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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Andy Summers - The Last Dance of Mr. X – What's this? Former Police-man Andy Summers fronting what is essentially a power trio? And with a backing band consisting of monster bassist Tony Levin and Gregg Bissonette on drums? Perhaps the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues