Exposé Online banner

Forrest Fang — Phantoms
(Projekt 230, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Phantoms Cover artIt’s been nearly a decade since Fang’s last solo release Gongland, punctuated only by Invisibility, his collaboration with Carl Weingarten in 2006. But great achievements are never accomplished in a hurry, and Phantoms has clearly been worth the wait. Working with a variety of non-western (mostly East Asian) percussion and stringed instruments, violin, mandolin, synthesizers, and electronics – as well as the studio as an instrument in and of itself, Fang builds upon the foundation of all his previous works, this time (like Gongland before it) assuming more of a floating ambient character, driven by beautiful drifting atmospherics and waves of free-flowing sheets of gossamer imagery, accented (in varying degrees) by the natural sounds of the eastern instrumentation and at times what almost sounds like angelic voices shimmering through the clouds. The textures that comprise the numerous layers of sound are in a constant evolutionary state, changing from one moment to the next like the restless cycles of nature, though seemingly accelerated via time lapse. In a few cases (most notably “Little Angklung”) the tuned percussion is a stronger driving factor in the overall sonic fabric. The expansive “The Hallucinations of Hung Tung” clocks in at close to 24 minutes and brings the violins, eastern strings and percussion to the fore, though never overpowering the overall textural approach of the sonic fabric. In a word – beautiful.

Filed under: , Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Forrest Fang

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

JPP - Artology – Just when you thought you'd had enough of Nordic fiddles, along comes this little gem from Finland. I like Scandinavian folk music as much as the next guy — probably more, actually — though I'll...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues