American musician John Daniel produces fine ambient-drone music under the alias of Forest Management. Encounter is a soft feather that soothes away the tension of the day. You can feel the pressure leaving your body in steady, reliable waves. This encounter is one to cherish. The drones peacefully pulsate at regular intervals, pristine in their ocean-deep texture, and with a timbre as clear as a house of glass.
They infinitely echo. Nothing will ever stop them from ringing out. The drones are uncluttered and perfectly formed. The clean drones swell easily, comfortably. And the drones cuddle up to the listener, making the music as comfy a fit as a pair of new sneakers.
Encounter is very close to slumber. Tired waves continually engulf the music; this tide never abates. “The World Frozen On A Screen” is a flowing drone, out of which a regular, airy pulse eternally beams its faint light. The warm drones feel heavy and substantial, and they move at their own pace. Their placid activity allows them to float, spectre-like, over the wilderness. At times, tears leak from the notes, but the reason for their thorn of sadness remains unknown. The drones sparkle darkly, like a dull crystal.
At first, “Memory External” stays submerged. Under the water, the froth of the dark noise slowly ebbs away, and a stone-washed harmony enters. The opening minutes prove that the cloudy, opaque ocean is a deadly place – you can’t look for the sharks when the visibility is low. The drones repeatedly breathe in a regular, perfect symmetry. The brighter lights of “Top Floor View / 1.75” sparkle in the distance, and they help to ease the listener into warmer climes. The lonely drones can once again feel the warmth of the day. “Closer Than You Think” ends the record with its stable yet watery drone, and it’s a lovely place to visit. Daniel is a talented drone-maker, but he also knows when and how to reel them in, one by one. Every drone feels like it’s accessible to the uninitiated, for those looking to either unwind or to go deeper into drone music. Nothing feels forced. Everything flows naturally. And when that happens in a drone record, you know it’s something special. The music makes this an encounter to remember, and after a heavy day, the drone is the remedy. (James Catchpole)
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