Album review: Kyron – Dreaming Eden

Words by Grey Malkin

João Branco Kyron, known for his role within the formidable and innovative Beautify Junkyards, also has solo pedigree, having previously released 2022’s alluring ‘Ascending Plume of Faces’, an eerie and psychedelic piece of experimental electronica influenced by the occult artist Austin Osman Spare. Whilst Beautify Junkyards gear up for their fifth album and this year’s UK tour, Kyron has issued another essential missive in ‘Dreaming Eden’ on the Belbury Music label, an offshoot of the excellent Ghost Box records renowned for their sublime electronic and hauntological output. With ‘Dreaming Eden’, Kyron dives deeper into the colourful psych universe often inhabited by Beautify Junkyards, whilst also offering a more blissful and hypnagogic take on his previous solo work.

The album begins with ‘Regenerative Landscape’, a propulsive and dynamic statement of intent; electronic arpeggios descend over vast, dreaming synthscapes, with hints of fellow travellers Broadcast and  Pye Corner Audio, as well as vintage Tangerine Dream. Both beautiful and evocative, there is a deep sense of movement, of travel inherent here; as if viewing a cityscape from a train window as it glides into the night. ‘Glass and Silver’ continues this sense of journey, adding an otherworldly and unsettling undercurrent beneath its motorik beats and dark, shimmering melodies. Neither simply vintage and analogue sounding, or wholly futuristic, Kyron carves out his own electronic cosmos here with a range of innovative, warm layered sounds that curiously sound both familiar and completely new. Next, ‘Tidal Pulsations’ enters on a bed of glitchy and percussive chimes, before an echo drenched harpsichord picks out a space-age harmony. Initially ominous, the repeated notes gradually blend and weave together to create a sense of wonder and emotive power that Jean-Michel Jarre would presumably give his right hand for. ‘Secret Sanctuary’ is, by turn, more reflective; a lost and lonely outlier, with melancholy modular synth whistling and communicating beneath a searching solar melody, and digital choirs intoning into the darkness of space. ‘The Passage’, meanwhile, initially offers a glistening and yearning slice of electronic minimalism, with synthetic raindrops cascading around a simple refrain, before it shifts into urgent, beat-led and Kraftwerkian territory. 

‘Slipstream of Memory’ follows, a lysergic dreamscape with synth strings converging to evoke strange, Lynchian worlds. Experimental, unpredictable but always melodic and intricately layered and constructed, there is a transcendent beauty to these pieces; they shine and transport the listener to other internal landscapes and terrains. Next, ‘Loop of Mirrors’, at the outset, is a pensive, spectral creature, before warmer melodies reminiscent of Belbury Poly themselves are introduced, not dissimilar to a BBC Radiophonic production or a soundtrack to some 1970’s television sci-fi or dystopian drama. Gorgeously executed and assembled, there is a complex level of construction and detail going on behind the sometimes simple, catchy and memorable harmonies. For example, ‘Psychic Agents’, entering on a foundation of mysterious modular synth and rhythmic electronic percussion, soon finds itself processing stridently along in the fashion of ‘Backwards’-era Coil, whilst ‘Ridpath Projections’ suggests a dark and sacred analogue hymnal, all distant chants, mantras and choral synths. The album ends on a high with ‘Fade into Transparency’, with treated piano reverberating and echoing throughout a glistening, hallucinatory hall of mirrors, an elegant and emotionally resonant finale.

As with Kyron’s earlier solo work and his releases with Beautify Junkyards, this is an album that defies easy classification; it is adventurous, ambitious and deeply atmospheric, all without forsaking a strong sense of melody, and is a truly immersive experience. Something to listen to perhaps in that period between wakefulness and sleep late at night (what dreams it might evoke!), this album provides a companion, a soundtrack to such occasions. Spend a while in Eden, dreaming.

Dreaming Eden is released 17/05 on the Belbury Music label


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s