Forest Management – The Elevated Quiet (Constellation Tatsu, 2017)


There’s something oddly appropriate about releasing an album recorded at New Year’s during Springtime, the sense of resolutions and aspirations maturing into realities as the world returns to life in earnest. And that’s precisely what Forest Management has done in The Elevated Quiet, the 30 minutes presented here recorded across just four days in the dying light of 2016 only now blossoming into existence in these regenerative months.

The future remains a largely distant place throughout this record, then again so does everything else here, for we find ourselves out on some removed vantage point away from the bustle of city life, gathering our thoughts ready for the tumble back into reality. The early pieces lay out the view in crystalline waves of drone, opener “Scene” nothing more than a slowly oscillating blur of ethereal lines that barely graze the senses. Solitude is everything; even in a world as busy as ours there’s still opportunities for pure isolation, chances for introspection. “Until Midnight” creeps in after it, the same empty washes cycling out of the mix, somehow even more distal than before, lost in total reverie as anxiety and thought just drain away in an endless, frozen moment of reflection.

Fragrant airs emerge in “Lavender” as we contemplate the retreat back to the grey expanse, soft drone swells lingering in perfumed curtains as we brush flowers in the darkness, a sweet scent trail wafting us home into the pinings of “The Girl of My Dream”. Although no shorter than any of the other pieces here, there’s something intimately brief about this one, a flirt with desire as it emerges in a pulse of luxurious, wanton sound. There’s something chaptering about the conclusion of a year that drives people to change, to chase up on yearnings: “this time we’ll do it, we’ll ask her”, it seems to say, empowered by the prospect of a new year’s possibilities before the album puts its buzzing head to a pillow in closing “I’m Just Going To Lay Down”. It’s time to rest now and dream, dream again of the coming months and all the could-bes and should-have-dones that bristle and brim in that distant city filled with people and prospects that’s finally beginning to thaw.