Dashmesh "The Peacock's Tale" CD
Dashmesh Khalsa, a par excellence didgeridoo player (sound healer, performer and naturalistic philosopher) based in Phoenix, Arizona has notably stepped into the tribal ambient circle during 2010 on phenomenal "Dream Tracker" album with Byron Metcalf and Steve Roach. Several months later on the SoundQuest Fest he joined on the stage Steve and Byron together with another didge player Brian Parnham. Since 2010 several other releases by Byron Metcalf (and Mark Seelig) featured this highly talented musician. I was also fortunate to experience Dashmesh's didgeridoo wizardry live during the first night at The Galactic Center at February 13th, 2015. A truly memorable moments during my "Toward the Dream" journey!!! So it was only a matter of time when this enormously gifted musician will return with his, undoubtedly well-deserved, solo release. Although surrounded by several kindred souls, "The Peacock's Tale" is an absolutely exceptional example of Dashmesh's virtuosity as a performer and composer. Released through Invincible Music, a label located in Dashmesh's home city, during May 2016, the album comes in a really beautiful 6-panel digipak with splendid cover image by a Swiss shamanic artist creating under pseudonym Seelenflug and extensive liner notes about performing artists on each track, quoting humanist philosopher of the 15th century, Marsilio Ficino, and additional explanations as the album is an ode to the Hermetic-Alchemical Tradition. The graphics are provided by the artist himself as well as by Liv Singh Khalsa, the founder of Invincible Music, who is also responsible, together with Dashmesh, for mixing and mastering.
This richly colorful spectacle is ignited by "The Great Work", an exquisitely arranged piece meticulously bridging raucous crow calls, rattles, didgeridoo drones and barks with utterly embracing trumpet (by Gabriel Bey) and shakuhachi (by Yujin Soku-Shin) and banging water drum (by Roman Orona). Spirited downtempos join the stage for a masterful tribal organic splendor with jazzy fragrances thrown in. To complete the guest list on this composition, Submerged also gets credit for addiitional electronics. On rather quieter "Language Of The Birds" Dashmesh melts his electronics, didgeridoo and percussions with gorgeously poignant Bob Iriana's saxophone, piquantly exotic strings of rabab, an Afghan lute-like instrument played by Qais Essar and a large dose of bird calls. Absolutely magnificent and ingeniously sculpted auralscape awaits here!!! A speech by a charismatic lecturer and author Manly P. Hall announces the next piece, "Book Of Nature" on which Dashmesh's didgeridoo, flute and synths are joined by a trademarking drumming by his mentor Byron Metcalf on frame drums and udu. With this duo in full bloom, you simply can't go wrong!!! Heidi Gadd's electric violin and Yujin Soku-Shin's shakuhachi complete another masterful composition on this album, a sonic elixir!!! "Incension" exhibits the sole performance by its creative protagonist, where helically mind-bending monochromatic didge drones relentlessly interplay with nocturnally encircling symphonies. A big one!!! The following piece, "Tree Of Moon" can easily serve as a preview of Dashmesh's collaborative project with Alexis Holland (vocalist, musician, sound healer, yoga teacher and health consultant), acting as Indigenous Soul Movement, where they explore their synergistic visions of a better planet. Calmly sweeping soundscape driven by Alexis' ethereal wordless chants coalesced with gossamer ambrosias of udu and handpan, while groovy traceries with didge glimpses ride enchantingly atop. A true sonic medicine!!! On "Sophic Hydrolith" Byron Metcalf again grabs his frame drum and udu and joins Dashmesh for a truly jaw-dropping performance. Thrillingly vibrant drumming, trance-inducing buzzing, barking and crowing by Dashmesh's drone pipe with Heidi Gadd's squeaking electric violin. What a masterpiece is this 5 and a half minutes long track, this is a primordial electro organic blast at its most extraordinary!!! "Trismegistus" is another solo playing by Dashmesh, dominated by hypnotic groovy downtempos. Dash's crystalline udu and cinematic trumpet by Japanese iconic virtuoso Toshinori Kondo unfold "Beats Of The Sun". Soon mesmerizingly growling didge sneaks in as well and commingle with stunningly spiced interactions of trumpet magic with arising Bob Iriana's saxophone brilliance. A high-spirited escapade showcasing all performing tribesmen at the very top of their peculiarly reinforced musicianship. A Hall of Fame composition!!! "Solar Rebirth" brings back Native American Roman Orona with his shamanic vocal and hand drum performance blended with Dash's buzzing didge and additional strand of luminous opiates. On "Heartfire" the driving force teams up with Byron Metcalf and Toshinori Kondo. Swirling and coiling didgeridoo of Dashmesh is masterfully merged with Byron's thunderous drumming and Toshinori's flamboyant trumpet, which clandestinely transmutes from evocatively enveloping to jaw-droppingly twisted. The three maestros blazingly demonstrating their ingenious instrumentalist bravuras!!! The longest, nearly 11-minute "Transmutation" closes this magnificently spectacular album with soothing ride through atmospheric solitudes, where intangible hums amalgamate with enigmatic calls, contemplative bowls, inconspicuously emerging remote didge and trumpet. Profoundly enrapturing horizons are revealed, bravo, Dashmesh & Gabriel Bey!!!
The limits have been pushed once again, 72-minute "The Peacock's Tale" is undoubtedly one of the most creatively singular highlights of 2016!!! Huge respect to Dashmesh for putting together this thrillingly talented team of accomplished musicians, hats off to all of you!!! Dash, you can be really proud of this album!!! And as hinted above, you definitely might want to check also Indigenous Soul Movement's CD entitled "A Voice For The Voiceless", this album is out since March 2016 on Invincible Music. Alexis & Dashmesh certainly deserve your attention!!! Last but not least, also don't miss Dashmesh's fruitful guest performance on Byron Metcalf's milestone "Shamanic Trance Dance" (released during May 2016)!!!
Richard Gürtler (Oct 14, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)