Rural is the first term that comes to mind when we listen Darsha Ambient’s (aka Michael Allison) last opus. The artwork and music steep in this strange fusion 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 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. In 2004 he signs with the 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 which is listening to as we cry a dear departed. A surprising musical adventure that goes beyond boundaries of a conventional EM!
Delicate tinkled arpeggios, with soft twinkling of Caribbean island xylophones, open Talking Book’s intro. A fine line of bass and a melancholic piano espouse the fluidity of these chords, joined by a suave childish choral. Minimalism, the art of Darshan Ambient is in constant renewal with the add of instruments and electronic sonorities which wrap structures to slow deployments, but with a vigorous lively progression. So felted percussions appear, followed by good strikes of percussions, it’s a prelude to torrid guitar solos which swirl and dive Talking Book in a curious eclectic tribal universe with good atmospheres which are not without recalling the musical universe of Patrick O' Hearn.
An influence that we will 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 strata and quixotic violins with a zest of oriental flavor, One Moon Shows In Every Pool borrows a bit more dramatic tangent with strikes of mellotron bows and violin to Chinese tears which tear a soft ambiance slightly flavored by delicate percussions and guitar strata which fly over a beautiful sad track.
Tribal percussions open the first measures of A Deeper Blue. A splendid track where notes of a nostalgic piano are getting astray in the tears of a guitar with oniric 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 which exhilarates with its piano notes which slowly disappear in the sad mists of hatched layers of a mellotron synth, are some nice pearls of a tenderness and a sad sensibility which glances through this album of a somber fragility that is A Day Within Days.
Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal gets lively on tablas percussions which beat a soft measure under a sky strewed with delicate streaks coming either from a guitar or a synth. Slow and floating strata which punctuate the universe of A Day Within Days, watering it of a somber atmosphere of sadness. The rhythm is light, crossing the roots of country folk with its violin to long and living striation and its guitar which sticks to those. Percussions plunge Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal a heavier rhythmic but always balanced with strange fusion voices, orchestrations and mellotron mists which are key elements in the construction of A Day Within Days’s moods. 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 deceased. It’s a livelier track where chords of acoustic guitar and keyboards drum a delicate fervent 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 astray 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 A Day Within Days from Darshan Ambient. It is 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, GutsOfDarkness