The Big Ship: A Circle Is Forever CD

For their debut album under the name The Big Ship, Doug Kaplan and Aeron Small have crafted a sound that finds a rare kinship with Greg Davis' genre-bending "Curling Pond Woods." A sterling album in a discography with many of them, Davis sought to balance natural acoustics with forward-thinking sound experiments which is more than an apt description of "A Circle is Forever." The duo take folk music leanings and rustling field recordings and proceed to chew them up and reform them through laptop-led editing and pastoral synths. This template doesn't always hold – especially with the shadowy electric guitar distortion that creeps into the record's second half – but this only further emboldens a promising and satisfying debut record. – Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Doug Kaplan and Aeron Small record music together as The Big Ship. The duo developed guitar techniques and musical interests in tandem for over a decade of their young lives, and diverged into solo performances for a split cassette on Hausu Mountain. The thirty-nine minutes of their debut LP "A Circle Is Forever" represent nine months of collaboration - and the eternal love of fourteen years and counting. The duo's home recordings channel the lush textures and genre-swallowing compositions of Eno or O'Rourke - roping together Fahey-esque fingerpicking, Conrad-core drone and multi-tracked guitar melodies. Their songs borrow Neu!'s driving minimalism, buttery psych from Jerry and Duane, and Moog stratagems from any number of cosmic 70s synthlords. Their meticulous productions layer more ambiences and obscured samples into the mix than is probably wise – resulting in tracks as thick with content as this very blurb is with referential bullshit. The last 14 adjectives, 13 vague style-signifying nouns, and 8 blatant band/artist name-checks have still failed by our reckoning to convey what The Big Ship is all about. In truth, Kaplan and Small transition through so many instrumentations and moods that the only constants of their collaboration are: 1). Flux, 2). the Pursuit of Zones, 3). Friendship.