Drone Forest - "Amy's Arms / Metacollage" LP - This ultra-limited vinyl is the debut from a group of artists who exchange source material over the internet - so there's no 'band' to speak of, just individual composers adding their parts to create a cohesive whole. Consisting of two extended side-long pieces, there's plenty of experimental atmospheres and oddly surreal sound journeys here, none of which approach any semblance of conventional rhythm or melody. 'Amy's Arms' floats from haunting urban futurescapes to environmental ambience, and summons forth visions of a fantastic and colorful planet that is certainly not our own. When it all ended and the turntable stopped, I was sad to leave... Side B, titled 'Metacollage', is a similar experience, with diverse noises, drifty tones, and an almost-rainforest vibe that can be the perfect accompaniment for a quiet time at home or a trip to the outer realms. Noted ambient/psychedelia composer and Vuzh label owner C. Reider assembled these wonderful sound voyages from many hours of raw collaborations, many of which are available for free download at www.droneforest.com
. So if you need a soundtrack to relax to, or just something to escape the mundanities of the working day with, this is a fine, fine release of unconventional sound that resounds with heart and soul. (Vuzh Music)
-- Todd Zachritz, Godsend
DRONE FOREST - AMY'S ARMS/METACOLLAGE (LP by Vuzh Music) In the dark days around christmas I was first introduced to the music of Drone Forest, which is 'a group of musicians who exchange raw sounds over the internet, then use those source sounds to individually construct music that adheres to a group ethic' (see Vital Weekly 558). 'Amy's Arms/Metacollage' is their first outing on vinyl, after a vast amount of CDRs. Currently there are four core members, Davie Blint, Mike Bowman, Ian C. Stewart (who founded Drone Forest in 2002) and C. Reider, the latter being responsible for the assembly of this LP and the release of it on his own Vuzh Music label. The recent CDR releases I reviewed were also assembled by Reider, so perhaps I am seeing only part of the four sided coin, but Drone Forest plays quite some interesting pieces of drone music. The music here is fifteen or so minutes per side of dark and highly atmospheric drone music, with a great emphasize on organ like sounds, many effects (perhaps a bit too many) and processed, through the same sound effects, recordings culled from nature. The longer piece approach applied here works well, better than the somewhat shorter pieces on the previous CDRs. Here music gets the time it needs to develop under the microscope. It's also somewhat louder and more present than much of the UK counterparts who work in a similar field (Monos, Ora). It makes this LP by far the better work I heard so far by Drone Forest, even when the music itself has no relatively new surprises to carry. (FdW)
--Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
Genre: Drone / Ambient /Experimental --- Amy's Arms occupies just under 14 minutes of strange, evolving drone-scapes and audio collage. A bed of bubbling, LFO driven pink noise ripples across the soundstage. Strange, fluid atmospheres and shrill whistles arc across the field of perception before a warm organic, droning pad makes its presence felt. Clouds of fluffy amorphous noise ebb and flow before evaporating and leaving a lull in the hiatus before the track begins to wander into even stranger and darker territories. Brief snatches of samples and found sound chop in and out in glitchy abandon whilst a sustaining peal of discordant bells play a random refrain sounding like a set of oddly detuned wind-chimes in the grip of some mischevious dust devil. A whistling and whining mistral wind envelopes the listener as the music becomes denser still, mutating into an ominous phalanx of sound. Warm, breathy pads comb the surface of this swirling pool of sonics skittering high into the air and then diving low. The final four minutes of the track assumes an almost magic and enchanting air with light and airy pads shining through the mists of sound. Distant, deconstructed and effected vocal snippets hang in the breeze calling out to be heard, their message and meaning lost deep within the depths of sound. This is a strange and beguiling track, ever changing and mutating, growing in stature and majesty before the final notes of sound fade away like the last rays of the setting sun, leaving only silence.
"Metacollage" is a searing wash of shimmering sound complemented by strange whale like cries emanating from below the enveloping waves of drone. A metallic, electric, fizzing guitar-like drone pierces the calm and surfs the warm rush of undulating sonics. Layers of sound snake around each other brightening and then darkening in timbre in an instant before the waves of sound suddenly give way to allow passage of a warm pad imbued with fiery sparks of high keyed sound. Strange melodies and fell voices filter through the warmth of this ever changing drone-scape and disembodied gongs sound out at random intervals imparting a ritualistic, ceremonial overtone to the proceedings. The heaviness of the sonics dissipates in the last few minutes to leave a gently thrumming background drone that carries the track to its final conclusion.
Drone Forest have constructed two tracks of deeply engaging drone-scapes that suck the listener deep within the sound itself. Where drone music can often be minimal to the verge of soporific somnolence, incorporating only subtle tonal and thematic changes, such as Wander, Drone Forest are not afraid to take the music into slightly more experimental and avant-garde territory before returning to more familiar paths. Not as relaxing or blessed-out as Closing The Eternity or even Cisfinitum this is more akin to our tried and tested reference, Troum, although more playful, adventurous and "out-there".
This 12" is limited to 219 copies so, as always with these very limited releases get your order in to avoid disappointment. This is wonderful stuff and I shall be exploring the Drone Forest website in more detail as there appears to be a mammoth amount of Drone Forest material for free download. I would recommend you head over there yourselves and take the time to check out some more enigmatic and evocative drone music.
--Adam X, Heathen Harvest