St Leonard’s premier manipulator of drones, loops and echoes delivers his most buzzed out, kosmische and beat driven work to date in a deluxe white vinyl album release for Castles in Space.
Kieran explains the genesis and production of his masterwork:
“Eternal Return was unusual for me in that I actually set out to make an album, rather than find myself with a set of tunes that evolved into a project.
“The “Eternal Return” is a concept I have been inspired by before. However it clicked with me in a more profound way recently. Far from seeing the prospect of living life over, unknowingly, on an endless loop as depressing, I suddenly felt amazing comfort in the theory. The Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” Far from being trapped in the loop I am elated to feel that it's simply about living the best life you can. One that you wouldn't fear having to live again.
“To place the album in context against this newly realised perception, I think of the Side One as the battle to get to that realisation and enlightenment and Side Two represents the acceptance and the decision on how to proceed. The turning point is from thinking about the things I love most and what I would want to experience over and over again. I hope it is an uplifting listening experience. As it happens, the album originally had a darker ending. I think I actually learned a bit about my point of view during the process. There are drums, which wouldn’t often feature in my music (there are in fact more drums on this LP than in my combined output over the last 8 years) and the pieces are noticeably shorter, more focussed and concise than my usual longer form work.
“Musically this album is probably the least clearly influenced by anything I regularly listened to. The main outcome was wanting to challenge myself and to add whatever the pieces needed and go with that. I think I was also probably pushed on by the wealth of amazing music being made by my peers across Bandcamp and social media. 2020 was an incredible year in this particular sphere of electronic music. The album was made as I started to transition from a semi-modular to a modular synth set up. I think that this was a key driving force, since a lot of the time I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. It is nice to be surprised by what you’re creating.
“Finally, whilst this is in no way a “lockdown album”, the period of time in which much of it was recorded definitely had a bearing on how it sounds. For one thing I spent a lot more time around my studio space when working from home. In keeping with the album's theme, the lockdown also helped consolidate my feelings on what is important in life and what isn’t. One piece was in fact sketched out as a first draft while I sat on mute during a Zoom meeting. Time well spent.”
The stunning design concept for the album is by Mark Hall who was inspired by the precise, geometric nature of the music. Mark wanted to get people engaging with the product - turning it and flipping it, folding, opening, revealing. Creating an engaging experience, rather than just packaging. The insert includes a cut-out paper toy on the insert, which people could choose to make themselves to play with while listening to the record. The “eternal flexagon” plays with experimenting with the patterns inherent in the sounds, while thinking about 'Eternal' concepts, infinity and loops.