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Animism by Forrest Fang

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FORREST FANG: Animism (CD on Projekt)

This CD from 2012 features 60 minutes of haunting electronic music.

Fang plays: synthesizer, electronics, (acoustic and electric) violin, (acoustic and electric) mandolin, lavta, kulintang, marxolin, baglama, bandurria, dan bau, cane flute, and percussion.

This CD blends fourth world instruments with modern electronics to produce a wonderful gestalt of diverse cultures in the form of rewarding tuneage.

The electronics are moody and airy. Texturals provide vaporous backdrops for the melodies, stratospheric vistas ripe with understated glory. While more pronounced electronics establish luscious flows to support the other instruments, sparkling currents of ethereal beauty.

The fourth world acoustic instruments generally fall into two categories: stringed and percussive. The strings produce an uncommon strummed resonance of the type that reverberates in an eerie manner, chords that evoke the calm of reposing beneath boughs heavy with cherry blossoms. While the percussives lend a non-tribal yet primitive edge with their relaxed patter, like metal bowls struck to create single beats which shimmer with a tangible luminosity. The majority of these rhythms are unhurried, serving more as embellishment than locomotion.

Meanwhile, ethnic woodwinds generate a breathy presence akin to spirits spinning amid the sonic flow.

The violins provide a sharp poignancy with their haunting resonance.

These compositions establish a relaxed temperament dedicated to illustrating how everything (animate or inert) possesses its own life force. This unilateral verve is superbly communicated through fluid melodies that fuse a sense of buoyant drifting with a subtle bounciness. The tunes achieve a spectral appeal that is curiously grounded through the use of the ethnic instruments.

Thoroughly worthwhile.

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