FORREST FANG: Following the Ether Sun (2017)
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
“Another strong opus which blends the dark sides of Roach and Rich in a fascinating duel between Asian moods and world percussions”
1 On the Edge of a Moment 7:38 2 Midnight Rain 7:58 3 Chiaroscuro 7:36 4 The Last Technicolor Dream 10:23 5 Hinterlands 5:12 6 Receding Pool 5:11 7 A River in Retrograde 11:37 8 Left of the Sky 17:11 Projekt Records | PRO337
(CD/DDL/Spotify 72:54) (V.F.) (Mix of ambient and tribal moods)
Do not enter Forrest Fang's universe who wants! A little of curiosity and tenacity are necessary to discover some beautiful pearls hidden behind a wall of soundscapes and of decorations of foggy atmospheres which wrap a tribal approach of the most syncretic. After an incursion in the mythical depths of the oceans with The Sleepwalker's Ocean, the Sino-American sculptor of atmospheres proposes this time a heavy journey in the morphic DNA of the Sun in FOLLOWING THE ETHER SUN. Wrapped in a digipack size artwork, and the very beautiful illustration of which depicts marvelously the madness, as well as the complexity of the textures of atmospheres of the album, FOLLOWING THE ETHER SUN is also poetic as its inspiration, either a quotation of Sir Francis Bacon; In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present
Molded in a heavy curtain of anesthetic mist, On the Edge of a Moment has difficulty in making its drums and world percussions heard which dance in synth lines perfumed of a flavor of trumpet, and/or saxophone so much the laments stretch out. The duel between the percussions and the intense esoteric strata obliges the listener to open his ears so much the mass of sound becomes impressive. At times one would say Mark Isham lost in a luciferin jungle where he meets Steve Roach in one finale as dark as his Immersion Series. The impact in a music room is rather intense and addicting. The framework of dark moods remains omnipresent all around the album and it's necessary to dive in order to hear those good moments here and there which glitter. Like these delicate carillons and this secret melody which pours throughout the meditative ambiguities of Midnight Rain where clink some fascinating aboriginal percussions. Chiaroscuro, just like Receding Pool and Left of the Sky, are passages of ambiospherical delicacy which hide soft passages of split up melodies and as so secret as in Midnight Rain. I like Chiaroscuro which gets closer for me of the Steve Roach's soporific universe. After this delicacy weaved in the atmospheric stitches of Chiaroscuro, The Last Technicolor Dream wakes up in a bed of effects to propose a structure of rather suggestive ambient rhythm with a beautiful and vicious bass line of which the fat undulations are rippling below a thick cloud of percussions and of aboriginal jingles. Winds, and their absent voices, surround this fascinating dance which dives into a short phase of absenteeism before being reborn with all of its charms. A very beautiful title lost in a universe which will know how to charm the risky and insistent ears. Hinterlands is a little bit in the same style, but with more luminosity and more Asian flavors in the movement, in particular with the Kushtar, the Japanese harp and the Chinese violins. The introduction of A River in Retrograde adopts the slowness of Receding Pool but with more luminosity in the ambiences. An ambient rhythm, as intense but less festive than The Last Technicolor Dream, infiltrates our ears after the door of 3 minutes. Tribal and exotic, the percussions are the bed of charms of this title where shine lines of synth which float such as multicolored clouds. Left of the Sky ends this last musical episode of Forrest Fang with a symphony of breezes and hollow winds of which the slow harmonies converge on an intense meditative phase. A documentary music on the drought of the oceans would not be more suited than here where get lost fragments of percussions over an arid universe.
The curious ears will be filled and pleased by this sound diversity; the list of instruments used by Forrest Fang is as much impressive as the music result. Influenced by the ambiences and the quiet rhythms of Steve Roach and Robert Rich, Forrest Fang pushes his reflection even farther by proposing some fascinating secret melodies and rhythms of fires which forge this absolutely magic sound decoration of FOLLOWING THE ETHER SUN. By far the album by which it’s necessary to attack in order to be charmed by Forrest Fang's unique universe. Still there, a little of curiosity and opening are necessary but the music is more facilitating to its discovery.
Sylvain Lupari (February 25th, 2017) *****
Available on Projekt Bandcamp