[Svart Records, 2020]
Intro: Panos Papazoglou
With the release of their previous album, Ruination, and the recognition that the group gained, they created promises and ambitions. The Finns with the unusual name Kairon; IRSE! offer the next stage of their creative journey. The colors in the cover of their third album, Polysomn, represent the soundscapes that they create here, deviating a little from the path they followed in their previous album. And it’s mainly them that intersect shoegaze with psychedelia, and less with prog.
New, complex, but uneven neo-psychedelia
Already from the first listening experience, with Psionic Static being the guide on Kairon; IRSE!’s new journey, the change in the Finns’ mood to slow down and enter a different, mellow state is perceived, with groove being replaced by atmosphere. And if psychedelia as a music genre is the point where one finds the band wandering through the paths of modern progressive in general, their insignificant contribution to the clichés of this “school” is in fact their perfect use. This is evident in the space rock introductions, the multi-layered synths (which make the album’s sounds even more diverse), the bass which is a leading force here, and the guitars which leave their mark, in a minor role compared to the keys and programming of electronic sounds.
Compared to the previous album, Ruination, the prog element is less evident, the krautrock references are significantly scarcer, while the shoegaze aesthetics and those dreamy, more ambient moments dominate throughout the album, accompanied by matching ethereal vocal melodies. That is, vocals that whisper the lyrics in a more abstract sense, following the synths, and resonating through multiple levels, taking a role in the orchestration.
In tracks like An Bat None or Welcome Blue Valkyrie, Kairon; IRSE! unfold their technical and compositional talent, as well as in Hypnogram and White Flies, compositions that make the connection to the band’s 60’s and 70’s psychedelic roots even more apparent. Beyond that, the balance in the dynamics of the compositions varies and leads to a whole that presents a clear statement of Kairon; IRSE!, that of non-stagnation and experimentation in sounds that are identified as neo-psychedelic. And while the dream pop aspect of their music is seeking a way out through their progressive influences and vice versa, the unevenness presented in Polysomn deprives Kairon; IRSE! of the impetus for an impressive comeback, equal to their mature attempt to establish themselves on the contemporary scene.
7 / 10
Kairon; IRSE! have undoubtedly been producing interesting alnums for about a decade. Three years ago, they had gained the interest of listeners outside prog with the remarkable Ruination. To their credit, their new album does not continue from where Ruination had stopped, but presents a markedly differentiated effort, a rather hallucinogenic album, with the synths and the groove projecting its shoegaze / spaced out direction. In terms of style, the Finns represent their own sound. Perhaps they could be compared to Lucy in Blue, if the nostalgic recollection and gloom was not the stylistic signature of the latter. Polysomn, however, lacks this earthy and human character of the Icelanders, while the keys are largely the driving force of the album. Its music is governed by an anachoretic / pagan tendency, it is psychedelic, introspective, dark, ethereal, mystical, provoking psychosomatic reactions in the listener’s nervous system. It requires dedication and patience because the first impressions may be discouraging. Unfortunately, after listening to the album we return to a world of which the Finns are not a part. Otherwise such extraterrestrial music would not be composed.
8 / 10