DARSHAN AMBIENT: A Day Within Days (2010)
“Although very different from conventional EM, I quite enjoyed listening Darshan Ambient's music”
1 Talking Book 6:44
2 One moon Shows in every Pool 6:10
3 A Deeper Blue 7:18
4 The Lotus Eaters 4:22
5 Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal 5:52
6 The Dreamer Slept but did not Dream 4:17
7 A Day Within Days 5:06
8 The Long Rain 6:08
9 It's You 5:18
(CD/DDL 51:18) (V.F.)
(Tribal, Folk, Ambient)
Rural is the first term that comes to mind when I heard Darshan Ambient's (aka Michael Allison) last opus. The artwork and music steep in this strange fusion of tribal folk and New Age with a somber ambiance of grayness which flies over with its sad and melancholic synth/guitars layers. Michael Allison is an American multi-instrumentalist who goes places since the 70's in progressive as experimental domains. After some years of silence, he built his own studio at the beginning of the 90’s and released 10 albums of electronic, ambient and experimental music that he sold on download platforms such as Mp3.com and IUMA. In 2004 he signs with Lotuspike label, where he released 3 albums since. Dedicated to the memory of his great friend and mentor Juan (Naux) Maciel, died in February 2009, A DAY WITHIN DAYS is a dark but melodious album imprint by a strange sadness and to which we listen like one cry a dear departed. A surprising musical adventure that goes beyond boundaries of conventional EM! It's tribal-folk ambient music.
Delicate tinkling arpeggios, with soft twinkling of Caribbean island xylophones, open Talking Book's intro. A bassline and a melancholic piano adopt the fluidity of these chords, joined by a suave childish choral. Minimalism, the art of Darsha Ambient is in constant movement with the addition of instruments and electronic sounds that enrich the slow deployments of its structures animated by here and there by sometimes vigorous progression. So felted percussions appear, followed by good strikes of percussions, it’s a prelude to torrid guitar solos which make swirl and dive Talking Book in a curious eclectic tribal universe that is not without recalling the universe of Patrick O'Hearn. An influence that we feel a bit more on One moon Shows in every Pool which enjoys again a delicate opening with limpid chords, crossed by fine laments of a solitary six strings. Between synth layers and pads of violins with a zest of oriental flavor, One moon Shows in every Pool borrows a bit more dramatic tangent with these layers and these Chinese violin's tears which cut out a soft ambiance slightly flavored by delicate percussions and guitar vibes which fly over a nice sad track. Tribal percussions open the first measures of A Deeper Blue. A splendid track where the notes of a nostalgic piano are getting lost in the tears of a guitar and of its oneiric layers. A Deeper Blue, quite as The Lotus Eaters and its piano which embraces the violin mellotron strata, The Dreamer Slept but did not Dream and its notes of piano roaming in a full melancholy, as well as the soft and hurting A Day Within Days are nice pearls of a tenderness and of sad sensibility which glances through this album of a somber fragility.
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal takes life on tribal percussions which beat a soft measure under a sky cracked with delicate streaks coming either from a guitar or a synth. Slow and floating layers are all over the world of this album, watering it of a somber vibe of sadness. The rhythm is light, crossing the roots of country folk with its violin with those long and living striations and its guitar which sticks to those. Percussions plunge Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal in a heavier rhythmic pattern but always balanced with strange fusion of voices, orchestrations and mellotron mists which are key elements in the construction of A DAY WITHIN DAYS. After this long litany to meditation and sadness The Long Rain appears as an ode to life, like a poetic music in the twilight of the deceased. It's a much livelier track where chords of acoustic guitar and keyboards drum a delicate ardent tempo, while a soft mist of a coated mellotron surrounds this minimalist procession with frivolous chords, paving the way to a soft piano which whispers a sweet melody, inhaling a joy of living. Certainly, there are still the strata which moan, but these are tears of happiness which relieve from a gnawing pain that we feel for those we are crying. A bit as Talking Book, The Long Rain explodes on good percussions and riffs of guitars which get lost in violin strata and a nice ambiance of happiness which takes over after days of sadness. It's You is in the same vein as Talking Book and The Long Rain. A track sung by Michael Allison which sings like Peter Gabriel or David Sylvain on a country folk structure with steams of a somber New Age.
Although very different from conventional EM, I quite enjoy listening Darshan Ambient's A DAY WITHIN DAYS. It's at once sad, dark, full of grayness but beautiful to split gloomy smiles. It's an album of a surprising sadness which fetches feelings for a long time buried and which re-appears with a strange wink of eye to life. The kind that makes you says; Hello my friend, you are and will always be in my thoughts.
Sylvain Lupari (January 21st, 2011) *****
Available at Spotted Peccary Music Bandcamp