Eternal Return is a quintet which brings together various duos/trios that have previously recorded and toured together. Within this ensemble we have Dogon, the duo of Venezuelan Miguel Noya (synthesisers) and American Paul Godwin (vocals, piano) who first met at Berklee some 40 years ago. Alongside them is bassist Australian Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree, no-man, O.R.k.) and his frequent collaborator, Estonian guitarist Robert Jürjendal (Toyah Wilcox, Fripp’s Crafty Guitar School). To complete the line-up, we have Venezuelan drummer Miguel Toro, while they have a guest trumpeter in Damascus-born Milad Khawam and the album was recorded in Berlin. 

In other words, this is a truly international band bringing together a great many influences and styles. The best way to describe this is probably progressive ambient, with links to the likes of David Sylvain (especially, one can really imagine him performing on some of these) and This Mortal Coil. It is an album which goes through many styles, with guitar and/or synth/piano often the lead instrument, yet at its heart is a strong percussive element (much more than “just” drums) while Edwin’s smooth meandering and slid basslines have an incredibly important part to play in holding it all together. It is something which can be both relaxing and luxurious and experimental and edgy, so much so that even when everything is calm and making sense there is still an edge which provides a tension. It is atmospheric, but the high use of cymbals combined with the differing backgrounds from those involved make this something which needs to have close attention paid to it or important elements will be passed by. 

This definitely benefits from being played on headphones and not just in the background as it will just disappear. Fans of no-man, King Crimson, and some of the more ambient prog noodlings of Marillion may well find this intriguing.
7/10 Kev Rowland

New dOG Records to Release “Once Only” Debut Album by International Progressive Ambient Ensemble Eternal Return – Release Date: 2/23/21


The international progressive ambient ensemble Eternal Return is a five-piece combining various duos/trios that have previously recorded and toured together. Notably, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree, NoMan, O.R.k.) on bass with his frequent collaborator, Estonian guitarist Robert Jürjendal (Toyah Wilcox, Fripp’s Crafty Guitar School). At the heart of the band is Dogon, the duo of Miguel Noya, (Venezuelan keyboard pioneer, Phantom Limb Recordings) and Paul Godwin, (California-based composer/singer and NEWdOG founder). Dogon have been widely celebrated and aired since the late ‘90s – “the best of progressive ambient”- WIRED Magazine. Holding down this aerial act is Miguel Toro, Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based drummer (Royal Dust.) 

Once Only

The debut album was recorded in Berlin last year by Bob Spencer at The Famous Gold Watch Studio (a former munitions factory and Stasi HQ) and mixed at Pete Townsend’s Grand Cru boat studio in London’s St. Katherine’s Docks by Jonathon Hucks. The album is concerned with “nomadism,” inspired by Noya’s status as part of Venezuelan economic and political diaspora. Musically siting seminal progressive ambient-jazz-pop influences such as Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” and David Sylvian’s solo work, the album is something fresh, darkly mysterious and beguiling. 

Track Listing:

1. Nomad
2. The Void
3. The Triggering Town
4. A Medium-Sized Village
5. The Bottom of the Pond
6. The Sky 

Paul Godwin
NEW dOG Records
[email protected]