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
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more