The Legendary Cameron McVey (Massive Attack/Portishead) Brings You: cirKus
Published: February 15, 2011
Born out of a series of timely coincidences, and a pressing need for unrestricted artistic creativity, cirKus was formed in London in 2006 as the brain-child of legendary UK producer Cameron McVey and voracious beat smith, guitarist and DJ Matt Karmil (aka Matt Kent). The duo soon expanded into a 4-piece ensemble including McVey's wife Neneh Cherry and their daughter, Lolita Moon. Bringing together the group’s collective background, it wasclear from the start that cirKus would be the perfect breeding ground (and outlet) for each member’s surging musical ideas and explorations.
McVey built a formidable career helping to launch the careers of Neneh Cherry, Massive Attack (producing their 1991 debut, Blue Lines, under his 'Booga Bear' pseudonym), Tricky and Portishead. Karmil was recruited by McVey as an assistant recording engineer and the two began working together furiously in McVey and Cherry’s Camden Town apartment. Neneh Cherry needs no introduction. Her pioneering solo albums, Raw Like Sushi (1989), Homebrew(1992) and Man (1996) are joined by collaborations and involvement with projects including The Slits, Gorillaz, Micheal Stipe, Groove Armada, Pulp, Cher, Chrissie Hynde and Eric Clapton. The bandsolidified with the addition of Lolita and the unified group then moved to Cherry’s country house near Malmö, Sweden where the quartet began recording what would become their 2006 self-released debut, Laylow, a very punk take on varied musical genres.
For their eagerly anticipated sophomore set, Medicine, the quartet has concocted a buoyant musical hybrid, which treats fans once again to a sprawling, fragrant collage given a new cutting edge by the revitalized attack and thrust of their music. Soaking up everything from post-punk, dub, four to the floor, grime and beyond, Medicine bridges the gap between Tricky, MF Doom, Martina Topley-Bird, Gang of Four, Gorillaz, Four Tet, The Specials and early PiL.
Tracks like lead singles "Unattended Bag" and sly no-wave mover "Bells", as well as the hauntingly cryptic "Drunk and Stoned", the rattling and dreamy "Grid Lock" and fuzz guitar driven introspection "Johnny iCon" brilliantly highlight the quartet’s dynamic sonic scope, gripping razor-sharp lyrics and refined production. By pairing Cameron's pensive vocals and visceral narratives with Neneh's easily recognizable sound and languid raps with Lolita's youthful exuberant vocals and Kamil’s exotic heady soundscapes, cirKus unleashes a dizzying soundtrack where the sun always manages to come beaming through.