CIRCUIT DES YEUX
Portrait

IND 093 LP

Portrait is Haley Fohr’s third LP and a massive step in her growth as a musician and artist. While pursuing a degree in recording and ethnomusicology she has become proficient in the studio. The result—radically unexpected qualities of cohesion and hi fidelity posit Portrait’s narratives in a space that we’ve yet to experience. This sort of playing the game in the way that the game is usually played, I think is usually called a sell-out. And had her intent faltered to the slightest degree that conclusion might be apropos. But it’s merely an effort to strip the canvas bare and get face to face with things. And it’s Haley’s intent that continues to be championed, as it has endured the acts of recording and performing and yet still stands strong and pristine. the rare qualities of strength and character can only be attributed to a rare artist. The modest, clarion sparkle of Portrait would not have been expected, or even achievable, considering the arc of Symphone and Sirenum, and it stands as a cornerstone and a monument, a testament to the daily practice of channeling her 21 yr old, roiling emotions into sound recordings.

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CIRCUIT DES YEUX
Ode to Fidelity

IND 085 7"

Ode to Fidelity is the new three-song 45 from Indiana’s Haley Fohr, a torch singer soloist who goes under the name Circuit des Yeux. She’s put out two full length LPs on De Stijl already, though this newest set of pieces strikes a chord that’s a bit more direct (less willfully experimental, perhaps), and as a result, it’s quite compelling. The A-side, “Barrel Down,” is the most fully realized cut, muffled processional strums providing a framework for a vocal impulse that moves through several iterations, from Magik Markers’ Elisa Ambrogio/Myra Lee-era Cat Power into a ghostly operatic siren song, multi-tracked and swirling into the red before being overtaken by six-string scree. The flip features a riff from the minimalist gutter, a la Thalia Zedek fronting The Static, in the opening “Self Satisfaction,” followed by the shambled instrumental trance of “March with the Rich.” These days, oddball sides either seem to slip through the cracks or get too much hype, making one yearn for the days of, quite simply, a good lo-fi single, which Ode to Fidelity certainly is.

~Clifford Allen
Ni Kantu

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CIRCUIT DES YEUX
Sirenum

IND 070 LP

Here's the second full-length from Haley Fohr, a woman in her late teens/early 20s from Lafayette, Indiana d/b/a Circuit Des Yeux. It's a stunning and utterly singular record, glued together (or thoroughly unglued) with bent electronics, delayed vocals, drifting percussion, piano, and acoustic guitar, under the guise of low fidelity but clearly working to pry the generation gap apart even further, at least to the extent of people expecting songs vs. those who don't care, so long as the emotions presented are truthful and heartfelt. It's a confusing, soul-baring stare-down against repression and isolationist activities, the proverbial knife in the hand with the following action yet to be determined. Shocking in both its presentation and delivery, hers is an otherworldly tumble through fallen-angelic vocalese, obscured beyond comprehension, across murky, decaying soundscapes in which ideas grow wild and of their own accord, and die on the vine. There seems to be no limit to her imagination, or to her abilities to convey wholly original sonic ideas that drift in and out of conventional understandings of what music is supposed to do. Comparisons could be bridged to Grouper, Inca Ore, early Magik Markers, Danielle Dax or certain Pink Reason recordings, but even those could be considered a stretch. Sirenum will dazzle some listeners and infuriate many more, but in no way is it possible to feel nothing once it crosses your ears. Most of all, it's a challenge, and that's something that very few of her contemporaries in lo-fi and underground music are able to engage. You'll remember this one long after the year has passed.

~Doug Mosurock
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