Jim Kirkwood - King of the Golden Hall CD


Hosianna Mantra Recordings/Out of Season Records

Out of Season and Hosianna Mantra are proud to announce the launch of the first-ever reissue campaign of the works of cult fantasy synth figure Jim Kirkwood, whose original compositions predated by several years the legendary dark ambient progenitors of what would later be rebranded as “dungeon synth”. Kirkwood's musical style was unique from his contemporaries, falling less in-line musically with the medieval, subterranean dread of his peers and more with artists like Mort Garson (Plantasia, Atraxia's The Unexplained, etc.). Kirkwood incorporated a far more diverse palette of influences such as the Berlin School (Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, etc.) of electronic music, John Carpenter's synth-driven soundtrack compositions, and, perhaps most importantly, a spiritual foundation akin to the New Age cassette culture of the 1980's, albeit much darker.

Kirkwood's immense body of work functioned as an aural adaptation, thematically centered around the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), Michael Moorcock (The Elric Saga), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Celtic Mythology, and the Norse Poetic Edda. With singular vision and unmatched dedication, Kirkwood released two dozen full-length cassettes from 1990-1996 to virtually no audience but himself and his closest confidants. As such, this original run of recorded material languished in total obscurity before being rediscovered by underground fans in the last decade, resulting in the sudden, long-overdue recognition of the genius
of Jim Kirkwood.

First discovering The Hobbit at the age of 13, his rabid consumption of the seminal works of fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien can be considered the impetus for Kirkwood’s musical career. Perhaps in an effort to sustain the sense of magical escapism of experiencing The Lord of the Rings trilogy during idyllic British summers, Kirkwood’s solo musical journey began in Middle Earth with Where Shadows Lie (1990, oos-204/DEI-001). This kickstarted a deluge of unbridled and prolific creativity resulting in multiple tape releases, including two other Tolkien-inspired albums, King of the Golden Hall (1991, oos-205/DEI-002) and Uruk-Hai (1992, oos-206/DEI-003). This series of albums would come to form some of Kirkwood’s most well-regarded work, a collection which would become known
as his Middle Earth Trilogy.