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Crommie; Daniel With Glyn Havard: Between The Darkness And The Dawn

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Daniel Crommie is, what with is solo work, being a member of Group D'Jour, Echo System and Saturnalia Trio what could be described as a work-aholic. For his latest solo album, intriguingly titled Between The Darkness and The Dawn, Daniel has teamed up with Jade Warrior vocalist Glyn Havard to create an art-pop album that combines some intricate instrumental songs with six tracks where Havard uses his deep, passionate vocals to add to the drama and poignancy of the music. The evocative title of this disc gives an early insight into what can be expected when you listen to these nine tracks (ten if you get the physical CD), as all the music on this album veers between the threatening melancholy of darkness and the hope of an escape into the light.

The rhythms that run through the album are an integral part of BTD&TD, as Crommie's programmed beats continually set the agenda for instruments as wide and varied as tongue drums, violas, flutes, dulcimers, finger cymbals and recorder to roam freely, leaving trance-like trails of melody for the listener to follow. It isn't always a comfortable journey, with the likes of the sparsely arranged "Another Urban Incantaion", which is fifteen minutes long, being a constantly changing scene as the floating music fades into and out of view, leaving hazy images for the next passage to cling onto. It may all sound a bit hard going however in actual fact nothing could be further from the truth. The eclectic and quickly changing sounds keep the songs fresh and interesting and the mixture of vocal songs and instrumentals also makes for welcome variation.

Havard's contribution is perfectly in keeping with the mid-paced, atmospheric feel of the album, however at times it would have been welcome to hear a really contrasting voice to his, say a female singer, to really counterpoint his voice and create a new focal point. That said songs such as the slightly Vangelis tinged opener "Psyclones" and the beautiful flute led "Veterans Day Parade" illustrate just how strong Havard's vocals are and the latter of the two also has a wonderful lyric about how distasteful much of the everyday life those veterans fought for is. The only real down-turn on the album is "Under A Radar Moon", where the constant samples of birds squawking and squealing really detracts from the atmospheric music. However when there are tracks as strong as the gently grooving "In Tears We Trust", the floating and aptly titled "Hypnotica" and the fanfare of "Warriors", then that one missed step is easy to over look.

Between The Darkness And The Dawn is a beautifully cohesive amalgam of disparate genres all brought together with skill and grace and makes for a completely involving listen every time.

There is also another album that will be available soon, titled "Direct Current" taken from these sessions (minus Havard), which should also be well worth checking out.

Track Listing
1. Psyclones
2. Hipnautica
3. Monks
4. In Tears We Trust
5. Under a Radar Moon
6. Goodbye Cruel World
7. Another Urban Incantation / Twilight Fen / Swamp Stomp
8. Veterans Day Parade
9. Warriors
10. The Spell is Broken (2010 redux)

Added: September 10th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Daniel Crommie MySpace
Hits: 2142
Language: english

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