Forma - Semblance - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Forma - Semblance

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2018-07-20
Forma - Semblance
Forma - Semblance

Brooklyn based ensemble, Forma specialise in ambient soundscapes with no regulation tone, pulse or rhythmical structure, so the sound ranges from pure ambience on tracks such as ‘Rebreather’, a track serving as an interlocutor between the enveloping motorik of ‘Three-Two’ and the chopped-up and processed funk of ‘Cut-Up’, and the much more ambitious and rhythmically complex dark ambience/dreamwave of ‘New City’.

There’s little in the way of melodic sustenance on Semblance. Forma’s brief though is inclined towards more measured cadences. Sound pictures on a quite varied emotional spectrum. It would be easy as a reviewer to reference 70’s music such as Brian Eno or Cluster, but Forma also share something from fellow Kranky artists that also delve into experimental music like Loscil, or ambient techno artist, Biosphere, or even Kompakt’s The Field. In other words, Forma are not easily pigeon-holed and seem intent on broadening the horizons of electronic music, and what it can be into the future.  Although slim on euphonics, Semblance is well upholstered when it comes to wonderful sounds, opting for some interesting orchestration incorporating instruments such as flutes and bagpipes, the latter used in muted and slightly distorted fashion on ‘Three-Two’, one of two long-form tracks. Those two longer tracks, ‘Three-Two’ and ‘New City’ succeed in laying out diverse and engaging storylines that never stretch the listener’s interest.

Semblance is probably cognitive rather than cathartic music, but it’s still enjoyable as a supplementary listen. You can listen to this at night in the car and be utterly captivated. Much of the music resides in the twilight zone between restful and euphoric, and this degree of control over the emotional temperature makes Semblance a fulfilling experience.

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