Forrest Fang’s San Serif, Unbound

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.

Available from Projekt.

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