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The Circle Sound

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Could house be any more influential on the bass-continuum in 2010? First came UK funky, then the future garage movement, the Night Slugs camp, Joy Orbison's filtered dubstep anthem "Hyph Mgno", Kyle Hall's bombshell of a 12" on Hyperdub, not to mention an influx of South African flavors: London pirate sounds through all of which ran the influence of house and garage, in differing amounts. Even the Dutch are bubblin. But there remains one London camp which are building momentum quite distinctly from all the others. If you don't know them, then you're probably not in the Circle.

Four years ago, when the ashes of UK garage had cooled and the intense heat of grime began to drive fans away, a small collection of pirate station DJs made a rewarding decision: Unhappy with the status quo they took things into their own hands and started their own night. And with the bravery of true pioneers, they started it on one of perhaps the riskiest day of the year: Christmas Day. "You eat and relax on Christmas Day, I couldn't see why we wouldn't be busy or why it wouldn't be a success," insists Tippa, the Circle camp's host and one of its co-founders. "[The] rest is history."

What began Christmas Day 2006 is now rapidly turning into a completely self-contained, autonomous scene. Built by its co-founders Supa D, Kismet, Feva, IC, Gemini, and of course Tippa, and showcased on their weekly Rinse FM show, the Circle sound and the DJs they affiliate themselves with like Geeneus and A Plus are distinct and separate from the UK funky movement that has garnered attention in recent years.

The Circle parties began as unadvertised events of 150-200 ravers who attended after receiving an invite through the post. To get the invite they'd have to share their home address and personal details, a level of disclosure that both ensured the Circle knew and controlled exactly who their clientele were. "That way we could kinda have an influence on the people that were attending, making it easier to control any problems on the night should they occur," explains Tippa, who's seen numbers grow to 700-1,000. "More and more people want to attend because all friends are talking about it, or the younger heads hear their older siblings gassing about how good the last event was."

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