Forest Robots – After Geography


After Geography is a new (and fourth) album from Forest Robots (the musical project of Francisco Dominquez). This artist has managed to crank out high quality releases at an impressively prolific pace, and his latest one is no exception. The album title was inspired by an anecdote where Ringo Starr once jokingly suggested that the Beatles should name their next album After Geography to follow the Rolling Stones’ recent record, Aftermath. However, when reading this old story, Francisco found the title to be genuinely fascinating and thought the phrase was be a good fit for his nature-oriented, ethereal musical content.

The songs on this album are mostly piano-driven and minimalist, but with the ambient backing, still manage to have a full, satisfying sound. There’s a little bit more mystery than on previous Forest Robots releases. The tracks have a delicate, almost intimate quality to them. While the pacing is extremely modest, I wouldn’t call it mellow, because there’s a subtle, underlying suspense that keeps you on your toes. Songs like Glacial Architecture Of The Mountain Corridor remind me a bit of the sort of exploration music you’d hear in a vintage adventure video game, where you might be navigating your way through a fun little forest, yet know there might be something unexpected around the next corner. That particular track is probably my favorite tune on here.

One aspect of this music I really appreciate is how organic and “alive” it sounds. It isn’t just wall to wall cinematic soundscapes templated for big budget movie theater surround sound. For example, Imagining August 1976, Here has a warm, analog vibe and contains delicious audio intricacies and artifacts. In this way, Forest Robots captures not just the spirit of “being outdoors,” but the actual sound of experiencing something real and tangible.

The final track All Across The High Plain After The Storm is probably one of the more musically sparse jams, but I found the piano to have a rather charming, “opera house” aura. It also only starts off minimalist, as it slowly building toward an epic, wonderland finish.

After Geography certainly lived up to the high expectations I’ve developed for this artist. You can tell he puts everything he’s got into constructing these recordings. When you listen to them collectively, they really do psychically take you on a mountaineering journey or leave you feeling like you just wandered through an untamed wilderness.

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