Forrest Fang — Following the Ether Sun
(Projekt 337, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-03-15
The thing that differentiates Forrest Fang’s music from all the other ambient guys is his extensive use of acoustic instruments. This has always been the case, at least going all the way back to the early 80s, and his list of instruments – mostly unusual stuff from around the world – seems to grow with each new release. Assuming that CD labeling is a little like food labeling, the synthesizer is always at or near the top of the list, keyboards, violin, and mandolin are always there too, but then a easily dozen or more ethnic instruments from Africa, Asia, and South America make up the balance, all added to the magic stew as needed and heavily processed to give the desired, and unique results, that are his recognizable his own. The eight pieces presented here range from around five minutes to album side length, and give a litener a whole new world to get lost within. The shimmering textures that the listener is thoroughly immersed in seem to be created via walls of processed acoustic sounds with synthesizers supporting, with or without percussion, and then the melody instruments will emerge out of this fog, first subtly and then boldly, and carry each piece forward. At certain points the textures may subside and expose the melodic content to a greater degree, as a way of achieving a more powerful dynamic. Melodies within the mist tend to be repetitive, minimalist, and somewhat cyclical in nature, as each of the pieces proceed, garnering a strong and evident emotional content that is at once fresh, pervasive and dreamlike, much like a weightless walk through an limitless garden. All of these elements coalesce and commingle on all the pieces herein, but probably none more powerfully than “The Last Technicolor Dream,” where pristine and colorful melodies, almost sounding like the voices of angels, emerge out of a dark sonic miasma, with percussion soon to follow. Special note must be made of the adorning cover image by artist Kinga Britschgi, which fits the music perfectly, and packages this collection that was well over a year in the making.
Related artist(s): Forrest Fang
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more