Kieran Mahon is perhaps best known for his long form ambient drone compositions, but with his latest release, the album Eternal Return (Castles In Space), there is something familiar yet different. The deep and dense textures are still there, but now underpinned with motorik beats and looping arpeggios.
Previously, Kieran‘s compositions consisted of textural sound layers reminiscent of 1970s Tangerine Dream, evoking the haunted and bewitching dream-worlds of Phaedra and Rubycon. Often composing 15, 20 or 25 minute odysseys, Kieran would formulate sonic journeys into the oscillating realms of fog-shrouded found-sounds, weaving hypnotic and eerie constructions.
On Eternal Return, Kieran explores an altogether different landscape, this time drifting into the spheres of kosmische and motorik. Eternal Return retains the chugging arpeggios of his ambient/drone compositions but with the addition of metallic beats and deep, lustrous synth textures, summoning a world beyond ours and beaming us into the twilight world of progressive electronics.
Fittingly our journey begins with Excursion, a chiming and churning track of evolving electronics. Repetition plays a bigger role throughout this album as heard on There’s No Point Running through its hypnotic pulses. This Is This has its sweetly floating melodies and Für Immer gives us some the loveliest kosmische twirlings I have heard in a long while.
Pace and variety are key throughout Eternal Return ensuring the textures are constantly moving, evolving and coalescing, slowly building towards its coda.
Looking Glass demonstrates Kieran’s skill with dense layers of ambience and drones, two styles he is well known for, and there are seeds of hope and optimism woven into the dense fabric of synths. The sounds seemingly push for a higher state of being, becoming brighter and uplifting before dissipating into the thronging ether.
There’s a real sense of the modular in each track, lending an immediate and organic sheen to the composition and production, allowing us, as listeners, to slide between the disparate strands of instrumentation and become enfolded in the sounds that pulse with life around us. It is an emotional experience; to really feel the beat and pulse of the music and to be swept up in the dizzying whirls of electronics.
Our Zack and title track Eternal Return are beautiful, meditative pieces full of warm outrospection and hope, lifting us beyond mortal bindings into the welcoming expanse of interconnectivity.
Eternal Return is an album of empathy and connection, revealing who we are in its gently pulsing lights. Suited to late-night headphone listening, the images conjured are panoramic and immersive, opening a corridor into deep space and sweeping us through glittering astral nebulae. There is an otherworldly feel to this album which flickers like a distant transmission, whipped away by the wind and scattered into a diaphanous sky.
Mark Hall’s album artwork is stunning mirroring the music wonderfully with a design suggesting movement, precision, repetition and revelation adding to the overall, immersive package.
Eternal Return is out now on Castle In Space as a gorgeous limited edition white vinyl LP and digital download (featuring 2 bonus tracks).
On a Different Note:
- Track-by-Track: Kieran Mahon – Eternal Return
- Blog Archives // February 2021: Pt. 2
- Blog Archives // February 2021: Pt. 4
- Review: Rykard – Explorers Vol. 2
- Stream – Eu La’s Return EP