Times When I Know You'll Watch The Sky is the new and third full-length album in two years by Fran Dominguez and Forest Robots. It seems to be the case that Forest Robots is a project which is a love letter to his daughter about the wonders of nature. So you could say this album is just one side to his project. This album in particular is supposed to be about fall.
The music is instrumental and seems to mix very little if any organic elements with electronic elements. Synths and electronic percussion are the main tools here. That being said, the music seems to be aligned more with acts like Boards of Canada and Four Tet.
Things open with “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest.” There is a brief intro before the main riff, melody and textures are presented. The music is pristine and sounds crystallized almost as if playing in an ethereal simulation. My mind was thinking of pixels and computers rather than nature.
“Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon” is up next and suffice it to say there are a lot of similarities to the first song. I again had this feeling I was in a simulation of nature in some regards. The way the music is perfectly aligned is some regards is like it’s on a grid and was an interesting aspect to consider.
There are some highlights in the batch such as “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm.” He utilizes delay effects, electronic percussion and serene melodies. The moody “Times When I Know You Watch The Sky II” is another one not to miss out on.
I think trying to make music that captures the wonders of nature is an ambitious project. The Trial of St. Orange by Shalabi Effect is an album that I think does this successfully. I at least feel like I’m listening to part of nature in some way. I do want to say I really liked the songs on this album. The way in which they combine textures, tones and melodies should be applauded. I think some part of my mind was thinking that this was also an appreciation of technology itself. The implementation of mostly electronic instrumentation and not organic instrumentation made me feel like it was approximation of nature itself, sort of like in a simulation. On that point, there is a very popular theory out there made by the philosopher Nick Bostrom that states we might be living in a simulation. In that case I would say Times When I Know You'll Watch The Sky might be more accurate than I give it credit for.
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