Australia’s Daheen (David Le Breton) is no newcomer to the psy-chill genre, having released 5 tracks over the past five years on various labels, including Ketuh Records, Electric Power Pole Records, PsyPneumatics and last but not least Regen Records (on which this debut album is released). This album comes in the form of an eco friendly package, in true form of Regen Records. It was originally distributed as a promo CD, and, apparently, it greeted by Regen Records with such enthusiasm as to decide on a full blown release. Mastering was done by Huby Sea, audio technician of Ultimae fame, and should, no matter whether the music itself is worth your time, ensure crystalline audio reproduction.
So what has Daheen cooked up? The opening put me in mind of Junkie XL’s ‘A
forest called Mulu’, however that quickly changed as resemblance between the two albums evaporated after the first track. Something I noticed is that it sounded somehow fresh. That is not to say all tracks are ground breaking or genre-shattering or even good, but there seems a naive sort of playfulness at heart. There are some lovely excursions into melancholic guitar touched downbeat goodness (Wisdom), upbeat digressions (Mylanta), ethnic detours (Edduby) and even 70’s tinged 4x4 outings (secret track after Voice Box, which put me in mind of Fuzzion’s Little Girl somehow). However, not all is well and good.
The album at times lacks ideas, is a bit simplistic, and production (and especially sampling) sounds uneven in several tracks (both orchestration and production itself). It feels like the album tries to borrow too many influences at once, ranging from Shpongle to OOOD to Shulman to Fuzzion to a host of others. This in itself is not a bad thing, as in some tracks the results are lovely, but in others there seems to lack an alchemy to lift this album to higher grounds. And this is a shame, because overall I really enjoyed this album. There are lots of moments that will put a smile on your face, make you want to close your eyes and just drift away on the music. These moments are however interrupted by less inviting orchestrations which disrupt the overall flow of the album.