Track 2 : Chant of Urm : 8:52
Track 3 : Lost Oracle : 12:09
Track 4 : A Silver Season : 12:28
Track 5 : Tone In Alium : 10:32
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“These beams of silvery sonic light are absolute gems.” – e/i Magazine
“(A) dynamically meditative work, …a must-loop disc, and a superb low-volume listen.” – Hypnagogue
“(A) beautiful kaleidoscope of soft shimmering textures and imaginary sound paintings…” – Sonic Immersion
Unbound is veteran ambient musician Forrest Fang exploring lush and abstract terrain under the Sans Serif moniker. Using very small – at times microscopic – sounds as source material, Fang utilizes a vocabulary of long shimmering tones that gradually warp, mutate and transform over the course of a piece.
Fang explains, “The Sans Serif project is my tribute to minimalism. For each piece, I have stripped sound down to certain tones and sonic elements that reappear, with variations, on a much larger scale. The processed elements are the ‘clouds’ in each piece’s landscape that gradually shift from one end of the landscape to the other.“
On Unbound, Fang takes the Sans Serif concept one step further by creating a series of extended soundscapes, each with its own distinct personality and mood. The varied atmospheres range from incandescent (“A Silver Season”) to dark (“Lost Oracle”). Though rooted in abstraction, at times the music possesses an almost luminous physicality. The pieces on Unbound contribute to an unhurried organic flow that culminates in the multi-textural closer, “Tone In Alium,” a piece loosely inspired by Thomas Tallis’ 16th-Century polyphonic work, “Spem In Alium.”
Unbound is Fang’s 10th solo album, 3rd Projekt release and 2nd release from Sans Serif. Not surprisingly, Sans Serif’s first release, Tones for LaMonte (Hypnos, 2008), was a tribute to minimalist composer La Monte Young. Throughout, the subtle psychoacoustics invite headphone listening, but its grand scale may perhaps be best appreciated over speakers.
Reviews Editor –
From Lux Atenea
Unbound is the title of the third album by Forrest Fang, released in 2011 through the mythical American label Projekt Records. A precious edition whose design is based on photographs taken by Mark Mushet, was created by Sam Rosenthal himself as a faithful evanescent image of Forrest Fang’s artistic spirit shown in his Sans Serif project. Forrest Fang poses a conceptual style characterized by this minimalistic ambience that will make music lovers of Lux Atenea hooked to their impressive hearing. An expansion of the senses that will lead them to test this mental and sensorial sensitivity through six instrumental themes that, encompassed within an experimental journey with avant-garde and innovative roots, have ended up converting each new Forrest Fang album into an incomparable display of talent musical.
The sonorous tones, the time, its expansive dimensions, the textures created from the most melodic harmonic essence, offer us this artistic soul with the unmistakable seal of Forrest Fang. For this reason, listening to compositions such as “Heron’s Aurora” or “A Silver Season”, it is inevitable to fall into that inner peace that we would not want to leave. A universal vision of the human spirit that is clearly perceived in other themes such as “Lost Oracle”, while we enter into more reflective and solemn processes during the hearing of themes such as “Chant Of Urm”. With the splendorous composition “Tone In Alium”, in this musical closure we will be getting closer little by little to the sound setting of this impressive album, leaving our minds in that state of serenity that we so yearn to have while we live immersed in this fast-paced society of the 21st century. Unbound, the musical cult of sound detailed as the fundamental key of this spectacularly beautiful album. Enjoy it!!! -Felix V. Diaz
Reviews Editor –
The hour or so it takes to find your way through the fog-shrouded washes and drones of Forrest Fang’s Unbound is time extremely well spent. The San Serif project is Fang’s exercise in minimalism. Here, he notes on his site, it’s minimalism crossed with a “maximalist twist.” The source sounds are stripped down to certain tones and elements that are reworked into large, long, tonally dense structures. The listener is treated to five extended works, each with its own identity, each in varying shades of light and dark, uplifting and ominous–and, of course, often several of these in one sitting. There’s a great range of emotion at play, mood changes that come on like unnoticed shifts in wind direction. Unbound is a dynamically meditative work, which is to say that while Fang’s cloudy drones are absolutely relaxing, there is constantly so much going on, in a very good way, that it deserves as much attention as you can manage to give it. (It’s the great ambient Catch-22: there’s a lot you need to hear, but your mind has floated off somewhere…)
This is a must-loop disc, and a superb low-volume listen. Fang’s structures seem to adapt to volume, or to subtly change in the way they enter and affect the space. A gorgeous work that’s especially appealing to drone and minimalist fans. This is the second San Serif disc; I look forward to many more to come.