Forestflies: Structure/Chaos

There's not a lot of supplemental information accompanying Forestflies' Structure/Chaos though we do know it's the latest release from David Wenngren who has previously blessed us with wonderful music under the Library Tapes and Xeltrei aliases. Song titles don't help much either as they merely identify each track's instrumentation (e.g., “Piano and Guitar”). We also know that the thirty-two mini-album was assembled from classical samples; that its classical-ambient material is voiced by piano, strings, guitars, and voices; and that it's available in a 300-copy run. It's also about as engaging as one would expect it to be, given Wenngren's involvement.

The six tracks are so heavily drenched in static and hiss, the classical dimension generally takes a back seat to the material's industrial drone character. After a relatively natural-sounding intro of slowly swirling cello lines (“Cello 2”), “Piano and Violin” includes reverb so pronounced, the instruments are almost buried in haze. Every setting thereafter perpetuates that textural style. In “Guitar and Cello” and “Cello,” the instruments again become almost unidentifiable with the focus instead on shimmering and shuddering drones where subtle accents disappear beneath a thick blanket of hiss and static. “Processed Vocals and Strings” migrates towards Stars of the Lid territory in its hymnal mood but also opts to smother its glimmering tones in gritty waves of dust and static. A quick perusal of the material Wenngren has issued under his three guises indicates that he's slowly amassing a pretty impressive body of work, and Structure/Chaos nicely adds to it.

March 2008