DARSHAN AMBIENT: Falling Light (2012)
Updated: Aug 26
“The music of Darshan Ambient floats in the ears to reach the soul by taking on the skin of an author torn by risks of everyday life”
1 Falling Light 6:07
2 Small Blue Ones 6:09
3 A Boat beneath a Sunny Sky 4:59
4 Out to Sea 5:08
5 Second Thoughts 3:50
6 The Night Coming Home to Sleep 3:57
7 Clothed In Wakefulness 4:19
8 Who Will Answer 3:57
9 To Look at In Winter 4:34
10 The Immense Window 7:02
11 Water for Horses 6:59
12 Forgotten Sky 3:54
(CD/DDL 60:55) (V.F.)
(Ambient & Electronic Folk)
If there is an artist whom I appreciated to discover these last years it has to be Darshan Ambient. With a very eclectic approach Michael Allison succeeds in doing a meshing of a music to the tributaries of folk and neo-folk styles, caressing slightly some jazzy, even bluesy, aromas to offer an inspired and inspiring music. Imperceptible and unclassifiable, the music of Darshan Ambient floats in the ears to reach the soul by taking on the skin of an author torn by risks of everyday life. Surfing on the harmonious and melancholic furrows of his very beautiful Dream in Blue, Michael Allison lays bare his tramp's soul with FALLING LIGHT, a collection of 12 poems bared of words but not feelings. Words with musical timbres wrapped of an inviting dust filled by the fragrances of our torments where the delicate spiraled rhythms are swirling with a mesmerizing cerebral attraction.
The title-track gets out of the void with silvery reflections which sparkle on the walls of time. Piano notes wave and twirl slightly, seeking for a beat when it falls softly. Falling Light offers its soft and indomitable rhythm. An electronic ballad which gallops like a ride without legs, turning of his its melodic spiral in the breezes of a spectral melody and under the knocks of percussions which try of accelerates a rhythm trapped in angels' caresses. Sparkling dusts and vapors of an alto sax à la Mark Isham dragging around uncertain ambiences of Patrick O'Hearn, Small Blue Ones abandons its oneiric intro to burst out of a pure and curt rhythm. This most livened up portion of the album borrows the vague tunes of an apocalyptic country-western music with these chords of a slide-guitar which float on a structure hobbling of its nonchalant rhythm, offering the best of Michael Allison's harmonious dualities. Knocks of bow cut the stillness of a morning mist, molding a furtive rhythm which ignores the passive melody of a melancholic piano, as well as the dreamy chords of a solitary guitar; A Boat beneath a Sunny Sky is the first pearl that our ears meet. Following an evolutionary curve, this shy movement is flogged by a soft staccato which is fed by knocks of bow that are more and more incisive. This lascivious rotatory movement espouses a more rock phase with percussions and bass which nourish a tempo to irregular paces. Absent until there, the lap-steel guitar spreads its layers which float and roam such as souls lost on a strange procession of a bolero to ambiences of bluesy-jazzy country music. Out to Sea brings us at the doors of contemplativité with a piano droning out its nostalgia in the breaths of a dreamy guitar. A guitar which presents its vampiric tones on Second Thoughts, which sounds as if it's got out of some lost chords of Falling Light so much the structure is very near. The rhythm is soft. And the harmonious portion is deployed by a guitar which delirious with its numerous intonations. Then, we enter into the enchantress world of FALLING LIGHT.
The Night Coming Home to Sleep introduces us to the lullabies and the ambient ballads of Darshan Ambient's last album. Here, no rhythm. Only notes of a dark piano droning out its evasive melody that a lap-steel guitar is courting from its ochred laments. A guitar which strikes down the soul on the cozy Clothed In Wakefulness and its morphic melody which swirls such an angel on a bed of stars. Who Will Answer is another nice musical caress which begins by a hesitating movement. The guitar chords are hanging around in boredom, joining ringing carillons, while an immense mist caresses the wandering. And bang! The tempo grows heavy with loud percussions, molding a slow dance for angels. A slow dance for us who are looking around, and this from our eyes and our heart, the loved one. To Look at In Winter is yet another delicious ambient nursery rhyme which shakes up our emotions with its duel of serenity between a dark piano and a nostalgic guitar. The Immense Window is the pearl of pearls here. You have to hear this piano which is crying on the strange tears that perturb the delicacy of silence. It traces its way! The pace is soft. Worn by percussions and its delicate strikings of broom sticks and a lazy bass line, it swirls with the sweetness of a silk carried by the winds of Eros. While the piano continues to draw the tears of remorse, the guitar comes to cover this cerebral sweetness of fine spectral layers, feeding this superb title which reaches its emotional pinnacle with an angelic choir. It's really very beautiful. After an intro of duality between a piano and a floating guitar, Water for Horses changes the beat by offering a more sustained rhythm. It's a slightly jerky ride which walks of its curt steps on an imaginary plain drawn by these enveloping violins which embrace the hybrid moods where the piano and the guitar unite their melancholic chords to weave another melody that will haunt our ears, as it's raining since the silvery reflections of the opening track. And it's with a little darker, even tenebrous, note that ends this last Michael Allison's offering. Borrowing a funeral march sculptured in the shade of the astonishing The Immense Window, Forgotten Sky concludes this album like the credits of a disturbing movie about a life which ends in the sighs of angels. And unmistakably, we grab the CD player remote and push on key 1 in order to listen again to this last and brilliant opus of Darshan Ambient.
Far from the psychotronic spaces of an EM of the Berlin School style, the music of Darshan Ambient shines with its irresistible eclecticism. On FALLING LIGHT Michael Allison is a charmer who multiplies the layers of his steel guitars to shape tones of loving metal around delicate lullabies which find their sources in the inexhaustible tears of a melancholic piano. New Age? Not really! And then … The important is that it's beautiful. And it's precisely more than beautiful. This is great music that will shake your emotions and will rock you up to the window of your dreams.
Sylvain Lupari (November 17th, 2012) ****½*
Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp