FORREST FANG: Scenes From A Ghost Train (2018)
Updated: Sep 29
“Eclectic by its tones palette intertwined of complex themes, this album lives with this perfect balance between intense ambient beats and intense ambient elements”
1 Part I Five-Mile Crater 5:07 2 Part II Koch's Veil 5:35 3 Part III A Meeting of Totems 5:30 4 Part IV The Pulse of the Stars 5:14 5 Nocturnum 6:17 6 Freefall 5:56 7 Enfolding 9:43 8 The Great Migration 20:00 9 Waning Crescent 5:51
(CD/DDL/Spotify 69:13) (V.F.)
(Tribal ambient, ambient beats)
The title says it all! One would put in images the ambiences of SCENES FROM A GHOST TRAIN that the music would complete this connection between the eyes, the brain and the ears which are opened on a world of imagination. Divided in 2 times and in 2 tints, this last Forrest Fang's album proposes an ambiospherical vision more dominant than the rhythms which, under the colors of the iguana, lift these landscapes with tonal colors as charming as intriguing.
A very welcoming foretaste which turns up between our ears as soon as the opening of Scenes from a Ghost Train - I. Five-Mile Crater. A breeze whispers in our ears whereas synth lines spread colors and voices which awaken a delicate rhythm set on two juxtaposed lines; one of percussions and another one of sequences. Sequences and little tom-toms dance in this heavy sound framework of which the opacity and the more and more enveloping effects quiet down a sequence of rhythm which little by little fades away just before these elements of ambiences. Built on 4 parts, each independent from the others, this musical roman-fleuve of SCENES FROM A GHOST TRAIN continues with a bath of mysticism from where emerges a very pensive piano. The atmospheres, always very enveloping, of Scenes from a Ghost Train - II. Koch's Veil are weaved in layers of voices and in a musical mist where the breaths of flute play with the understanding of our ears. Scenes from a Ghost Train - III. A Meeting of Totems comes to wake these odd vibes with a nice structure of rhythm created on tribal percussions which dance in a sound veil weaved in complexity. In fact, one of the charms of these 4 acts is this sound texture, which is undefinable, so much there is convergence of elements and where float multi-lines of synth to colors sometimes bright and often dark. This architecture of the soundscapes gives a dimension which suits well to a story embroidered around this ghost train. Less livened up, but just as much sculpted in ambient rhythm, Scenes from a Ghost Train - IV. The Pulse of the Stars brings a kind of cacophony of tones which is inspired by its title. Afterward, we fall in the phases of ambiences and of tranquility of SFAGT, exception made of the nervous Freefall which also shakes and stirs in a dense magma of sounds. Nocturnum is a linear structure weaved around a meshing of hummings, of voices and of hollow breezes which float among seraphic elements. Cradling itself in a state of contemplative ecstasy, Enfolding is for relaxation. The Great Migration is another title which would lend itself very well in big movements of nomadic peoples. The opening is intense, and one imagines very well a mass of people to migrate into the unknown and of its uncertainty. That does very Steve Roach at moments, especially near the 14th minute spot when some Indonesian percussions lift up a clearly more musical, even spiritual, rhythm. Waning Crescent ends this last opus of the Sino-American musician with an ode to serenity where the percussions sound like smothered gongs in another dense sound décor.
More ambient, with much cinematographic phases, than Forrest Fang's last albums, SCENES FROM A GHOST TRAIN that is what I call an album without borders. These some phases of rhythms are equal to these textures which sculpt ambiences from another world which is not nevertheless very far from us … Just behind our imagination which travels according to a music so full of images. Sylvain Lupari (February 6th, 2018) *****