The follow-up to his critically successful “After Geography” (Bandcamp Daily’s Best Of 2020, Electronic Sound Magazine, The Moderns 2019-2020). Fran Dominguez (Forest Robots) has crafted something oddly intricate but straightforward and quintessential in ambient music. With work often compared to the greats in this field, it’s no wonder how moving this album turns out being with mature sounds developed and continuing.
He says his main inspiration comes, significantly, from his daughter, which you can recognize this spirit in the track names. Forest Robots concentrates this motivation through themes regarding spirituality, existentialism, and the ethical translation of parenthood experience.
“The Biggest Soul Searches Require The Widest Forests” features delicate bass strings balance musical light streaming as a hi-fi whisper, with the humming from dry bells, as molecular textures trickle from its breath. A great violin clamps the atmosphere in the distance, and we hear the bass’s strings gradually pluck higher, swinging through vibration. Melancholy drenches the piano, rising soft colors, then plummeting to the sounds verdure. The energy runs, but slowly, contemplating past and future; two brisk factions of mortality colliding with volition, but in a cosmic, evanescent dance, filled with character. The piano exits, and we hear silent whispers from pipes streaming through muffled conduits of audio passages. “Sustenance Comes From The Roots, Not The Height” is an offspring of the sounds heard before, but with variation, complemented by the delicate organ and the ethereal windpipes.
Intuitive starlight runs across the sky, replenished in wisdom beholden to the spirit of harmony. Forest Robots articulates the emotion pouring into various landscapes, reviving angles with the herbs of simple instruments. “All Great Things Must Grow Through Dirt First” allows plush winds and sonic lambency to touch the background delicately, while assortments of bass notes (and what sounds like) a saxophone swings across the open field. The piano is an ornament of the soundscape, aromatic and blooming, being the absolute delicacy for me in these surreal, meditative ingredients. “We Only Die Once, But Can Be Grateful Every New Day” takes an experimental turn, gripping with grainy textures, trickling and stripped of identity. But, in an instant, the music is reborn. The narrow path unfolds space, and the kinship of analog instruments, swirling in ambiance. I had fun in this region. My mind transported all over senses of the weightless gravity, condensing to the surface but loosened, allowing one to run into the forest and discover themselves. You can catch a glimpse of Forest Robots character, shining from the musical mirage influenced by daily life. The song was compelling. But, “In The Climb, Not The Summit, Lies The Most Wisdom” is no exception. Thin sounds stretch as the mind’s dawn awakens. The playful and slightly out-of-tune piano entertains. A mallet walks across this setting, with more mature sounds accompanying, guiding the music.
The track titles breathe essence into each song, being seamless and poetic. “Mirror Your Patience From Trees, Persistence From Grass” is perfect, not only in its diaphanous quality, with the birds fluttering behind the outpour of electric and worldly life merging, but mirrors the experiences we can share and pass on for future generations, surrounding their atmosphere with appreciation. “A Weak Mind Will Never Defeat A Strong Soul” is the final track to Amongst A Landscape Of Spiritual Reckoning, swarms with clever mixes. Concentrating quality to shine. Forest Robots create the most enshrining arrangements, turning into avenues pulsing with emotions, stirring the imagination. I highly encourage anyone to purchase the CD, or at least stream from Bandcamp, as Amongst A Landscape of Spiritual Reckoning is an incitation to worlds beyond imagining.