The Los Angeles based project Forest Robots headed by its sole proprietor Fran Dominguez, continues in its quest to enhance our connection to, and the preservation of, nature. The project which first began as a letter to Fran’s daughter about the wonders of nature expanded into a global communication with the release of its critically acclaimed debut album, “Supermoon Moonlight Part One”. Now via Emmasierra Songs, Dominguez presents the 10 track sophomore effort by Forest Robots, entitled “Timberline and Mountain Crest”. Though electronic and digitally created in an ultramodern studio environment, this is music that sounds like it has always existed, the same as with the wind, the sky and the trees.
There’s a lot of electronic music these days that try to be impacting by using dazzling effects, weird noises and anything else that would be out of the ordinary. “Timberline and Mountain Crest” doesn’t need all of that, and that’s why this album is so much more important than most other electronic releases. After listening to over forty minutes worth of music you get the feeling that you’ve heard something that matters, and not just some kid fiddling around with his new laptop and DAW.
“Timberline and Mountain Crest” is such a good album. What distinguishes Forest Robots from his peers, is his ability to transmit or capture a mood or emotion through electronic music, and in a much more intense fashion than many other artists of that kind.
Forest Robots had come up with a distinct, orchestral, cinematic, and nostalgic sound on his debut. Which he now continues to produce, only with the added luxury of more rhythmic and synth elements that lean towards synthwave, soul and funk flavors.
The opening track, “Sudden Bioluminescence”, is an excellent demonstration of the project’s more accessible aforementioned style. Forest Robots make use of this style in a particularly unique fashion, and this is a big part of what makes this greatest record.
“Where The Wild Summer Storms Run” is even more airier and upbeat, while “Through The Trees And Into Wide Open Landscapes” – which is the lead single – breathes warmth over a futuristic beat that plods and hovers with equal determination.
“Between The Orange And Purple Horizon” gives a very vivid feeling of place and sensation to the imaginative listener. Elsewhere, as on “As The Sun Rises Between Timberline And Mountain Crest”, the music is quiet and poignant, led by a gently glistening piano. “On A Desolate Shore Under A Full Moon” is a classic too.
The rhythm that kicks in, in juxtaposition to the plucked staccato strings, creates some of its specifically great moments. When paying particularly close attention to songs like “Farewell Sudden Summer Storm Clouds” and “When Forest Leaves Begin To Change” the listener is rewarded in finding expansive visions within the music’s myriad of delicacies.
With this album, Forest Robots creates a world out of music. And every sound adds to the construction of this world. On “Timberline and Mountain Crest”, the music steps away from the forest’s core and outside of the timberline, where different landscapes manifest themselves, and even when the album ends with “It’s Quietest At The Edge Of The Crestline”, it is difficult to step back into reality because this aural existence becomes so real.
I don’t have any possible flaws to delineate here: “Timberline and Mountain Crest” is a thoroughly immersive listening experience that has not only excellent songs, but an overarching theme that works in favor of the music therein, and vice-versa.