All through Dash Lewis’ latest Gardener album, I Am Here For A Moment, runs an ecstatic thread. Electronics swirl through neon-soaked skies, lighting up the night in the last days of summer. Lewis is such an underrated alchemist when it comes to experimental electronic music. Between his stellar recent collaboration with Jeff Zeigler and last year’s Calm Down, he’s hit a vein of form that continually has me wanting more.
Ephemeral tones rise toward the edge of restraint in the opening moments of “Backwards Down the Stairs” as forward-looking sequences emerge out of a silken cloud. Welcoming mantras are hinted at by the sonic ether, arms held open waiting for an embrace. “Backwards Down the Stairs” sets the table beautifully, centering my thoughts toward this exploratory zone. When the looped vocals meet the gentle beat of “It Rained Again,” space opens, and the environment blossoms. Lewis holds back, though, overwhelmed by the magic and fighting the melancholic reminder that the view is temporary even if the landscape is permanent.
Beneath the shimmering surface of awe diffused throughout I Am Here For A Moment, is a longing. “Blood Blister” bubbles along with synths rising and falling in the cool air, a far cry from the warmth of summer, but running a finger over leftover scars, remembering those days from a past life. Within the expansive drones and melodies, Lewis meditates on the weight of absence and how it changes a memory of a person or place, and how that shift alters reality. The feeling reemerges on “A Year Again” as it teems with anticipation and a hopeful return. The feeling is electric and comes into full-bloom on rapturous closer, “Bright as the Southern Sun.”
I Am Here For A Moment rolls deep. Smiles spread across the room, guided by the bass thrum and ancient rhythms of “Bright as the Southern Sun.” Lewis captures a huge range of emotions on the album, but always with an eye for the final lift-off. Psych-infused organ loops weave magic into every crevice as the album drives, joyous and unafraid, toward the shifting horizon. There’s no telling what it will be like once we get eventually get there, but we’ll always remember the ride.
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