DARSHAN AMBIENT: Dream In Blue (2011)
Updated: Aug 26
“Darshan Ambient dares an audacious bet by merging his dark and meditative ambiances to jazz”
1 Upon Reflection (5:49)
2 When will my Someday Come (4:14)
3 Mirage (4:49)
4 As you Were (5:39)
5 A Letter from Home (7:19)
6 Ghosts of Africa (4:05)
7 Silent Smile/Angelo's Song (3:39)
8 Sun Fade (6:06)
9 Waiting on a Dead Man's Horse (5:49)
10 Sahara Sun (5:52)
11 Dream in Blue (6:23)
(CD/DDL 59:44) (V.F.)
(Ambient & Electronic Folk)
Although the music of Darshan Ambient is not inevitably what gets closer of most styles that I listen to, his works radiate of an attractive aura which we can explain with difficulty. It’s like a love at first sight that we can’t justify the nature but of which we can explain its reason. I was deeply seduced by his last album A Day Within Days, an album where the soft rhythms and the atmospheres at once rural and ethereal were close to pretty good elements of tenderness and melancholy. And DREAM IN BLUE doesn't escape this poetic approach of Michael Allison. For his last opus Darshan Ambient visits the patriarchal lands of New Orleans. Its bayous and its spirits fill by the fragrances of a centenarian jazz which caress the soft sighs of a more romanced approach than a purely electronic one.
Fine floating strata introduce the intro of Upon Reflection which gets alive by guitar notes rolling in a soft spiral over a fusion of oniric layers, caressing at passage sober percussions which force a rhythm full of retained. The melody which goes out of it is beautiful. It frees delicate arpeggios which sing in our ears when the rhythm tumbles with a fury dictated by an approach of free jazz. Free percussions and a good bass with oblong and sinuous notes feed a rhythm which rolls in minimalist loops to bicker a lyrical envelope which dwells upon all along DREAM IN BLUE. When will my Someday Come offers a jazzier musical envelope with nice breaths of trumpets which are melting into a blues' soul guitar. Mixing skilfully his jazz influences with a more electronic approach Darshan Ambient sprinkles his compositions with mellotron choirs and mists, adding a particular dimension to the album. We also observe this tendency on Ghosts of Africa. Mirage is a good intriguing music piece which floats between ambient and a slow rhythm of the Bayous where some good mi spectral and mi oniric strata are complaining on the back of a bass from which the heavy oscillations soak into Patrick O'Hearn sensual and mysterious moods. As You Were pursues this incursion in the roots of the old jazz with a beautiful romance fed by a piano which makes dance its fine melodious notes around a bass and a guitar as much charming as dreamy. The rhythm is soft and soaks into the spheres of a soft Lounge bar mood decorated by fine layers of a foggy synth. Sometimes this fusion of jazzy rhythms with vaporous and dreamy synth layers awakens memories of Vangelis in Blade Runner.
A Letter from Home is my first very favourite. It's a long ambient title forged in the ashes of melancholy where wrapping strata float and roam, surrounding a wonderful contemplative romance fed at knocks of notes from a nostalgic piano which goes in the soul with the beauty of its wandering. A fine fluty ode appears, caressing the sighs of glances and confirming the very great beauty of A Letter from Home. Silent Smile (Angelo's Song) is another pearl for soul. Solitary, poignant and intensely deep, the piano drops its pensive notes which are recovered by a superb synth fill by breaths of trumpets and violins strings. It’s another great track, such as the very somber and ambient Waiting on a Dead Man's Horse which is very near Brian Eno's soils. A good melodious approach pierces the dark introductory veil of Sun Fade. As the piano, the guitar is soft and pensive. It crosses its notes and releases its groaning strata in the curves of a nice bass and a synth with hatched pads. The essence of the Bayous comes from this rather cheerful title. With its fluty synth pads and guitar solos which shout and complain around free percussions, Sahara Sun is the most intense title of DREAM IN BLUE. The melodious ascent is astonishing and the rhythm has to nothing envy to some great tracks of progressive rock. And the guitar is simply marvellous. We would believe to hear Steve Hackett's incisive solos. Navigating between an uncertain rhythmic approach, ethereal ambiances and contemplative melodies, Dream in Blue is no more and no less than a faithful musical portrait which traverses this other very beautiful album of Darshan Ambient.
Once again I got subjugated by Darshan Ambient. Michael Allison dares an audacious bet by merging his dark and meditative ambiances to his influences of old jazz. And the result is rather surprising. From Upon Reflection to Sahara Sun while passing by A Letter from Home, the beauty and emotion perspire out of this musical pattern to approaches as eclectic as poetic. DREAM IN BLUE is a very beautiful opus which is addressing to those who like the music and not to lovers of abstract music. Musical and lyrical, it will be the companion your evenings of reading and your contemplative introductions towards your sleepless nights, abstraction made of Sahara Sun …
Sylvain Lupari (09/01/12) ****½*
Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp