This morning I drove out to Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast for my family. The weather was unnaturally cool, and an eerie wind disturbed newly fallen leaves that littered the road. It was October weather coming a little early, and it set the scene for Siddhi’s “Dark Leaves”. The word “Siddhi” is a sanskrit noun that basically translates into perfection, or success. A siddhi might be an unusual skill possessed by someone. This sort of describes “Dark Leaves’” interesting compositions, which blend finger-picked folk guitar with shimmering, decaying cymbals and bursts of noise from horned instruments and random metal objects. The melodies are repetitive and trance inducing, and everything carries the air of a parched, arid desert. Coyotes howl.
I took a walk later, and my view of path seemed to change as “Moonlight” transferred into the side II track “Pale Flowers”, morphing into a bitter and solemn vision of earth. “Moonlight” and “String” both follow similar patterns, western tinged guitar melodies that snake infinitely like steep canyons, whilst a stream of eclectic noise trickles through, the last remnants from a rainy season. The cymbals sound cracked and dry, the electric guitar moans like the Delta.
On the side II track, Siddhi stretches his arid blend of drone-folk to the max with “Pale Flowers”. Over another, somewhat formulaic guitar melody drips an icy xylophone solo, like hail pelting roses in the garden, or in the cemetary. Nothing seems to grow in the world of “Dark Leaves” though, until halfway through the track, when swirls of ambient noise ring back and forth across the hallways and a gong signals peace. But before this Siddhi delves into chaos, beating every instrument he can find, squeezing all the moisture out of everything, until the music finally slows to a close. Absolutely dry.
“Dark Leaves” is nothing but variations on a similar theme, and Siddhi sticks to a very refreshing and different take on drone music, weaving wicker guitar rhythms throughout the three pieces on this tape. While it isn’t that diverse, I came home from my walk totally satisfied, as if nothing else was required or expected. Siddhi doesn’t take any unnecessary chances with this tape, but he certainly doesn’t need to. “Dark Leaves” is currently sold out on Sweat Lodge Guru, I suggest checking distros, the interweb is a vast place.