Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Forest Robots “Timberline and Mountain Crest”

From energizing soundscapes to image-driven melodies, Forest Robots is a master when it comes to creating messages in music.  That’s why I am so glad to reintroduce Forest Robots to my regular readers while introducing this artist to my new readers; and, his newest EP “Timberline and Mountain Crest” wastes no time in getting right into the magic. 

Ten tracks encompass instrumental power and curiosity: 

  1. Sudden Bioluminescence
  2. Where the Wild Summer Storms Run
  3. Through the Trees and Into Wide Open Landscapes
  4. Between the Orange and Purple Horizon
  5. Treading Where Others Have Perished
  6. As the Sun Rises Between Timberline and Mountain Crest
  7. On A Desolate Shore Under A Full Moon
  8. Farewell Sudden Summer Storm Clouds
  9. When Forest Leaves Begin to Change
  10. It’s Quietest at The Edge Of The Crestline

I will focus on six of the tracks to place emphasis on Forest Robots' ability to turn the needle on music’s compass to mental exploration. 

Opening the album is the transient track “Sudden Bioluminescence” that just stops you in your tracks and makes you ponder on the how’s, whys, when’s, and what’s of life.  The orchestration of the track’s melody is perfectly in line with the organic flow of things in life that spontaneously light up as the core melody starts slow and climbs in tempo and effect.  It is pulsating and quietly elevating.  And like a summer storm, the next track comes in with meaning.

You know the way, that perfect way, that the wind appears to be kissing you on each ear at different times?  Well, that is how Where the Wild Summer Storms Run” ushers into play.  This track bounces into each ear, one at a time, and is so ridiculously awesome - WOW, what a great effect!  Plus, this cut has a hook that is just so memorable.  Like a tornado, it just eats up the trail of other artist’s EDM tracks reorganizing what many feel an EDM track should sound like.  Gone is the monotony of over layered instrumental textures, overused digital soundscapes, and looping of melodies.  This track is organic and progresses with fresh vibes.  Nice!

Next, we haveTreading Where Others Have Perished” – a sort of one minute instrumental natural bridge that connects the tracks, which is followed by “As the Sun Rises between Timberline and Mountain Crest.”

As the Sun Rises between Timberline and Mountain Creststarts out with just a crisp piano and visually puts to mind the very moment when one sees the sun peak over a mountain.  The piano and synths climb together, pull back, and then continue to climb with a cello joining in to pull the track to its finish.  It is simplistic and richly fierce at the same time.  If one could climb mount Vesuvius and reach its summit, this would be their score – the cello resembling rough edges that smooth-out as time goes on, and those crisp provoking piano notes and synths mirroring oozing lava.

The “wild card” of the bunch is the ninth track “When Forest Leaves Begin to Change,” and justly so, as the experience of seeing leaves change is abrupt.  Something so normal as autumn takes a different approach each year:  it starts at its own time and ends at its own time, the colors may be duller or brighter, or it could last two months to three months.  When leaves begin to change in nature, it illustrates purposeful control within nature, thus teaching us how to refrain from lack of control.  Moreover, this natural process also shows us how to never lose our vibrant colors.  This track helps us to remember how change, self-control, and uniqueness go hand in hand.

It’s Quietest at The Edge of the Crestline is a contemplative track that closes the album smoothly and transiently.  Eclectic soundscapes dance and mold onto each other without clashing or coming off as too melancholy.  This track is impressionably visual and brings to mind the view of one clearing the woods on foot to encounter the shore at their reach. 

I wanted to bring in 2019 with a more explorative take on music by reviewing Forest Robots’ “Timberline and Mountain Crest.”  Forest Robots’ music brings that difference when it comes to Electronic Music.  Not one song on this album is pretentious in its production with too many FX or overlapping melodies that makes the listener get lost in the mix.  Each track is laid out with a crystal clear foundation that allows for a wonderful, fulfilling, listening experience. 

And aesthetically, while both timberlines and mountain crests illustrate natural borders letting us know our limits, they also invite us to dare and explore what may seem impossible.  This collection of instrumental music helps to enhance the emotions in us that make us climb, fly, swim, and dream in order to accomplish the impossible. 

Awaiting your exploration is a collection of music that is very open-hearted and open-minded. 

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