Until now, the electronic creations by most talented multi-instrumentalist Forrest Fang have proved a surrealist blend of processed ethnic instruments and minimalist, ambient soundscapes.
“Scenes from a Ghost Train” finds its inspiration in the phantom train of urban folklore that appears and disappears without a trace. In the composer’s view, the ghost train is a projection of the human imagination that merges fantastical ideas, thoughts and mental images with the physical environment to create its own alternate space, much like Forrest tries to realize in his music.
On this release he succeeded in doing that through a deep, warm and overall spacious canvas of cinematic yet dreamy sounds and rich textures. The album’s fascinating hybrid of influences from the West and East features many string instruments also while the outcome transforms to a more dynamic vehicle when assorted rhythms enter the stage as e.g. displayed on the last two chapters of the title piece.
This said, distinct flavors of gamelan and Indonesia shine through as well more prominently or simmering in the background as the recording progresses. The largest part of the 20-minute “The Great Migration” is a minimalist soundscape ride pulling the listener in with its ethereal, slow evolving and hypnotic aural design. Then the dream settles down gently on the final track “Waning Crescent”, closing the circle of sophisticated reveries. Nice going Forrest.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Forrest Fang artist page