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Artist: CIRCLE X
Title: Prehistory
Format: CD
Label: Blue Chopsticks
Country: USA
Price: $14.00
"Some of you may remember Circle Xs corrosive, caterwauling, and unutterably fabulous self-titled EP, which was originally released in 1979 and reissued a little over a decade ago by Jim ORourkes and David Grubbs Dexters Cigar label. Now the story picks up again with the long-overdue first CD release of Prehistory, Circle Xs first full-length album. Prehistory was recorded in 1981 and released in 1983 by Index Records, making them, strangely enough, labelmates with Wall of Voodoo. Circle X were formed in 1978 from the remnants of No Fun and the I-Holes, Louisville, Kentuckys first two punk bands. (No Fun, also featuring Tara Key of the Babylon Dance Band and Antietam, finally appeared on the excellent Bold Beginnings: An Incomplete History of Louisville Punk compilation.) Circle X got the hell out of Dodge quickly enough, settling upon New York, then Dijon, France, and then back to New York again. The self-titled EP is a lurching, squalling monster. Prehistory is a tire-burning left turn. The pendulum arc of Tony Pinottis vocals still contain throat-shredding howls, but expands to contain croons, moans, speech. Bruce Witsiepes lacerating guitar is dumped into a dubbish aquarium of reverb, and Rik and Dave Letendre worry obsessive polyrhythms nearly to death. After the trash-compaction of their first EP, this is the sound of unhurried, committed exploration. So where did Circle X fit in among their peers? Its fair to describe them as a genre unto themselves. They came from punk rock and art school and sounded like none of their potential allies. They arrived in New York at the tail end of No Wave, at the same time that equally ornery bands like Swans and Sonic Youth were getting revved up. Circle X are every bit as distinctive and attitudinal as Throbbing Gristle, PiL, Theoretical Girls, DNA, or Mars, and yet they dont particularly sound like any of these groups. After Prehistory, they resurfaced with four white-vinyl 7"s, (later collected as the box set The Ivory Tower) and the 1994 Celestial, an album for the then-fledgling Matador label. Bruce Witsiepe passed away in 1995, marking the end of the group. Critic Jordan Mamone hit the nail on the head when he wrote: Every rare utterance from these unsentimental adventurers possesses a passion and a manifesto-writing fervor usually reserved for turn-of-the-century culture movements."- Blue Chopsticks
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Artist: CIRCLE X
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Dexters Cigar
Country: USA
Price: $12.00
"1996 release, somehow available again. Dexters Cigar is the now defunct Drag City subsidiary reissue label run by Jim ORourke (unofficially, the first 2 releases were the Mayo Thompson and Red Krayola reissues; the label now has separate catalog numbers and design motifs from Drag City proper). Most releases on this label are now out of print or soon-to-be. Reissue of the debut (recorded 1979) 12" EP by this group, originally from Louisville before migrating to NYC. A "seminal no wave classic"; in the words of Jordan N. Mamone: "brutal outbursts of feedback-and-blare emitted by the late Bruce Wisiepe remain perhaps the most underrated and unknown influences in underground rock." - FE.

Artist: CIRCLE X
Title: Live In Dijon 79
Format: 10"
Label: Fractal
Country: France
Price: $22.00
"Circle X new release! An unreleased live by this legendary cult no-wave NY band after the group disbanded in 1995. In around fifteen years existence since their formation in 1978, the history of Circle X can be divided in 2 parts and for each, with few but always powerful releases: the late 70s / early 80s with 2 singles + 1 vinyl LP, and for the second one: 4 singles, 1 CD and 1 mini CD for the early until mid-90s. Today, its a great delight to see the first official Circle X live album. And what a document! The Circle X historical concert at the University of Dijon, the first gig in France at their debut in 1979 when the group was established in that city. The performance of the band that night was short but truly outstanding. A very, very, high tension.... No need to say more!!! The players were: Dave Letendre on drum, Rik Letendre on guitar, Tony Pinotti on vocal and Bruce Witsiepe on guitar. The present 10" vinyl edition also includes 3 unreleased bonus tracks with the first studio version of Beyond Standard (1979) and 2 other studio tracks from the last period (1994), plus insert with liner notes by Rik Letendre and some rare photos. The sound quality isnt perfect but good enough for make this object acceptable and valid. In fact, you have here, 30 years later, the real first Circle X record like it had to be released at that time!! Well, call it like you want.. but its already and obviously a fantastic and an essential release." -Fractal
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Artist: CIRCLE X
Title: s/t
Format: 12"
Label: Insolito
Country: Germany
Price: $20.00
"Formed 1978 in New York, Circle X was born out of the ashes of No Fun and the I-Holes as Louisvilles first punk rock band. Once the lineup of Circle X solidified, the formerly-punk band lunged headfirst into weirder, artier territory. Whether the big citys burgeoning No Wave scene influenced Circle X or they influenced the scene is unclear; what is clear, though, is that Circle X was the most unique, most mysterious, and most un-heralded band hailing from that place and time. In France for nine months with new manager Bernard Zekri, Circle X toured from their base in Dijon, garnering strong press and stronger public reaction while writing new material as they went. An untitled four-song EP saw the light of day in 1979. That untitled 12-inch debut was practically without antecedent. Its a lurching, squalling monster. Identified only by a symbol on the cover (a spray-painted circle with an "X" through it; the spelled-out name first appeared in 83), it pits Pinottis screeched vocals against Witsiepe and the Letendres bass-less, barely contained distorto-blare. The hatred and rage on this thing is palpable and when it coalesces perfectly with the music, as it does on the lead track, Tender, its pretty damn effective. Nothing sounded like this in 1979. They arrived in New York at the tail end of No Wave, at the same time that equally ornery bands like Swans and Sonic Youth were getting revved up. Circle X are every bit as distinctive and attitudinal as Throbbing Gristle, PiL, Theoretical Girls, DNA, or Mars, yet they dont much sound like any of them. We proudly represent this masterpiece after thirty years again for the public. It has lost none of its intensity and rage. 180 gram vinyl in tip-on jackets that bear the original artwork and poly lined black inner sleeve plus liner notes." - Insolito.
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Artist: CIRCLE X
Title: s/t
Format: 7"
Label: Poutre Apparente
Country: France
Price: $9.00
"Initially conceived in Louisville in 1978 from the ashes of two local punk bands by Tony Pinotti, Bruce Witsiepe (coming from No Fun) and Rik and Dave Letendre (coming from I-Holes), the band Circle X moved to New York soon after. They encountered there a young german painter, Ralph Neun, linked to the art school of Darmstadt. Ralph Neun was living in NYC for about a year, and decided to record a song evoking the city: Rolling Stones "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)". Ralph Neun booked and financed some studio time and asked Circle X to back him. As a deal, Circle X were free to record one of their composition on the other side: "look at the people". The tracks were recorded at Bayside recording studio somewhere in Long Island during a hot summer day of 1979. Rik Letendre being lost on his way to the studio, Bruce Witsiepe taught at the last minute the guitar riffs of "look at the people" to Ralph Neun who had never played any instrument before. Soon after, Ralph Neun and Circle X parted ways: Ralph Neun went back to Germany and Circle X relocated to Dijon in the center of France following an invitation by French manager Bernard Zekri. While staying in Dijon, Circle X were pleasantly surprised to hear again from Ralph Neun who invited them to participate to a festival organized by the Shvantz fanzine (to which Ralph was contributing). In the meantime Ralph Neun had pressed 200 copies of a 7" featuring the two tracks previously recorded in New York and representing the first Circle X vinyl output. The festival, held in november 79 in Darmstadt, was a multimedia art exhibition covering performance, installation, film, video, and music. Circle X, the only non german act, were performing there together with Bildstörung, Der Plan, Minus Delta T and Mittagspause amongst others. The festival was documented by a xerox catalog corresponding to the fifth issue of the Shvantz fanzine. Each of the 150 copies of the catalog included a copy of the 7". The record slipped into a slot made in the front page of the catalog, was coming with blank labels just decorated with an enigmatic pencil written Circle X symbol, and a plain white sleeve cover stamped with minimal credits. The 50 copies of the 7" left were sold or given without the catalog. We hope you will enjoy this present reissue which is the last missing piece of the puzzle and certainly the lesser known amongst the recent record reissues documenting the early developments of Circle X (check also the 10" "Live In Dijon79" on Fractal records from 2009 featuring unissued demos and live recordings from a concert held at the University of Dijon in 1979)." - Poutre Apparente.
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