Shore Obsessed

Soft Circle ‎SKU: PPM39



Soft Circle's first album, 2007's Full Bloom, made for an odd, entrancing hybrid. It had moments as relaxing and soothing as a new age record, yet Soft Circle mainman Hisham Bharoocha's work in neo-no-wave acts Lightning Bolt and Black Dice meant Full Bloom occasionally strayed into darker, uglier, and more abrasive terrain.

Like many of his 21st-century contemporaries, Bharoocha suggested that pretty, meditative noise was only a few knob cranks away from becoming fearsome, plug-your-ears noise. That philosophy still drives Shore Obsessed. Take a cursory listen, though, and you might not even think it's the work of the same man who produced Full Bloom. Shore Obsessed is built out of short, tight dance songs unlike that long, meandering album. You can actually shake your stuff to these 10 synth-pop and disco tunes-- while singing along, no less-- which certainly isn't something you could have said about any of Bharoocha's other projects.

Bharoocha first came to my attention as the frighteningly intense drummer behind Black Dice's early singles-- and then as the tribal virtuoso who helped the band stretch out into the glorious Boredoms-esque peaks of Beaches and Canyons-- but often on Full Bloom his drumming was reduced to a pitter-pat running through the background. On Shore Obsessed he shows off the big, bold funk chops that were often hidden in his previous work. For a guy who fractured rhythms into a zillion jagged pieces on Black Dice's Number 3, it's thrilling to hear Bharoocha revel in the bubblegum joy of a Eurodisco pulse on "Treading Water". Reading that, of course, you might be groaning: "Another dance-rock guy content to peddle well-worn disco beats?" But Bharoocha's clearly done his homework. Shore Obsessed reveals a producer and songwriter who's listened deeply to a wide variety of dance styles, figuring out the rhythmic and melodic ideas that make them tick before trying to put his own stamp on them.

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