What does Random Forest sound like?
Post-rock from a distance for the sensitive of heart.
The review of Random Forest – Ascension
Random Forest has been a long running project between Aaron Gilbert and David Walters (aka The Echelon Effect). Three years after their last release, the ambient soundtrack duo return with “Ascension”. It’s an unassuming EP full of relaxing ideas and places. Their mixture of real-world sounds, acoustic guitar, light synths and gentle percussion gives Random Forest a deft touch for creating moments in time.
“Rainy Days” does just that with the beat of the song being a car windscreen wiper. As the rain outside the window fades in and out, light guitar, distant softened piano and the gentlest post-rock electric guitar whine pour out a lovely symphony. It is the premium tier of relaxing soundscape music offers one side of Random Forest. “Across a Vast Distance” offers the other – expansive post-rock dramatics where the guitars and drums create a white noise background to sweeping aural synths. They battle out in the speakers equally, as if all the rage of the rock has been quietened by the epicness of the airy synths. It is a different way to produce, having the synths the loudest in a post-rock piece, but it utterly works here. “The Bird of Prey Casts a Long Shadow” returns to the distance of instruments, smeared with nostalgia and allowing grand emptiness between chords and hits to reign out. “Love Letter to an Alien” rounds out the EP with a rustic drum and tape synth number that has coded messages being pulsed into it with morse code.
Each of these songs feel like they are showcasing a moment in time and sound lived in. Using real-world instruments, the weather, the production and various rock instruments around them, Random Forest’s music feels palpable in a way many other musicians in this genre of music aren’t. Beautiful and melancholy in its subdued mannerisms whilst simultaneously making grand gestures in the distance, it’s another fine release from the duo. There’s nothing random about this forest. Everything is exactly where it should be.
Recommended track: Rainy Nights
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