Lingering Day

Darshan Ambient

Lingering Day


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About Lingering Day


1   Snowflake

2   Silver

3   Arc of Angels

4   White Calm

5   Mover

6   Erroneous

7   The Seven Sleepers

8   The Lost Hunter

9   Bee's Fade

10   Hand In The Clouds

11   Kissing Crust

12   Umbra

13   The Seven Sleepers Part 2

14   Lingering Day

15   Reply To Red (Bonus Track) *

16   Enigma (Bonus Track) *

17   * Bonus tracks not included on CD version

As the tenth Darshan Ambient release on the Spotted Peccary label, Lingering Day is the perfect album to mark such a milestone. The album features all the hallmarks that listeners have come to expect from a great Darshan Ambient release; effortless chilled grooves, glowing ambient textures, signature guitar melodies, delicate piano lines, processed electric guitar work, and nuanced synth-string passages are all present and accounted for throughout the fourteen tracks of Lingering Day.

Michael Allison is the lone creative force behind Darshan Ambient, single-handedly composing, performing and recording all of the music himself, and for Lingering Day his skills are in top form. Allison has created what could quite possibly be the ultimate album for Darshan Ambient fans, infusing the tracks with all of the trademark characteristics and nuances that listeners have enjoyed so much from his music over the past fifteen years. The textural ambient soundscapes that dominate tracks like “The Seven Sleepers” “Bee’s Fade” “Hand In The Clouds” and “Umbra” are truly sublime and gorgeous. The upbeat rhythms and skilled guitar work found on “Mover” “Kissing Crust” and “The Seven Sleepers Part 2” are executed with artistry and grace. The easy comfort of “Silver” and “White Calm” wrap the listener in a warm blanket of familiarity, while the jazz-flavored “Erroneous” and “The Lost Hunter” are ideal anthems for a lazy day.

With its serene atmospheres and cinematic orchestrations Lingering Day portrays a true sense of wonder and space, and from the delicate rhythm of “Snowflake” that opens the album with a restrained urgency, to the ambient textural title track that closes the album by slowly stretching time to savor those final moments, Lingering Day may very well be the most perfect Darshan Ambient album to date.


After a few years as a guitarist, bassist, and vocalist for artists like Nona Hendryx & Zero Cool, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, and others, Michael Allison shifted gears in the mid 90s and took on the moniker of Darshan Ambient for the TV, film, and documentary soundtrack work that he was involved in, which eventually blossomed into a full time endeavor. To date he has produced about twenty releases, Lingering Day (subtitled Anatomy of a Daydream) is his tenth for Lotuspike / Spotted Peccary. The fourteen tracks here are, for the most part, short textural ambient soundscapes in the three-to-four minute range, carrying strong and memorable melodies, repeating in variations as necessary but succinct enough to fade away before the listener tires of them. Being a true multi-instrumentalist, Allison builds his pieces with guitars, bass, piano, many rich layers of electronic keyboards and a some drums and percussion as needed, doing all his own recording and production, One excellent piece, “Arc of Angels,” even features vocals with lyrics. Pieces range from calm and introspective to upbeat and rhythmic, all shuffled up in a way that keeps the program interesting and varied from the first track to the last. Nothing herein is overly complex or difficult to digest, just a powerful continuum of wonderful melodies, supporting structures and textural work that warm the soul and calm the nerves. - Peter Thelen, Exposé
Michael Allison's tenth Darshan Ambient release on the Spotted Peccary label presents a compelling argument for the ongoing vitality of the decades-long project. Though it's possible there's an album concept in play, it's not clear to me what it is, to be honest; instead, Lingering Day more registers as a stylistically diverse collection of stand-alone productions, though that shouldn't be construed as a criticism. If the fourteen-track release (sixteen in the non-CD version) does nothing more than present many different Darshan Ambient sides, it impresses no less for doing so. On production grounds alone, the recording impresses: Allison composed, performed, recorded, and produced the music himself, and his prowess as a multi-instrumentalist is evident without being overly self-indulgent. The quality of the songwriting is top-notch, too, as are the arrangements, all of which reflect a refined sensibility and a painterly command of tone colour. The typical piece sees guitar and/or piano utilized as the lead melodic voice, synthetic textures deployed for atmospheric sweetening, and bass and drums included in about half the tracks for extra punch. With its pristine melodies undergirded by an insistent rhythm track, “Snowflake” serves notice from the album's first moment that Lingering Day won't be an album-length set of wallpaper music; as punchy as the clicking beat is, however, the piano-centered production soothes the ear with hushed vocal textures and silken atmosphere. Five tracks in, the aptly titled “Mover” likewise animates its radiant synthetic swirl with a beat pattern that gallops at a rapid clip. If some pieces assert themselves boldly, others do so using gentler means. Allison repeatedly demonstrates his talent for creating pretty, haunting reveries designed to induce a swoon (“Silver,” “White Calm”), and he's as adept as his Spotted Peccary colleagues at crafting beautifully rendered ambient soundscapes, the shimmering, guitar-laced “The Seven Sleepers” as strong an example of the form as any. The recording also isn't without a surprise or two, the most obvious being “Arc of Angels,” a breezy, lyrics-based song with vocals by Allison that suggest a slightly less raspy Peter Gabriel (not a bad thing); even when working within the conventions of pop song form, Allison brings an artfulness to his material, in this case in an arrangement distinguished by counterpoint between the lead vocal and background harmonies. Something of a jazzy post-rock and even trip-hop vibe seeps into a few tracks as well, “The Lost Hunter” and “The Seven Sleepers Part 2” cases in point (the latter revealing a particular dexterity on Allison's part as a drummer), while “Bee's Fade” finds Allison venturing into the kind of tribal-ambient territory we associate with someone like Steve Roach. There's something seemingly for everyone, in other words, on this generously packed, fourteen-track release. - Ron Schepper, Textura

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