Darshan Ambient, A Day Among Days

By now you’ve no doubt seen this title turn up on a lot of “Best of 2010” lists around the New Age/ambient community. There’s a very good reason for this. It’s an amazing CD. Darshan Ambient (aka Michael Allison) has a true gift for creating works thick with emotion, built on diverse instrumentation, each piece vivid, image-filled and beautifully crafted. A Day Within Days presents Allison at the top of his game right from the start, setting the bar high for any future endeavors. “Talking Book” starts the disc off strong, building up from a simple piano melody, adding sounds bit by bit, growing to a guitar-fueled mid-point and then easing back down to complete the story. “A Deeper Blue” strikes me as something George Winston might have come up with if he had a little more groove in him. Hand percussion and subtle strings back the piano up nicely. Soaring vocals finish the piece on a high note. “The Lotus Eaters” comes off, whether intended or not, as a lovely Satie homage–it has that gentle angularity paired with simplicity and pure expressiveness. Every track here is full, rich and engaging; each has its own personality and story to tell. They are points in time, memories and moments captured note by note and retold in detail. Time must be set aside to give A Day Within Days the deep track-by-track listen it deserves, but I’ve also enjoyed it just playing to fill the space in a day. It’s quiet, pleasant and exudes a simple, calming joy that works it way into your soul. Allison deserves all the across-the-board kudos he’s been getting on A Day Within Days. It’s a magnificent CD and I have to add my voice to the chorus and call it a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

Available at Spotted Peccary.

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