Forest Robots: “Supermoon Moonlight Part One” – gently evoked moods and distinct rhythms

“Supermoon Moonlight Part One” is the debut electronic album from Forest Robots – a project of Los Angeles based Fran Dominguez. Occupied with our connection to, and the preservation of nature, the project which began as a letter to Fran’s daughter and has now expanded into a global communication of caring from Forest Robots. This artist seems to come from nowhere with his phenomenal debut album and he immediately puts his stamp on what Ambient and instrumental electronic music should sound like, seamlessly intertwining ambient sound, synthesizers, and digital drums to create beautiful, stylized, emotional and unique soundscapes. The album contains flawless compositions, never trite, always building to a delightful purpose and concluding at just the right moment in each piece. The music keeps you engaged, not so much that you feel imposed upon, but enough because you want to follow and savor each note and intermingling chord and riff.

“Supermoon Moonlight Part One” has no wasted meandering, no trying to stretch out each piece just to fill space, there is also no sense of urgency to finish, just a very smooth enjoyment through each composition, and when you’re done listening, you’ll want to do it all over again.

No matter what kinds of music you like, if you are the least bit adventurous, you will appreciate this work. It represents, arguably, the peak of its genre. And that’s saying a whole lot for a debut recording. Forest Robots’ selection and control of sounds and layering is a delight to the ears.

Right from the opening track, “A Path Among The Woods”, the compositions are more harmonically interesting than most electronica artists and Forest Robots’ rhythmic sense is subtle and polished, and not guilty of the awkwardness or formulaic tedium that too often burdens electronic artists.

Both ethereal and grounded, sometimes-slow moving, melodic lines move about in the imagination, conjuring up mental landscapes that fully come into focus. Which is what happens on the wistful “Times When I Know You Watch The Sky I”. It’s “Shapes Shift In The Distant Shadows” which figures as the first standout track with its incessant synth buzz and driven beat.

“Last Silvers of Moon” has an overall sheen and slickness that disguises some very carefully worked out musical details, hidden in plain view within its minimalist piano driven musical ideas and instrumental and choral textures. “Silhouettes Follow The Echoes” avoids superficiality, or just plain brainless electronica, by means of a slowly evolving musical landscape that is imbued with optimism, warmth and an unpretentious musical integrity.

“Then The Spider Turned Into a Cloud” exudes a melodic space and creates an other-worldly atmosphere where the listener becomes thoroughly entrenched in the celestial microcosm Forest Robots’ manifests here.

On “Mandelbrots In Winter” the rhythmic music will take you to deep places within your awareness, while the melody tries not to be complicated. This is a song of haunting beauty and a layered, transcendental sounding theme. “While Birds Dream of Dawn and Wind” has an almost post-rock attraction with its harder beat that sucks you into moments of synthetic vertigo.

“By The Stillness of The Lake” has a sense of celebratory melancholy that is difficult to replicate in many other listening experiences. Forest Robots closes the album on a high and upbeat note with “Follow the Towers to the Moon”, with its swirling melodic build-ups that end in joyful light dance grooves.

On “Supermoon Moonlight Part One” you will find aural soundscapes, gently evoked moods and distinct rhythms, but this is music that touches your very core. It talks to you and folds you into its melodic conversation. Definitely recommended.


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