a listener that’s familiar with the psychedelic music, but overall the fun parts outshine it. “Plasticine Jewel” did not meet my initial fears at all. It obviously an album made by people who genuinely love and respect the legends of the 60s, and as a result, the songs are genuine quality works and not merely tribute numbers.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Also, if you are interested in how these trippy tracks will sound live, then go see Circarama perform their new album on March 24th. The “Plasticine Jewel Concert” will be held at IFI Thamrin and they will be accompanied by Sky Sucahyo. Check them out.





REVIEWED BY: NABIL ARGYA
222 DAYS AGO

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