Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

31 January 2009

Celestial, just celestial

UPDATE: This post was re-uploaded & more music added
09/12/2013. Enjoy, NØ.

Recently ISKSP posted up Circle X's first release, an untitled four-song EP on Celluloid Records, from 1980. It revealed the talents of raw, manic iconoclasts set on tearing down & reinventing the stuff of rock musick itself with a strong philosophical bent & intense early standards like the relentless "Onward Christian Soldiers" & the blues-tinged terrorism of "Tender." The record’s cover - identifiable only by a spray painted circle with an X through it, a symbol the group chose instead of a name - gratingly reflected its content. "Marketeers" inevitably forced a spelled out "Circle X" on them.

I hadn't listened to the band for many years, but after listening to that first release, I dug out all of their other stuff I have & that's all I've been listening to since then. The band next recorded the equally inventive but more varied Prehistory LP, unreleased until 1983, on the California-based consortium of Enigma & Index Records. Some say this recording served as a crucial blueprint for the subsequent New York noise scene that spawned Sonic Youth, Swans & Live Skull. The LP went out of print rapidly, but was later reissued semi-legally by the French label Sordide Sentimentale with the addition of a booklet of essay texts & skin disorder photos. Mutant Sounds has posted this, in my opinion, the bands finest. (Nothin' Sez...Happily reissued in 2008 by David Grubbs' Blue Chopsticks label.)

When I realized that Celestial was unavailable anywhere that I could find, I decided it was my duty to post it here. If you don't know this band or haven't heard then of late, or were looking for this release, then without further ado...

"The morphology of the song & its text; building blocks words of inaudibility. The word may be dead & its object the text yet the entirety of the project may create a conditional world where the right perception of the song will change the world. After hearing: Liberation; Late in the song like night. The distant sputter & hiss: Man stands as a swan. The list of ingredients which constitute it as a thing:

Part A. Part B. Part C.
Ship's Pulley

Rope - Coiled

Guitar - Detuned

Open, Standard

Trigger - Envelope

Korg ----------- Casio


Bass drum - 2 x 4 - Pony
Clamps - Orange

Temper Metal Rim

Digitech Blue Box


Boss - Lavender - Box

PA Budapest Station

Mosque Konya


The Egg Shaker

Device Radio Band



File - Chunka - Loop

Long Squeak

Slam - Splice - Hiss




The Body, its Voice

Guided by:

On the cellular level, the equipment's interior construction, the creation of the conditional

Bruce Witsiepe - voice, guitar, & tapes; Tony Pinotti - voice, synthesizer & tapes; Rik Letendre - bass & keyboards; Martin Köb - drums. Violin on "Crow's Ghost" & "They Come Prancing" - Lois Dilivio. All music by Circle X, all lyrics by Bruce Witsiepe except "They Come Prancing" - Lakota traditional courtesy of Bureau of American Ethnology Collection.

Circle X - Celestial, Matador OLE 091-1 , 1994.
decryption codes in comments

Side 1/2 A -
Fig. #1 - Kyoko
Fig. #2 - Pulley
Fig. #3 - Crow's Ghost
Fig. #4 - Gothic Fragment

Side Ø B -
Fig. #5 - Tell My Horse
Fig. #6 - Some Things Don't Grow Back
Fig. #7 - Little Celestial Poet
Fig. #8 - They Came Prancing


The band recorded four white-vinyl seven-inch singles for Matador, American Gothic & Lungcast Records that were released over the course of 1992. Titled The Ivory Tower, the records were compiled into a box set & re-released under the auspices of EDITIONS ANTI-UTOPIA in mid-’93. If anyone has these, please post them & let me know. Please!

UPDATE: Moments after I posted this, a friend from Portugal hooked me up with all four of these gems. These four records are stunning from start to finish. Thanks Imbroglio

I was recently asked to post up The Ivory Tower, as it is not really readily available (I saw one advertised for $300 online somewhere). Well, here it is...

Circle X – The Ivory Tower, Editions Anti-Utopia 4 X 7”, 1993.
decryption code in comments

 Disc 1 -
1a 33/Puerto Rigan Ghost (after MARS)
1b The Pleasure Gallows

Disc 2 -
2a Compression of the Species
2b Fail Better

Disc 3 -
3a Shiny Blue Orb
3b Crooky Crain

Disc 4 -
4a Some things Don’t Grow Back
4b Champ Pourri



  1. Thank you for this one, Nate. A band I knew absolutely nothing about. The titles alone are great and do not disappoint.

    On a tangent, do you by chance recall a SF short story from '68 or '69 entitled "The Luger Is a 9mm Automatic Handgun with a Parabellum Action" ? I think it was published in a New Worlds paperback anthology. I cannot recall (or find) the name of the author anywhere, and it's driving me crazy.

  2. Love Circle X. Just found your blog, awesome stuff. But, did you post the 4 7 inches, I can't seem to find them.

    Keep it up.

  3. Dylan,

    thanks for the visit & the comment.

    as per your inquiry, I didn't post up the 4 7"ers, but if you love Circle X, then for everything you'll want, try Crumbs of Affection. I don't know if they're still active, but the files are still available. If you download from them, leave them a comment & maybe they'll post some more great stuff.

    thanks again,

  4. hey guy... thanks so much for posting this. i played violin with them and the live shows were some of the most exciting dangerous over the top artistic experiences i ever took part in. once, a 350 lb block of ice was suspended over a fire and we were to play until it dropped and fire went out. it started to rain, which meant real chance of electrocution with all the amps sitting in the mud of... an abandoned parking lot on the lower east side (where were we?) but we kept on playing. another gig, tony stood on a large platform that was attached to the ceiling with pulleys. for a ship themed show. people pulled the platform up and down, like he was on a ship with rough waters. under the platform poetry was written and covered with mud. people used spray bottles and the mud dissolved and poetry was revealed. awesome and beautiful. and stellar musicians that opened up my playing to new heights. so glad that people are still listening..... love and peace, lois

  5. LoisD,
    What an honor to read your comment. I love "Crow's Ghost" (& everything Circle X). I had heard third & fourth hand stories about the great live shows in NYC at various crazy venues & "abandoned parking lot"s. Thanks so much for sharing your first hand experiences & Kudos for playing in such a great outfit. The shows sound awesome...got any live recordings you'd like to share? Just can never get enough. This is one of those moments that make blogging so worthwhile.

  6. Is there any chance that you could reconsider posting the Ivory Tower collection? The Crumbs of Affection site seems to have been hacked and it's impossible to find anywhere!

    1. I tried to check out Crumbs of Affection & it seems to be a porn site now??? Here's Ivory Tower. If there is anything else, just ask...I'll do what I can.

  7. MEGA decryption codes
    Celestial Side A
    Celestial Side B
    The Ivory Tower

  8. just getting into this really great group. looks like all the links i have found for the first ep are gone. anybody know of one that works? many thanks in advance. the dijon '79 record is amazing (what i've heard of it anyhow) i figured a live album from such an obscure group would be crap as far as fidelity goes but not so! thanks again for turning me on! great work here.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Circle X are fantastic. No surprise the Dijon release is first rate. They are known for the excellent quality of their live shows. Also after re-locating to NYC for a while & burning things up there, they re-re-located to Europe, France, Dijon. I do have their first untitled four-song EP. I don't have a copy of it ripped & archived, but will dig it out of my records as soon as I can (within the week, hopefully) & rip it & post it up. Check back or I'll leave word at for FB link.

  9. There is now a link to Circle X first release, their untitled 1980 EP.
    MEGA decryption code

  10. THANK YOU!

    i was really amazed at the trajectory of this group. the earlier stuff is so raw and the later material in comparison is so refined but doesn't loose any of the edge.

    i have several of the Dijon tracks now and "heartbreaker" which is interesting enough and strange indeed. i also discovered that Celestial has 11 tracks total. was this a CD version with a few extras not on the record? if so i may need to hunt it down on disc...

    thanks again. i'd be willing to share what i've found if you like. contact me.

    1. I don't know what to tell you about Celestial. The CD definitely has 11 tracks. Everywhere I see it listed, I believe the listing is the CD even if it says LP. I know has it listed both CD & LP bit the lists are the same, 11 songs, same order, no side listing. I ripped this from vinyl. The sides are listed 1/2 A & ØB, the songs are called Fig.#... & the order is different. I guess if you want the other songs you'll have to search out the CD. I may have the other three tracks somewhere, but not sure.

    2. thanks. i found the cd on amazon for dirt cheap. excellent album! thanks for turning me on!

  11. Thanks for the reups. Great blog!!

    1. Thanks. My Pleasure. One of my favorite bands.

  12. much obliged - great blog btw :)