Darshan – Awakening
Label: Flying Rhino
The Shamanic Influences series continues and today I’d like to delve back to the year 1998. Psychedelic Goa Trance had been evolving greatly over the years and different sounds were taking hold. Music was still mostly centered around the 12″ single and the compilation releases from labels, but more artists were beginning to release full lengths as well. Some of these full lengths were nothing more than the collection of previously released music and other releases were packed with new sounds that still sounded like a bunch of singles. A few artists were really getting into the concept of the album though, and those albums were quite special.
Now, I know what a lot of you might be thinking. "Darshan? Really? Didn’t all of their tracks sound exactly the same?" And to that I would reply with a yes and a no. Early Darshan definitely had a specific sound. I have a variety of early Darshan 12″ records and, honestly, I could likely live without all but one of them. But that is one of the reasons why this album is so special. It makes me feel that all of their previous releases were them practicing how to write this album.
‘Awakening’ sounded huge and expansive when it first came out. The cover, with its depictions of atmospheric cosmic lightning truly captures what you are about to listen to. Then the opening track ‘Awakening’ wakes you up and begins your journey. The cosmic road that you travel along while listening to this album is filled with morning bolts of lightning, dark rain storms, and that in-your-tent-bundled-up-for-warmth energy that you know and love while roughing it in the great outdoors. But it also holds the red and orange sky that vibrantly shines through at 8am after a harsh rainstorm dries out. It gives you the momentum and energy of a beat that will push you and compel you to ignore the rain and simply continue to dance in an effort stay worm.
When this was released, it was a dark album. Now, people who listen to dark music will likely find this boring and slow. It is also too dark for people who want things more classic Goa-y or more playful and fun. This is, to me, what a serious psychedelic journey is all about. Taking the one full album, putting it on, and getting lost for 80 minutes while your prana goes traveling in search of meaning and peace. I don’t come across many full length albums like this anymore (Talpa – When the Somberness Becomes a Game is one such album of recent years) which is one of the reasons I feel that this album still holds up so well. ‘Neuroscanner’ still sounds as powerful as it ever has.
The album is long out of print and it seems to be a bit tricky to track down, but it’s out there. I’m sure it’s easy to find on your favorite torrent tracker too. Maybe you haven’t listened to the album in a while or maybe you’ve never heard it, but 2012 is a year of crazy cosmic stuff and advances in our understanding of the galaxy that we exist in. This album feels like it was written for this exact time period and I look forward to revisiting it throughout the year.
Darshan – Awakening
The soundtrack of 2012