New artist of the week: Mount Alaska
Irish electronic music that shares DNA with Kiasmos, Jon Hopkins and Moderat
Mount Alaska’s music feature rushes of digital celestial notes and a sense of instrumental drama informed by modern electronic music and the burgeoning contemporary classical movement. Photograph: Dorje de Burgh
Textured, grandiose electronic music.
If you saw an arrangement of glowing multicoloured triangles on stage at Irish festivals such as Forbidden Fruit and All Together Now this summer, you may have witnessed the music of Dublin duo Mount Alaska.
Both Cillian McDonnell and Stephen Shannon formerly ploughed their trade with the much-respected Halfset. As Mount Alaska, the pair have pivoted to making electronic music that shares much of its textured DNA with acts such as Kiasmos, Jon Hopkins and Moderat. Their music scales heights and reaches for big moments of release with layered vocal samples and grand euphoric synths.
Early encouragement came via a sync placement with a Puma ad in the US and reached a new level with the release of their four-track EP Asterisk, informed by house music and born of two friends with 20 years’ experience making music together, utilising vintage synthesisers and hardware.
The EP is out on their own independent label Language Recordings, which takes advantage of the duo’s experience in the music industry; Shannon as a much-sought after producer and McDonnell, as a record label promoter, manager and designer.
Mount Alaska’s music feature pitched-down vocals, rushes of digital celestial notes, trip-hop beats and a sense of instrumental drama, informed by modern electronic music and the burgeoning contemporary classical movement, which have become more enmeshed than ever in recent years. Climb the peak.