Little ThingsFinalist - ZMR Music Award - Best Ambient Album ECHOES Radio CD of the month - September 2013
Little Things, the seventh Darshan Ambient release on the Spotted Peccary/Lotuspike label, delves deep into the details that slip through the cracks of everyday life, as veteran composer Michael Allison delivers twelve tracks filled with mystery and wonder, shadows and twilight. Masterfully crafted ambient synth textures, guitar loops and effortless rhythmic grooves lay the foundation for lush guitar phrases, pulsing strings, electronics, and poignant melodies, in part highlighted by a darkened piano, a distant trumpet, or a fragile and touching wordless vocal.
While not deviating from the familiar signature sound that fans will immediately recognize, Little Things as a whole is noticeably more atmospheric than recent Darshan Ambient releases. Allison notes, “In many ways I’ve gone back to my ambient roots on this album. Although there are still rhythms on many of the tracks, it’s a much more ethereal album. The music has a very dreamlike quality to it.” Dreamlike and ethereal for sure, but with a deep, mysterious, introspective quality. Allison continues, “My intention was to make a darker album. Something a bit heavier than previous releases.” This darker more enigmatic side to the music helps to emphasize the album’s theme of uncovering and celebrating the wonderful little details that exist below the surface of our normal routines.
Whether it’s the slow-building stillness of UnUsual Thursday, the metro-hypnotic tension of W. 52nd, the cautious yet intimate moment captured by Soft Portrait, or the hopeful and uplifting power of Fields, Darshan Ambient’s Little Things offers an elegant arrangement of notes and chords that reflect what we all take for granted; music of the unnoticed beauty that always surrounds us, but rarely gets a second thought.