AMN Reviews: Forrest Fang – Forever Cascades (2021; Projekt Records)

Longtime electronic / ambient artist Forrest Fang is back with Forever Cascades, another release of his unique amalgam of styles. While often spoken of in the same breath as contemporaries Steve Roach, Robert Rich, and Michael Stearns, Fang diverges from the paths of these gentlemen. In addition to synth washes and sequenced patterns, Fang employs violin, dulcimer, and clavinet, as well as other stringed and percussion instruments, in interlocking patterns. The result is rhythmically driven, uptempo, and more reminiscent of the works of Terry Riley than others in the ambient space.

Further, unlike much of the darker ambient featured in these pages, Fang’s offerings are brighter and more optimistic in tone. But a surprising amount of sophistication underlies this positivity. Influenced by walks in natural areas around the San Francisco Bay, the tracks on Forever Cascades have a dense, rich, and organic feel. The exact point at which the acoustic instrumentation ends and the electronics begin moves about and can be hard to nail down. Perhaps to that end, this album can be listened to for purposes of relaxation or meditation rather than musical deconstruction.

All in all, a warm and enjoyable journey. Forever Cascades will be released on December 10 by Projekt Records.