Forrest Fang – Following The Ether Sun

The album opens with soft, swirling synths, plucked strings, and soft percussion. Low beats enter and violin comes into the mix until we have busy, dense layers of sound. The second track follows seamlessly and features some shimmering melodies and nice electronic sequences. From there, the third track has gliding, melodic synths, some twinkling bits, and a drone in the background. As it evolves I hear touches of water-like sounds, some plucked strings, and a general feeling of peacefulness.

Track four is a turning point for the album. Halfway through it becomes heavily percussion and groove-driven, which is not a bad thing. I find myself further engaged with the album at this point. The fifth track changes moods to a slow violin melody and some exotic instruments that are difficult to pin down. There is a highly emotional feel to this track that I enjoy.

The next track has some warm synth tones and rich melodies. I do drift off a bit here until the seventh track comes in with a piece of synth ambience that gives way to a string-based rhythm and some strong percussion. The final track seems to strip back the acoustic instrumentation and rhythms for pure ambience. There are some soft synths, miniature melodies, and bell-like tones on this track. The album closes out by pushing the melodies to the background and giving way to careful, pulsating textures.

This is a very fine album that I enjoy greatly. It is too early to say if it tops Forrest’s phenomenal album from last year, The Sleepwalker’s Ocean. The feeling of this album is distinct from that one and may be more immediately accessible to some listeners due to the shorter length. If you enjoy adventurous, ambient-leaning music with a wide variety of instrumentation you should find much to appreciate here.

The album is available from Projekt Records and Bandcamp.

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