Saturday, November 23, 2013

Darshan Ambient - "Little Things" CD

Sweet and swirly ambience from a master

Prolific composer Michael Allison here presents his 17th album (and 7th overall for the impeccable Lotuspike label), and it's a lovely set of 12 ambient tracks with a decidedly melodic and rhythmic imprint. 

"The Mystery Of Sleep", for example, uses a lilting mix of swirly, dreamlike voices and strings alongside floating percussion and piano. In fact, fans of so-called shoegaze will find much of this album quite enjoyable, as it does manage a similar foggy, gauzy sweetness. "Shadow Country" unearths a bit of mystery, and even hints at a vaguely Southwestern-meets-Middle-Eastern vibe. "Soft Portrait" is a plaintive and gentle piano-based study, while "Slow Drum" is a gradually-building proto-rock entry.

Allison is a master of moody and emotive ambience, and "Little Things" highlights his approach to warm and inviting, and ultimately human electronic music. Superlative!

Beer: O'Fallon Brewing 10 Day Double IPA

O'FALLON - 10 DAY DOUBLE IPA (O'Fallon, MO) - 3.0 (average)

Located just outside St. Louis, O'Fallon Brewing has been around for 13 years now, and has seen craft brewing rise from a fringe "underground" to full-on mainstream acceptance. I've had a number of their beers over the years, and we here at Goatsden consider O'Fallon a solid, respectable, and quality producer of fine craft ales and lagers. We are pleased to announce a new addition to the brewery's year-round lineup, the heavy-duty, 9%ABV, palate-cleansing 10-Day Double IPA. Review as follows.

Pours a murky, cloudy ruby-amber, with a substantial head of off-white carbonation. Lovely, ornate, and impressive tri-finger lace.

Nose is aromatic pine and citrus hops, with an element of tropical fruit. Solid.

Taste is where things fall apart for me -- I get a wallop of heavy, sour, acidic, and bitter hoppiness. It's compounded by a big, heavy, and sweet malt profile that is overpowering, too. Sure, this is a huge beer for serious hop-heads, but I don't get a balance, nor any semblance of subtlety here, sorry. 

Not one I'd return to, unfortunately. With a bit of tweaking to the recipe, this could be a world-class IPA, but for now, it's recommended only to serious hop-fiends.