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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

DASK: Closing of Time (2022)

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

Conceived in the nostalgic memories and grief following the deaths of his 2 parents...

1 Opening Movement 2:27

2 Time is Closing 3:03

3 The Waiting 4:26

4 The Passing 6:06

5 The Yearning 2:51

6 Standing Alone 3:41

7 Kisses for Home 3:01

8 Perfume Sleep 3:18

9 Butterfly Message 3:37

10 A Brief Memory 2:01

11 Searching 2:39

12 Returning Home 2:19

13 Closing Movement 3:02

(DDL 42:37) (V.F.)

(Melodious and sorrowful)

Conceived in the nostalgic memories and grief following the deaths of his 2 parents, CLOSING OF TIME presents us with the more sober and melancholic face of DASK. This album offered for download saw its roots pushed in 2013, one year after the death of his father. The project was put aside before coming back to haunt David Marsh in 2020, a year after the death of his mother. Coincidences, when you hold us! The last few years, the pandemic and the lockdown, were probably more compelling events that led to the conclusion of this album. The music distances itself from the usual albums of the English musician. In the sense that it is centered on the play of the keyboards, but the dark side of the musician-synthesist is always apparent with this continuous mass of drones that supports and envelops at times a pool of 13 compositions that know how to play on our emotions. Finally, DASK plays on the contrasts, making sad and melodious arpeggios shimmer on more sober and morose other ones, creating a kind of musical canon in slow and heavy textures of sorrow.

The first arpeggios that waddle over the orchestral haze of Opening Movement set the mood of this CLOSING OF TIME quite well. Limpid keys follow the slow circular cadence of the main movement, creating an evasive melodic approach filled with musical tears. Even over a short distance, DASK makes evolving its structure, becoming more electronic in its final moments. The tone is set for an album full of sorrow well expressed in music, especially because of those duels between the keyboard tones that manages quite well to create striking melodies, that would be even more so on longer distances. A step that the musician refused to take! Except for the superb The Passing. Time is Closing is a good orchestral track with a Snowflakes are Dancing vision that gets lost in a swirl of string instruments developing with a poignant veil of emotions. The keyboard surprises in a final with keys falling with the weight of tears. These first two tracks distance themselves from the rest of the album, with the exception of The Passing, which takes us towards sober and sad structures. The Waiting develops into a dark ambient track because of its bed of reverberations where the rain mixes with keys that spread their iridescent echo. It reminds me of the opening of Love, Reign O'er Me by The Who, without the rock passion! The playing of the keyboard, its melancholic shadows and the contrast between its keys, represents the strength of this album which can cause a very strong grief to a person who is flirting with depression. Everything revolves around the keyboard and with its endless minimalist melody line that tirelessly goes up and down its distance, The Passing is the most beautiful track on CLOSING OF TIME. The texture sounds like a Max Richter piece of music, ditto for the short and very sensitive A Brief Memory, with touching melody lines that make evasive incursions, making sure to disturb our feelings in the process.

The Yearning is the first of a series of short tracks that are quite well developed for short distances. A woman's voice illuminates the introduction underneath that bed of buzzing drones heard all over and beneath the structures of this album. Her aria is full of tenderness and regrets. This voice is lost in an electronic tumult dominated essentially by metallic rustlings that lead us to dense poignant orchestrations. Let's say that the voice and the orchestrations are up to the meaning of the title. With its illuminated arpeggios singing over a distressing shadow, Standing Alone offers a slow funereal ascent in a melancholic mood. Kisses for Home is in the same genre, but with orchestrations that would make the most solid of heartless shudder. Perfume Sleep comes with a sequence of chords that follow a circular upward spiral on a bed of increasingly intense reverberations. The keyboard crumbles chords that capture indifference with a good dramatic texture. The contrast between grief and resignation is very well represented on this texture whose orchestrations orchestrate a touching finale. Equally moving, Butterfly Message is cast in the same genre. Searching's intense emotional structure makes its chords tinkle like chimes. The keyboard crumbles a few sober keys, structuring an evasive melody eaten away by memories. Returning Home has no keyboard to offer, but rather a stratus-like layer propelled by azure winds. An absent choir hums a tune that melts into the delicate orchestrations added at the very end. Closing Movement ends this nostalgia-inducing album with a sober march structured by a piano whose notes come and go on an iridescent haze. This orchestral haze adjusts its level of intensity, helping this obituary melody reach another emotional level that could make us cry if the track ran on a 6-minute stretch.

Bandcamp and its album-download bank gives artists a greater latitude to create more personal works while staying in touch with their audience. CLOSING OF TIME is one of those albums. Its melodies that haunt us like ghosts become haunting with nice musical threads that weave earworms of another nature. For those who like grief and emotional music, as well as sad and dark like Max Richter's but in a more electronic context.

Sylvain Lupari (June 30th, 2022) *****

Available at DASK Bandcamp

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