Artist: Darshan Ambient
Album: Little Things

Released: 10 September 2013
Label: Lotuspike

Little Things Darshan Ambient
While Little Things (62'41") holds many mysteries, its music still enlightens. Recording under the name Darshan Ambient, guitarist and synthesist Michael Allison aims for the high horizons of the spirit. His recent CDs of contemporary instrumentals have helped to raise the New Age genre from mere entertainment to an enriching art form. It is possible that pedestrian consumers will use Little Things as background music, but there is a depth and complexity to this album that makes active listening a most rewarding experience - even more so in isolation where it easily stands on its own. In spare and unhurried arrangements Allison explores the magic of the lower depths. With generous applications of reverb and echo an airy halo seems to surround each note. Mostly paced at an amble Allison does mix up moods with tempo changes. Slow crescendos move the atmosphere from the quiet impassivity of rest into a potent beautifully crafted zone of breathy female vocals, sampled sitar, rumbling drums, twanging guitar, jazzy trumpet and elegant piano tones. On a few tracks he combines synthesized and sampled sounds with his treated guitar, which results in ethereally original melodic lines - something difficult to achieve in such a crowded field. Artists may create as if they were on fire and Darshan Ambient is no less passionate. Yet while his work is not fully ablaze, it does indeed smolder.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   26 September 2013

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