Daniel O’Sullivan – Electric Māyā: Dream Flotsam and Astral Hinterlands

3 out of 5

Label: VHF Records

Produced by: Thighpaulsandra (additional engineering)

Though ultimately limited and fragmented by design, Daniel O’Sullivan’s Electric Maya is a beautiful, often mesmerizing listen that can function on several levels – as background music; as something more engaging; as dream-inspiring trance…

Library Music is royalty-free music composed specifically for it to be used in whichever creative mediums so desired. There’s a lot of gold to be found in library music, but it’s always rather purposefully somewhat anonymous, allowing it to be fit to your TV show or movie as needed. Daniel O’Sullivan has applied the free-form aetherics and drone of his various works to the goal of composing library music under his own name, using its constraints – short runtime, focused moods – to craft an LPs worth of haunting and emotive piano- and synth-based tunes; instantly immersive cuts that haze in and out gently for two or three minutes at a time. The slow, dreamlike vibe of O’Sullivan’s works persists here, and definitely makes the tracks sonically similar, but the pursuit prevents this from really being an “album;” it is what it’s designed to be: standalone moments. The denseness packed in to these moments is impressive, and the occasional break for more upbeat tracks with a beat – such as the appropriately titled Grays March – is suggestive of how borders can sometimes encourage more creativity. But again, I have to return to how fleeting the experience is, with that immersiveness necessarily cut short by the brief runtimes, and then on to the next mood.