Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is the new and third album by Fran Dominguez under the name Forest Robots, a hymn to autumn: a statement full of hope, excitement, joy and nostalgia.
Accompanied by a short film titled “All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn“, this album of 11 tracks for over 40 minutes of instrumental music is a multitude of geometric, symmetrical and asymmetrical constructions, which sinuously metamorphose into one another, as a single kaleidoscopic reality, moved by a sort of perennial motion.
Cycle after cycle, harmonic and melodic structures emerge, amalgamate, confuse and exchange roles, like the changing facets of a visual spectrum perceived as boundless.
A wealth of perspectives so vast that it could make you feel lost. However, the evolution of the musical argumentation that Dominguez develops throughout the songs in “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is one deeply permeated and characterized by the musical message that underlies this artistic project.
The care and mastery with which sounds and instruments are literally manipulated is masterfully amazing. The acoustic, orchestral, synth-wave, ambient and IDM sounds; the melodies played by celesta, glockenspiel and harp; all sorts of effects and rhythmic constructions: they all are layers of the same involutions and evolutions that combine into a sort of embrace, one that’s spatially vast and at the same time intimately satisfying. And in a transversal way, there is a constant and latent reminiscence of vintage style, thanks to synths that exude a nostalgic reverberating shine.
Ancestral in its fundamental elements, innovative in sound structures, and wonderfully pictorial in the musical delivery, “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is a complete, thorough work. The evocative and imaginative density that Forest Robots has succeeded in developing is a succession of wonderful pictorial illustrations, which organically move and develop along the entire leitmotif that leads us, like a guide, along all the in-depth and relaxed narration of the album.
The vastness that you breathe while listening to this album is an even more extensive narrative arc, started with the previous releases, “Supermoon Moonlight” and “Timberline And Mountain Crest“. Together, they constitute a triptych of works that make us sink into the creative vision through which Forest Robots builds figurative mosaics representing spring, summer and autumn.
“Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” opens with the wonderfully discreet “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest“. It is the perfect door that introduces us to the theme of the entire album, and makes us enter a magical world permeated by the harmony of nature.
A slight caress of breeze makes us slide towards the second track, “Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon“, which echoes the rhythmic theme of the previous one, and articulates, disrupts, extends and re-intertwines the plot.
“It Lies Sunk Deep Beneath The Old Lake” is the first important step through which we are led to an even deeper reflective plane, thanks to more micro-minimalist structures and sounds, a perfect preamble to “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm“. This fourth track instills a deep and penetrating stimulus of critical self-evaluation, to be reversed, in the wake of the splendid harp arpeggios, in a conscious externalization towards what surrounds us.
The fifth track, “Deep In The Milky Way Spectrum“, is literally the heart of the album. Here the melodic structures too contribute, together with the percussions, to transmit the perception of a pulsating beat, with a subjectivization that changes with each phrasing .
“The Last Of The Melting Snow” is another interlude, which further shifts the narrative dimension to an even more psychedelic and transcendental level. It’s a perfect bridge that elevates us towards the hypnotism of the title track. Here we are satisfied by the magic we talked about in the introduction. The languid rhythm and the subtle melodies seduce us with a smooth flow, that with its more than 5 minutes of duration annihilates our logical sense of space and time.
“The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain” seals in contrast the superb beauty of this album. More explicit than the previous one thanks to a more saturated and slightly more material musical construction, this track takes us back to a more tangible dimension.
“Faint Sunlight In The Far Horizon” brings back musical solutions that build more pictorial sensational deliveries. With its 5 and a half minutes duration, the song gradually reveals intoxicating soundscapes that are airy and illuminated by persuasive ethereal sound intrusions.
“Follow The Fog and The Rain” is a sort of question mark added just after the deep introspection introduced by the previous track. The closure that turns into a fading slowly deconstructing itself as it goes, is the end of a future story that seems to be still to be written.
The penultimate act of the album, “Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light“, contains the sum of the assonant and dissonant layers previously introduced by the other tracks. The juxtaposition of these elements and structures somehow synthesizes the not-always-harmonized dualism that is born when the human being relates to the grandeur of nature in its entirety.
“Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is an articulate and profound album, which may even be intricate to listen to for many people. But it is precisely in this complexity that its splendid uniqueness resides. Never more than in this case, defining an album as unusual is a grand compliment.
What Forest Robots has created is pristine music. A priceless asset in today’s music industry scene.