• Sylvain Lupari

DHYANAM: Deep Embrace (2008)

Updated: Feb 27

An album for those who appreciate a very accessible EM that straddles the New Age

1 Fluidity 3:41

2 Fresh Flowers 4:11

3 The Source 7:48

4 Mora Breakfast 5:38

5 Silent Talk 4:18

6 Open Secret 3:23

7 A Second First Impression 4:03

8 Deep Embrace 8:56

9 Crystal Pavilion 4:46

10 Cuckoo 5:12

11 Empty 5:45

12 The Smell of Rain 3:56

AD Music AD61CD

(CD/DDL 61:46) (V.F.)

(New Age)

For more than 2 years, since the phenomenon of selling electronic music (EM) in MP3 or FLAC format has appeared, a multitude of new names have been appearing in the EM firmament. It's a manifestation of artistic multiplicity in an era where even my grandmother could have made music if she was alive. Which also brings its share of worries. And we must be afraid and wary of it! Because this is how the real EM was drowned, in the 80's and 90's, in a torrent of new artists who were doing in an artistic simplicity, structuring the foundations of the New Age while trivializing those of the Berlin School style, flagship music to a burst of a progressive and psychedelic musical world. An American artist immigrated to the Netherlands, Dhyanam nests on the AD Music label; property of David Wright, the man behind Code Indigo and creator of superb works of an EM that paradoxically flirts with the Zen side of the New Age. So, Dhyanam offers an album more focused on the New Age approach than progressive EM. Although beautiful, soothing and seductive with nice melodies that flow like a quiet stream, DEEP EMBRANCE is much more of a relaxation or easy listening album made for the USA market.

As soon as you listen to Fluidity, you feel drawn to relaxation with its soft chords that spin like a carousel in a kind of lullaby. It's soft and very soothing, as is Fresh Flowers, Silent Talk with its flute sound that would melt the hardest of souls and A Second First Impression. Mora Breakfast brings a more lit cadence. A rhythm that breathes the instrumental fluidity of Fluidity and others, just like Empty. In short, Dhyanam offers a collection of 12 sweets where the synths and keyboards are more at the service of the melody than of the progressive complexity and where the sequences are rare and sober when present. Soft compositions which are threaded one after the other without that it disturbs, nor makes raise the eardrums. A dozen uneven tracks where the purely electronic approach is heard on Crystal Papillon and The Smell of Rain, while Open Secret embraces a little electro-pop side. But Dhyanam overdoes the strings, trying hard to give us gooseflesh by overexploiting a mellotron programmed for hyper-melancholy and very moving orchestrations as on The Source and Deep Embrance. An approach very close to the sound worlds of a Vangelis in lack of inspiration, Ray Lynch and Kitaro post Ki. It's soft and well done, but not really extraordinary. My girlfriend would like it. So it's for romantics and elitists who think that New Age is deep EM.

Despite the obvious artistic ease, DEEP EMBRANCE remains a charming album. There's no denying it. Tracks like The Source, Silent Talk, A Second First Impression and Deep Embrace create a rather emotional impact. On the other hand, the whole album is bathed in an easy atmosphere where Dhyanam insists too much on romantic and dramatic effects, like a producer of love movies, instead of doing good and complex musical research, as he would be able to do. An album for those who appreciate a very accessible EM that straddles the New Age.

Sylvain Lupari (16/04/10) *****

SynthSequences.com

Available at AD Music Bandcamp


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