Review: Darryl Burke Mahoney – Untitled

“Muller Hill” is like standing in the shadow of an ugly grey helicopter, with the sound of blades through chopped air forming an ominous backdrop to a bleak, monochrome blotch of melody. Apparently these sounds make atmospheric reference to Mahoney’s hometown of Lachine, Quebec. I’ve never been, but the sonic picture painted here is far from pretty; surfaces are beset with a muffled, crackly erosion while a cold echo rings out against abandoned structures of cold concrete; jagged edges, grey sludge.

“Rain II” lets a speck of beauty loose amongst the soundscape – a dancing loop of electronics, like a spinning music box made of light – but it becomes imposing and ragged over time, as if subsumed by environment in which it finds itself. Meanwhile, “Vapor” conceals a heartbeat beneath a tidal (and almost choral) surge of a solitary, beautiful chord, triumphant in its decay like one of Basinski’s Disintergration Loops. There’s the sense that a more vibrant history once radiated through these desolate landscapes; it’s still there, but in fragments, trampled as rubble underfoot and emerging as but a weathered echo in amongst the washed-out industrial ghost town.