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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Independent Music Reviews => Topic started by: richardgurtler on May 20, 2012, 01:53:47 AM

Title: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: richardgurtler on May 20, 2012, 01:53:47 AM

Forrest Fang "Animism" CD

The brand new work "Animism" by the Chinese-American ambient exotica virtuoso Forrest Fang is ready to hit the streets during the June 2012. After checking the credits on elegant eco CD wallet packaging, everything is more than clear, Forrest Fang is again unveiling all the secrets of his acoustic wizardry by utilizing except violins and mandolins many exotic instruments, mostly originated from Mediterranean region (Baglama and Lavta, both stringed instruments), Southeast Asia (Kulintang - a set of horizontally laid gongs, Dan Bau - a monochord, one-string instrument with a rod, serving as a resonator), South America (Bandurria - a stringed instrument, similar to the cittern or mandolin) or North America (Marxolin - a bowed instrument). A long multi-cultural variety of instruments I must say, among them some that I most likely didn't hear before. "Tailing Wind" hits straightly this fascinating route with its intense, nearly eclectic blend of strings, percussions and gongs, that should be above mentioned Kulintang. This opening composition attracts with strongly primordial feel. Darker dronescapes of "The Chameleon's Paintbox" are soon joined by enchantingly expessive palette of euphoric strings. And even if some delicate Western-infused elements join the stage, just close your eyes and you are immediately transported by this ultimate masterpiece into absolutely exciting places, where all the fragrances and glamor of wonderful Middle East palaces can be explored. Magnificently colorful and beautiful piece, Forrest!!! Sorrowful strings with gongs lead "Islands In The Sky" into deeply meditative realms, which are later shifting into chillout phase before journeying into adventurously magical and filigree fusion of finest Asian and Western musical ingredients. Organic groovy exotica at its most alluring!!! We are encountering a richly sculpted, intriguingly fragranced and skillfully balanced mixture of atmospheric or meditative soundscaping with Forrest's Chinese heritage and Fourth World musical traditions. The next two compositions, "Evening Chorus" and "Passing Suns" sedate with heavenly floating washes, a purely aural bliss is awaiting for everyone!!! "A Tributary Unwinds" is colored with deeper drones and cavernous distruptions at the beginning, but soon the tribal drumming and string magic steal the show. A performance holding the signature that is only Forrest Fang!!! The interaction of all acoustics and electronics is just amazing in this composition, to my ears, certainly an Ambient Hall Of Fame virtuosity!!! "Sleeping Snakes" are joined by heavier and intense spiraling drone sounds enriched by fragilely tinkling bells. The closing piece, "Resting Point", precisely displays its title with serenely wandering drifts presenting Forrest Fang at his most tranquil craft!!! Not to forget, having Robert Rich behind the mastering desk is another bonus. "Animism" is the next benchmark release of Forrest Fang and one of the undisputable highlights of 2012 so far!!! Thank you so much, Forrest, for inviting me to experience spectacular adventures and breathtaking sceneries of all these extraordinary territories, you are a true sonic innovator!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 20, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Title: Re: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: mystified on May 20, 2012, 05:49:20 AM
I couldn't agree more-- it's a phenomenal cd, not to be missed!
Title: Re: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: hdibrell on May 20, 2012, 10:44:49 AM
Yes! This is a really good cd. One of the first things I did upon receiving and listening to it was to look up the credited instruments. I was already familiar with kulintang from a local Filipino folk music group here in San Antonio. Most of the rest Richard mentions I wasn't familiar with. Whether you are as interested in instrumentation or not, this is a must have cd IMO.
Title: Re: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: drone on on May 21, 2012, 12:23:35 PM
Thanks for the detailed review as usual, Richard.  This one's definitely on my radar for a future purchase. 
Title: Re: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: APK on May 21, 2012, 05:17:00 PM
Just at the Steve Roach site to hear samples, and I was very impressed.
Fine review Richard. Very fine work Forrest !
I'll be getting a copy.
Title: Re: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: richardgurtler on May 22, 2012, 08:32:18 AM
Thank you, guys, for all your feedbacks, I really appreciate that!!! Once again, big thanks to Forrest for this masterwork!!!

Title: Re: My review of "Animism" CD by Forrest Fang
Post by: ffcal on May 22, 2012, 01:11:55 PM
Thanks guys, with a special thanks to Richard to his tireless dedication to our tiny genre.