A Map of the Kingdom of Ireland – Electro-acoustic music by 13 Irish composers

Reviewed on Thu 29 Mar, 2018

17 tracks from a baker’s dozen of cutting-edge talents suggest a varied, vital, thrillingly alive musical terrain teeming with ideas and imagination.

A companion to 2013’s On the Nature of Electricity & Acoustics, the beautifully packaged A Map of the Kingdom of Ireland brings Dublin-based Heresy Records’ survey of contemporary Irish electronica bang up to date. 17 tracks from a baker’s dozen of cutting-edge talents suggest a varied, vital, thrillingly alive musical terrain teeming with ideas and imagination. For sheer rollercoaster excitement, Richard G Evans’s Little Train to Heaven – driven along by scuzzy guitars and the dark percussive pulse of Daniel Figgis’s drumming – is a thing of adrenalized beauty. Figgis’s own 11-minute Timothy Cream’s Crown of Wines is a dazzling exercise in atmospheric fantasy, Donald Teskey’s Arcticus deliciously heady and intoxicating, Princess Tinymeat’s Your Majesty drunkenly fuzzy and fierce. There’s a leavening, becalmed poetry to Paul Morrin’s piano-led Wandering Compass – a flower coming into spectacular bloom. Contributions from electronic doyen Roger Doyle (the shimmering, Debussy-delicate Eighties Rampwalk), Cathal Coughlan and Tóirse Ó Ríordáin add to the considerable pleasure. Well worth investigating.
–Michael Quinn