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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Byron Metcalf & Dashmesh Heart of the Deep Time (2022)

Quite seductive but that it is absolutely necessary to listen to in the proposed context

1 Deep Time 1 7:31

2 Deep Time 2 9:51

3 Deep Time 3 2:44

4 Deep Time 4 4:01

5 Deep Time 5 3:28

6 Deep Time 6 7:14

7 Deep Time 7 8:33

8 Deep Time 8 7:25

9 Deep Time 9 10:44

10 Heart of the Deep Time (Bonus) 61:36

(DDL 61:36) (V.F.)

(Meditative, medecine music)

It's with a long lament that unfolds a hoarse twist that HEART OF THE DEEP TIME accosts our ears. The rhythm first invites itself with weak beats, like resting heartbeats, whose echo resounds faintly to enrich the soundscape of Deep Time 1 and to install a continuity which is in symbiosis with these long guttural breaths. The didge never runs out of resources, nor of breaths and has no secret for Dashmesh's lips and creativity. His breaths sometimes take a tangent that flirts with a universe of the paranormal with this constant avalanche of guttural drones that inject a twilight orange tint to the various panoramas of this album that Byron Metcalf offers only in downloadable version. The rhythm of the shamanic drums is constant and noticeably increases the cadence that responds to the renewed intensity of the didge and its resonant effects. The collective trance effect where dozens of human trunks waddle with a silent oration in mind becomes more palpable as Deep Time 2 unravels from its slow fade-out with the finale of Deep Time 1. Speaking of that, if you choose to listen to all 9 tracks of HEART OF THE DEEP TIME as offered in the download, you should know that each track ends with a fade-out and the next begins with a fade-in. Although I understand the meaning of these interruptions, so the listener can choose a particular track, I prefer the option, offered as a bonus track, of the long version of 61 minutes without interruption. So to go on, Byron Metcalf accelerates slightly and continuously the cadence in Deep Time 2 to reach the intensity, always in progression, of the different textures of a didge which also lets filter good effects of a universe always flirting between the limits of the beyond or those of a psychoactive meditation. The universe of HEART OF THE DEEP TIME is in constant evolution while the 2 musicians inject different textures and sound effects as well as synth layers which extend in banks of mist, nebulous as anesthetic. One hears quavering effects, sounding slightly like an African trumpet, among the amphibian tunes of the didge. The synth makes a first appearance with good musical layers that float with a slight prismatic taste in their tones. The wind effects, what we call Spirit Winds, make brief appearances as well as synth lines whose sinuous curves and sibylline tones marry the always raucous chants of the didge. This setting and the multiple facets of this instrument are abundantly exploited throughout the album, which relies on Metcalf's creative and hypnotic percussion playing that is unmatched in its ability to seduce.

Deep Time 3 is purely atmospheric with swirling effects well hidden behind a bank of raucous winds and sulfurous reverbs that tangle with hazy synth layers. We can hear ululations, accentuating more this strange disturbing perfume that floats among the ambiences always tinted of this strongly orangey vesper color. Deep Time 4 follows with a sedative rhythm that is more driving to make our hips sway in an intense period of meditation. The raucous drones still float around, drawing arabesques of suffering in an emotional adrenaline rush that provides a good dose of chills. It must be said that the arrangements are not foreign to these emotions, and they are more and more present as our ears tread the 61 minutes of this HEART OF THE DEEP TIME. They are implacable of sensitivity in Deep Time 4 and especially in Deep Time 5 where the rhythm remains always as bewitching. We reach the summit of the album with the tracks Deep Time 6 and Deep Time 7 which are definitely more intense in terms of didge attacks. The music rises in intensity with a thudding rhythm and more intense orchestral layers as well as a fascinating wind-blown choir that nevertheless whispers a more distinct tune. Hum-hum's that melt into these drones that zigzag and crisscross in a nebulous amber colored sound firmament. The rhythmic and atmospheric scansion undertakes the opposite way with the arrival of the quieter Deep Time 8 which beats in a slower measure here than elsewhere, except for the very ambient Deep Time 3, while Deep Time 9 concretizes that Byron Metcalf and Dashmesh end a HEART OF THE DEEP TIME all the same quite seductive but that it is absolutely necessary to listen to in the proposed context.

Sylvain Lupari (September 20th, 2022) ***¾**

Available at Byron Metcalf Bandcamp

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