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Circle Around by Dagobert Bohm

"Open air," the title track of Dagobert Bohm’s 1999 released (released this year), Circle Around, appropriately describes the environment for all of the music contained here. Marked by skillful playing of quite aurally appealing chords throughout, it’s an album aimed at "bathing the listener in harmony and languorous melody."

This is a solo set with Bohm being joined by classical guitar and fretless bass on only two tracks. However, I must say that, while he does a good job of staying true to his mission of making this album completely about melody and harmony, but without vocals or accompaniment (much like a classical pianist’s solo project), you must prepare yourself for a full 13-track set of this. Of course, that could be exactly what you’re seeking. Certainly, this effort is not unpalatable and doesn’t substance or personality. In fact, I think it’s saturated with both of those qualities. Tunes like "Open Air," the title track, "Ice on Tired Trees" (one of my favs)" and "Solo" can certainly provide witness to that. However, you you should know that the set is devoid of the usual trappings of studio production. Does that spell "monotony?" That would be your call. Regardless, the quiet intensity of the set certainly cannot be ignored.

Bohm does clearly know his way around a guitar and a concept, as this is well-written material. A few cuts from Circle Around on a quiet afternoon would be just great for me. For others, maybe anything short of an entire afternoon of this project would not be satisfactory. I do recommend a listen in any case, as this is certainly an album worthy of some degree of attention.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dagobert Bohm
  • CD Title: Circle Around
  • Genre: New Age
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Reissue Original Release: 2008
  • Record Label: Ozella Music
  • Tracks: Open Air, Opus 71, Jorien, Circle Around, Bigfoot, Ice on Tired Trees, Solo, Cadenza (Excerpt from Bird Suite), From Up Above, Boardwalk, Opus 59, Fast Spacer, Dreaming Strings
  • Musicians: Dagobert Bohm (acoustic guitar), Harish Powar (classical guitar), Manfred Zepf (fretless bass)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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