Times When I Know You'll Watch The Sky
Los Angeles based composer Fran Dominguez, and his project Forest Robots, has just released his third concept album, entitled “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky”. The recording, which is Dominquez’s musical ode to autumn, follows the previously released celebration of spring “Supermoon Moonlight Part I”, and the observance of summer, “Timberline And Mountain Crest”. The new album is also supported by a short film – Fran Dominguez’s visual interpretation of nature and the transformative effect it has on all of us, called “All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn”. Forest Robots’ creative output has been a steady exercise in refinement over the past couple of years. All coming to a head with a more nuanced balance between everything that has come to represent the signature Forest Robots soundscape in this latest release.
You often hear the same complaints levelled against contemporary electronic music. It’s too similar. It’s too mechanical. It doesn’t feel emotional enough. Well, for those who feel this way, please direct yourself to the new album, “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky”.
This album definitely feels like the culmination of years of evolution and experimentation, capturing the spirit of autumn within its musical confines. The album immediately radiates warmth though the opening track “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest”. With its sharp bass lines, crisp break beats and airy synths, the song is such an intriguing and seductive way to start the record and one that draws you in, eager to hear more.
Throughout the albums eleven songs, signature Forest Robots creates these beautiful soundscapes that can at times make you want to ponder, trance into a dreamy haze, or actually make you want to shake some part of your body, often within the same song.
This happens on “Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon”, “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm”, “The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain” and “Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light”.
However, more than anything else, this is an album that is perfect for headphones. It’s so lushly produced and mixed that you will float effortlessly across each track. This new album is a breath of fresh air to a specific electronic sound that could so easily have become stale and formulaic.
Forest Robots really bring things together, locking in the grooves and enhancing his wandering, easy going keyboard melodies. Prepared to be captivated by gorgeous tracks such as “It Lies Sunk Deep Beneath The Old Lake”, “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm”, “The Last of The Melting Snow” and “Times When I Know You Watch The Sky II”.
This is a record that is so rewarding when listening all the way through instead of just to certain tracks. As a whole it creates such a lovely dynamic, more so then when listening to it in separate moments. By the time the album concludes, with gentle track “Follow The Fog and The Rain” slowly fading out, it feels as if you have gone on an enterprising journey with Fran Dominguez and Forest Robots.
Something, aside from any genre stigma, “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” feels dynamic, full of warmth and is a fascinating body of work that proves this producer’s esteemed tenure within a volatile music market.
Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is the new and third album by Fran Dominguezunder 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.
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.
“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.
“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.
Odds are if you’re reading this article, you’ve heard of Forest Robots’ music before. If you haven’t, it’s your lucky day: you just struck a hidden gold mine of music that will catch you off guard. The best part? Forest Robots’ latest album, “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky”, is even richer in instrumental gold than anything he has done before. Forest Robots is a project by Los Angeles based composer Fran Dominguez. This is his third album, and follows the release of “Supermoon Moonlight Part I” and “Timberline And Mountain Crest”. While the previous releases heralded the celebration of Spring and Summer respectively, the latest recording is an ode to Autumn. “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is a representation of Stanley Horowitz’s quote about fall, where “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all,” explained Dominguez.
Forest Robots’ music is painting made audible, an impressionist smattering of comfortingly sensitive tones and warm hues. The producer’s soothing brand of electronica turns short glimpses into majestic kaleidoscope vision. Intensifying and softening melodies, he delivers chimerical hallmarks in spades.
Aptly named, the album finds Forest Robots often exploring his comfort zone and cultivating expansive audio vibes. Driven by both melody and rhythm, Dominquez finds a niche wedge between intentionally warm compositions and electronic sophistication. Track by track, the general swirl of texture, tone and emotion washes over you.
In this sweet spot, Forest Robots treads a fine line between soothing background music and multifaceted sonic landscapes that invite close listening. The album opens with a steady, insistent beat on “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest”. It’s a rich and vibrant introduction with plenty of chiming instruments to hold your attention.
“Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon” follows, with a resonating bass and a lively snare boosting Forest Robots’ distinctive synth sound. “It Lies Sunk Deep Beneath The Old Lake” continues this trend, reaching a poppy, pixilated crescendo, before “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm” sets in with its persistent percussion, and escalating keyboards.
The mingling of repetitive motifs and zipping snatches of synthesizer captures the essence of this album, and the transition from a sunlit state of awareness to a carefree slumber. “Deep In The Milky Way Spectrum” maintains the flirtatious momentum with its changing tones, eventually giving way to the glacial sobriety of “The Last of The Melting Snow”.
“Times When I Know You Watch The Sky II” is vibrant with the pastel colors of Forest Robots’ ability to make startling sonic images of simple musical passages. By the time we arrive at “The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain”, it becomes clear that production is meticulous on this recording.
That this album is a subtle panoply of rhythms and musical ideas is evident all the way through. At the same time, it’s not full of cheap ear worms and it doesn’t betray its own nature, and so strikes that perfect balance of being memorable and addictive without being cloying or labored. The essence of the aforementioned statement can be savored via the evocative melodic synths on “Faint Sunlight In The Far Horizon” and “Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light”.
The washing, immersive sound Forest Robots produces is none more apparent than on “Follow The Fog and The Rain”, allowing the listener to either start the record again, or drift off into a peaceful siesta. The pastel palette and narcotic haze makes a potent combination here.
“Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” is in many ways a perfect record, as it achieves all it sets out to do. Furthermore it demonstrates Fran Dominguez’s development as an artist. Overall, this album is Forest Robots at its most lucid, mature, and perhaps, its best.
On release, the album will be supported by a short film called “All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn”. The film is explained as Fran Dominguez’s visual interpretation of nature and the transformative effect it has on all of us.
We love watching the development of an artist in the music that they release. It is even more sonically satisfying when there is more to the artist than just the music. Our friend Forest Robots (aka Fran Dominguez) keeps the music and visuals coming with his latest outburst Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky.
All aspects of art are explored by Forest Robots. Fran truly appreciates all the beauty of the world, both visually and sonically. His last project was the music and photography project he called ‘Inevitable’. Indie Band Guru covered that piece HERE.
Now Forest Robots is back with another imaginative project including a full-length album (TWIKYWTS) and an accompanying short film “All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn”. The project is a fully immersive piece that takes you on an alternative journey through your own mind.
As far as the album it is difficult to pin down into any one specific genre. There are elements of Synth-wave, Ambient, and Orchestral sounds. The faster tempo tracks can probably best be defined as Intelligent Dance Music as well. The lush soundscapes are complex but have an aura of calm that lets the music wash over you without any ill will.
“All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn” is the visual companion to the album. If you thought the music was awe-inspiring, wait until you take in this short film. Fran says “it is the visual interpretation of nature and the transformative effect it has on all of us.” The exotic imagery keeps your eyes affixed and wondering what will come next. Prepare yourself to be mesmerized for the full 28 minutes of the video.
Always an artist known to embrace creativity, artistic expression, and the changing seasons, Forest Robots returns this November with a rightfully autumn-themed new album.
At this point in his journey, there’s a certain air of professionalism and character throughout his work. The opening moments immediately put the listener at ease – here comes that fine fusion of retro electronica and the sounds of the natural world; here comes the dreamland, the ethereal bliss.
I’m tempted to say I lost myself in this album more easily than the last couple. Perhaps it’s that now familiar and trusted approach, or perhaps it’s that there’s an instant sense of rhythm and melody that quickly but calmly washes over you.
From Just Before Nightfall In The Forest, through Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon, the sci-fi-meets-the-natural-world aura rains down with stunning delicacy, as well as an EDM-like energy and pace. You can relax to this, and you can get stuff done – it picks you up or settles you down, depending on what you need from it. Furthermore, these 11 tracks in full flow beautifully into one-another. It feels like a complete and relevant playlist, a short film or blanket of escapism that you can completely succumb to.
While the music provides all of the above, it also exists on some deeper plain of thought. If you choose to, you can dig further into it – consider each title and the underlying themes, then see where the music really has the power to take you. This changes the experience intensely, but whichever manner in which you choose to listen, you can rely upon the music to gift you something refreshing and worthwhile.
In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm sees a hint of melancholy emerge, cooling rainfall and time to consider. Then Deep In The Milky Way Spectrum takes things full sci-fi, complete with intense pauses, and gripping contrast between retro bass-notes and lighter, distant high notes. There’s less rhythmic embrace here and more of a vastness and unpredictability, for the most part. The latter half undoubtedly finds its groove though.
The Last of The Melting Snow brings a longer moment of pause, simplicity but with complex, artistic undertones. Then Times When I Know You Watch The Sky II sees this profound and other-worldly aura meet with a simple trip-hop beat and guide you gently through these quietly pulsating, unique scenes and ideas; all of which will be something new for each listener – another treasured characteristic of Forest Robots’ work. There’s a classic, nostalgic vibe to this one that really takes you back if you let it.
As the latter half progresses, there are more than a few moments of creative insight that take you somewhere unexpected. The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain, for example, is at one moment a film-ready, rhythmic accompaniment for the remake of Flight Of The Navigator, and at other moments, is purely a series of effects and communicative details that take you right up to the mountain side. Faint Sunlight In The Far Horizon plays a similar series of tricks, but drives with an overwhelming touch of sadness (a personal observation).
At the penultimate moment, Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light is a weird one, somewhat tribal yet decidedly electronic at the same time – calming and unsettling all at once. The title though, has the power to redirect the experience, and as you consider the associated images, the journey varies significantly.
Afterwards, Follow The Fog and The Rain is outright an addictive and memorable highlight. Partly dance-floor and remix ready, simplistic in riff and synth use, partly insistent on transporting listeners to the natural world and away from anything remotely related to the rat-race. Simple and short yet multi-faceted and a clever way to finish things up.
Accompanied by a short film, All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn, Forest Robots proves himself an artist through and through with this release – consistently in the moment, thoughtful, and in search of a greater sense of meaning and direction.
Not just music to be tried out or skimmed through, this is an album you can turn to, again and again, in any number of settings. Categorically up there with the best of them. The Forest Robots catalogue in full offers so much in the way of timeless, considerate and multi-layered soundscape creations.
Forest Robots is the musical brainchild of electronic artist and composer Fran Dominguez and this project has an interesting and unusual genesis. It began when he began pictorially documenting his travels to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. When his daughter was born, he started to attach narratives to his collections to teach his daughter about the wonders of nature.
This led to feeling inspired to compose music to go with these narratives and Forest Robots was born. In 2018, I gave a glowing reviews to the albums Supermoon Moonlight – Part One and the follow up, Timberline And Mountain Crest.
This latest album, Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, is the third full length album in the last two years by Fran Dominguez. Just as Supermoon Moonlight and Timberline And Mountain Crest were essentially musical odes to the seasons of spring and summer respectively, this album is a representation of the Stanley Horowitz quote about autumn: “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all….”.
It consists of eleven tracks and begins with the understated but wondrous Just Before Nightfall In The Forest. As with Fran Dominguez’s previous work, the music perfectly encapsulates the title, painting a sonic picture of certain magical moments in nature and conveying them to the listener. Swirling synth patterns are merged with a punchy electronic beat to create something modern yet unusually melodic and intricate for this era. This enchanting track acts as the perfect introduction to the album.
Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon continues the hypnotic vibe with a similarly paced rhythm. Starting out relatively sparsely with a simple but effective bassline, overlayed with synth patterns, it gradually develops into a complex interweaving of melodies and evocative pads that fill out the sonic spectrum. Once again, the music conjures up the imagery of the title in an uncanny and accurate way.
The mysteriously named yet brief It Lies Sunk Deep Beneath The Old Lake consists of an intriguing synth figure reminiscent of an old sea shanty, conjoined with a double bass. This leads into the fourth track, In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm, one of the most melodically beautiful and haunting tracks on the album. Based initially on a mesmeric celesta melody it then expands into a gorgeous, reverb-drenched harp arpeggio backed by a rhythm of great intricacy.
Fifth track Deep In The Milky Way Spectrum lives up to the wide eyed wonder of its title, mixing a bewildering maze of melodies with potent synths and beats in certain sections. It conjures up the magnificent expanse of a clear night sky and results in a similarly transcendent feeling. The Last Of The Melting Snow is another of the short interlude tracks, but makes a strong impression in its ninety second duration with its arresting swirl of almost psychedelic, morphing synths.
This leads into the hypnotic groove of the title track, which weaves a magical spell owing to its mixture of languid pace and subtle yet alluring melodies. The way the synths swell and combine with understated celesta melodies perfectly encapsulates the wonder of looking up at the sky and feeling humbled by its magnificence. After its five minute duration, the effect is one of blissful elation.
Then comes the superb complexity of eighth track The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain. With its masterly weaving of synth textures and melodic themes it brought to mind the ambient classic Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb, perhaps an influence on Forest Robots. Either way, this is one of the album’s most powerful tracks which leaves a distinct impression on the listener.
Faint Sunlight In The Far Horizon is one of the longest tracks at five and a half minutes and, once again, paints a beautiful sonic landscape that conjures up the imagery of the title in an uncanny way. With a tranquil, blissed out tempo the music washes over you, transporting you to an ethereal mind state and having a gradually intoxicating effect.
This magical vibe continues into the enchanting Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light, which is based around some wonderful bell-like and harp melodies, the chord changes somewhat unexpected and taking us to some far out musical climes. Halfway through enters a potent synth theme which takes us back to the exotic wonder of the harp melody, gradually fading away with almost cinematic grandeur.
The album closes with another brief but beautiful piece, this one called Follow The Fog and The Rain. Once more, within its short duration it conjures a fully rounded painting in sound that captures the silent majesty of autumn and finishes the musical journey of this album in a most satisfying way.
Overall, this is another superb piece of work from composer Fran Dominguez. He’s managed to forge an entirely unique niche with his nature-inspired ambient instrumentals, which also incorporate other genres in a seamless way. Trying to frame the many moods and scenes of the natural world is no mean feat, but one in which Dominguez excels and here he raises his art to a high level.
As he has now covered three of the seasons, I look forward to his next work which I presume will capture the magic of winter in yet more enchanting and evocative music. Fans of this album should also check out the visual accompliment, “All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn”.
VERDICT: 9.1 out of 10
The musical genius of the gifted electronic music composer Fran Fran Dominguez aka Forest Robots bears fruitage just in time for the harvest season. His new album titled Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky is slated for release on November 1st, 2019. Forest Robots has cultivated a captivating and yet organic sound as evidenced by the success of his first two albums “Supermoon Moonlight Part I” “Timberline And Mountain Crest”.
Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky is comprised of eleven tracks and encompasses a wonderful display of acoustic sounds mixed with synthesized elements. Forest Robots is able to create a sonic visual that is a celebratory ode to the season of autumn. The tranquility and adventurous melodies expressed by Forest Robots’ newest masterpiece is sure to bring delight to listeners.
Forest Robots is a music project created by artist and songwriter Fran Dominguez. Recently, they released a new album titled “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky.”
This particular album actually marks the release of the third studio record for the artist and it represents a brand new evolution in terms of creativity and composition. Another interesting point to consider is the fact that this is not just a conventional album release. In fact, this record was accompanied by a matching film release. The short movie is titled “All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn.”
The poetic shot at the title of the film has a sense of warmth to it, much like the title of the musical album itself. They invoke cinematic visuals of the big decaying landscapes of the fall and the gloominess of this beautiful season when some things seem to be dying off, while other things are just circling back around once again. Much like this striking time of the year, it’s self, this multimedia work of art is actually a perfect metaphor of the cycle of life. A stunning mosaic of music, lyrics, and images, telling a timeless story that we all can relate to. If the concept wasn’t interesting and deeply rooted enough, it even acquires a completely different dimension in the scope of the artist’s previous releases. Forest Robots already put out a couple of records dedicated to the spring season and the lush brightness of summertime, respectively titled “Supermoon Moonlight Part I” as well as “Timberline And Mountain Crest.”
The entire body of work from this talented artist is all connected, and each song is like a tassel of a wonderful mural, where every little square inch has a powerful meaning. The album opens with a beautifully atmospheric sound, with ambient drones, blurring together with lo-fi samples, glitchy tones and more. Fans of artists as diverse as Sigur Rós, Riceboy Sleeps, or Boards Of Canada are definitely going to connect with this release. “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” contains 11 new studio tracks, each with a life of its own.
The songs combine electronic elements, such as vintage-sounding synth melodies, with organic textures, such as environmental sound samples, field recordings, and other beautiful implements adding more depth to these compositions. Every song on the album can easily be enjoyed as a whole, but it would be a shame not to take this record for what it is - a sonic voyage that deserves a fully immersive experience. Each track is almost like a mini-suite, portraying different emotions ad ideas. Forest Robots is always impressive due to the artist’s ability to seamlessly mix and match different genres, making for a striking, yet diverse listening experience. The melodies are also relatively simple, using a small number of notes to achieve a big sound with a huge emotional impact, that really fills the space and allows the background textures to gain even more momentum and relevance within the mixes.
This is definitely a testament to the artist’s amazing production ability. The more you listen to this album, the more you realize that there are so many details that will stand out in each song. be it a fantastic synthesizer line or a very hypnotic drumbeat or a beautiful field recording in the background. The first song on this release, “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest,” is probably one of my favorite compositions as well. It builds a sense of anticipation and it allows the rest of the record to gently evolve from thereon. This song is masterfully restrained, and it is mostly just like a “welcome sign,” before some truly blissful synth arpeggios come in. The beat coming in is still laid-back, but it also brings so much energy, giving the audience a taste for this mercurial music journey ahead.
The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountains is another outstanding track. The arpeggiated melodies and the beat make me think of producers like Four Tet or Jon Hopkins, but there is a focus on experiment deeper atmospheres, with the background drones becoming more and more prominent as the song goes along, and the lead instruments taking a back seat. The kick-snare combo on this one is among the hottest on the entire record, with a massive punch to it. These are only some of my personal favorites, but as I mentioned earlier, this release is a true trip, a voyage in sound to enjoy, and if you take the time to pair it up with the other records and the short film, you’re going to be in for something that will blow your mind.
Even before the music casts its ambient spell on you, and it will, the titles of the tracks alone will have conjured wonderful images and painted wild scenes in your head. Titles such as “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest” and “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm” say as much in their one line as many songs do in their entirety and it is this same ability to evoke and envisage that lies at the heart of the music too.
If the first album, “Supermoon Moonlight Part I” heralded the celebration of Spring, and “Timberline And Mountain Crest”, was a journey through the wonders of Summer, this latest release is a celebratory ode to Autumn. A collision of the orchestral and the synth-phonic, the danceable and the ambient, the acoustic and the digital, it is an album which is expertly conceived, deftly wrought and brilliantly delivered.
Songs shimmer rather than groove, chime instead of drive, drift rather than solidify, and it is this restraint which makes the music so compelling. Even when beats are brought into play they are sparing and hypnotic, riffs are repetitive to the point of addiction and space, the fading notes and the sonic interludes, is as powerful an instrument as any other found here.
Based on what came before I knew I would like this album, but I didn’t realise that I would like it this much, or this instantaneously.
With Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, Forest Robots (AKA Fran Dominguez) continues its seasonal-themed instrumental series. In the past, Forest Robots has given us Supermoon Moonlight Part I, focused on Spring, and Timberline And Mountain Crest, inspired by summer. With Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, though, Forest Robots zero in on Autumn.
It’s worth noting how the name “Forest Robots” juxtaposes two seemingly disparate ideas. With the “forest” part, Dominguez is highlighting a love of nature. The music is inspired by nature and the way the outdoors looks and feels, as seasons change. This is organic, natural and beautiful – but only if you take the time to focus on the changing world around you. Therefore, this music is as nature-focused as, say, John Denver was back in the day. It’s unlikely Denver ever created instrumental music. However, Dominguez’s heart is essentially in the same space as was Denver’s.
Instrumentally, however, the word “robots” is a significant indicator. Dating all the way back to the pioneering group Kraftwerk, synthesizer music – the variety Forest Robots create – has been associated with a sort of sonic artificial intelligence. It’s likely the reason why so many science fiction movies utilized synthesizer sounds to create soundtrack music. Electronics have always best expressed an advanced scientific vibe, and Forest Robots carry on that tradition.
Thus, Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky is, once again, Dominguez’s way of uniquely combining ‘love of nature’ ideas, using sci-fi musical tools. If you use your imagination, you can capture a little of Dominguez’s emotions. “The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain,” for example, features a relatively aggressive percussion part. These beats mirror the feel of a heart racing at sighting something truly breathtaking. You get the sense Dominguez composed this one after an especially memorable cloudburst. It ends, naturally (no pun intended) with the sound effect of a rainstorm.
“The Last of The Melting Snow,” however, is quieter and gentler. It’s a reaction to a gradual change in the atmosphere, which is happening slowly and almost unnoticed. This track is a mere 1:28 and is over almost before you even know it. For what might be termed the default title track, “Time When I Know You Watch The Sky,” Dominguez gives us a thoughtful, moody meditation. It’s quiet and sweet, reflecting the feelings of, say, stargazing at the infinite night sky. With its relative lack of percussion, it’s clear that – at least during this moment – one’s heart is no longer racing. It’s nearly a silent physical pose, sitting in the lovely midst of nature and simply taking it all in.
Of course, song titles are only suggested interpretations. Dominguez may have had entirely different notions in mind while composing these tracks. Nevertheless, these song names sometimes more than hint at their meanings. Whatever the case, there will always be an awkward circumstance whenever advanced man encounters ancient, relatively untouched nature. Dominguez will always be in awe of nature and may continue creating music reflecting this awe for the rest of Forest Robots’ career. If that happens, it can only amount to something good.
Forest Robots returns with his third studio album, ‘Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky’. As a conceptual piece, this fresh record is an ode to autumn. In fact, it is correlated with his previous works which were inspired by spring and summer. Overall, the motivation behind this music project are elements of nature and its own interpretation. While it is true there are no lyrics nor vocals to analyze, instrumentals can be powerfully emotive too. The magic of synths gives this album a dreamy, delicate, chilled and even futuristic tone. Not for nothing, all these 11 must-listen Electronica tracks can actually induce you to meditative states.
Under the premise, innovate or die, the American artist has chosen the right path. That being said, he has dropped a short film in order to provide a new dimension to the album’s listening experience. What’s more, his cinematic sonic arrangements captivate the senses as usual. In my opinion, the third album strengthens his credibility amongst other Producers who can’t think outside the box as Forrest Robots does.
Forest Robots incorporates a lush shoegaze mixture with gentle nods to IDM on the blissful “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky”. Everything has a gorgeous quality to it. With clear references to Urlich Schnauss’s tender work, the way the melodies unfurl gives it a majestic aura. Flowing flawlessly from one piece to the next, the entirety of the album works together when taken in as a singular whole. Rhythms have a dreamy disposition for they go for the contemplative.
A wordless awe of a choir introduces “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest”. From there the rest of the track works itself into an intricate arrangement. The sun-drenched “Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon” has an epic scope to it, recalling the Future Sound of London’s “Lifeforms”. With a hint of Autechre’s dramatic flourishes is the lovely “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm”. Going for a yellow hued nostalgic flair is the aged take of “Times When I Know You Watch The Sky II”. Easily the highlight of the album, it serves as the heart for the entire trip. The ambient wash of “Of Rivers And Rivers of Light” feels completely joyful, as the toy box melodies radiate strongly. Effortlessly bringing it all to a close is the retro stylings of “Follow The Fog and The Rain”.
With “Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky” Forest Robots sculpts a gentle electronic lullaby, one that wraps the listener in such gorgeous gauzy textures.
Who would have thought that the four seasons, would mean so much to so many.... including Fran Dominguez and Forest Robots. They have released three full-length albums, their most recent and newest being "Times When I Know You'll Watch The Sky" This all new and third full-length album in two years! But not only does this album come with the accompanying music, but a short film of sorts as well titled "All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn". Fran and the Forest Robot's goal's were all along to build upon the world that they have created as musicians, thus making this world of sound revolving around their releases as these albums.
Now what does this have to do with the four seasons, well the band's first full-length debut album called "Supermoon Moonlight Part 1", celebrated the spring season, whereas the second full-length album titled "Timberline And Mountain Crest" was about the summer season. The third album to date is all about the fall season or autumn to some. It's more or less a representation on Stanley Horowitz's quote about the fall season, saying as such "Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all".
When it comes to this album of material, an array of assorted contented can be heard within, ranging from acoustic to orchestral, synth-wave, ambient and even some IDM sounds from previous albums can all be heard within this newest effort of offerings. It pretty much mixes everything up, adding in a tad more of the synthesizers and acoustics growing a more complex reality of the music at play as it were. It has this enchanting styling of sound to it really. Capturing this essence that is both soothing yet very comforting as well. Take for instance tracks like "Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon", "Deep In The Milky Way Spectrum", "Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light", with "Follow The Fog And The Rain", it all fits so willingly together, it brings forth this every longing passion of visuals and just everlasting sound waves of tones.
With this album's short film accompanying it, comes the visual concept the interpretation of nature and the transformation effect it just has upon the listener and all of us in general, it has this companionship to it, that makes it just sink in and float.
That is more or less how Fran Dominguez and Forest Robots play out, with their music showcasing abilities and ways with it. If you prefer a more laid back, yet easy going listening experience, with a film to boot, then by all means then this is one act that you need to hear by all ways possible.
This is indeed rare. This is seriously special.
To say I’m impressed would be an understatement – this is a musical masterpiece and the kind of album that only comes along so often within one lifetime. The kind of album that will never leave my playlist – I will always have time for what I hear on Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, forever and ever. These aren’t just great ideas – they’re presented in ways that authentically keep you interested.
From the gust of wind that “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest” rides in on, to the subtle vinyl-like scratches that come in to join the atmosphere over the course of the first forty-five seconds or so into Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, if I’m being honest, I was pretty much already hooked. Hearing the colorful burst of synthetic & digital melodies come in right after was all the confirmation my ears needed – this first track is LOADED with the pure magic of music. Sparkling & shining with that hint of exploration and adventurism, “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest” is a true beauty to behold, and an immaculate gateway into a full album. So strong, that it genuinely makes you wish every album could somehow start off this powerfully…but so blissfully unique that it reminds you most albums never will. No doubt that it’s the start of something special and the kind of opening you always wish to discover; “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest” immediately sets a massively high standard that the rest of the record goes on to live up to, which in itself, is quite an extraordinary achievement. Each of the sparkling sounds in the atmosphere of “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest” hang like diamonds in the night sky, and the insatiably enticing mix between the ambient ideas and melodically-inclined beats & music quickly reveal what a master’s grip Forest Robots have on the sound design from the lefts to the rights.
LISTEN to the way a song like “Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon” moves will ya? Amazing! Fran Dominguez should be recognized as a true master of the atmospheric arts if you ask me; I know it seems like I’m heaping praise sentence-after-sentence on the guy as I write this review, but trust me when I say that, when you hear this album for yourself, everything I’m saying is completely justified. If anything, no matter what I write, no matter how positive this all may seem – I still can’t do the full beauty to be found here the justice it deserves; music like this goes so far beyond words. In my opinion, that’s likely why Fran’s brilliantly left these songs without a single word and all-instrumental – when the music you create speaks as strongly as what you’ll find on this record, you don’t need vocals at all. The pulse, charm, and charismatic movements of a song like “Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon” is both breathtakingly gorgeous and arguably even danceable at the same time. Each time this song came on in rotation, I either sat here 100% still and listened in fascination, or found myself actually moving & flowing with the music like the art of his creation took over the control of my body, unforced. This song rides in on a breath of wind as well as it begins…and somehow…SOMEHOW…Forest Robots come up with an even more accessible and inviting sound in the melody of this second cut. I might personally be a bit more partial to “Just Before Nightfall In The Forest” myself, but I certainly have no qualms with this quality tune at all; it’s a very close second-place in the first two songs on Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky for me, but a song I can also recognize has a broader appeal for the masses. Regardless, one way or the other, “Everything Under The Light Of The Full Moon” certainly confirms the professional quality from production to performance, and supplies your ears with absolutely exceptional sound at all times. Really well composed…incredible sound selection…fantastic melody…it’s all there.
Because I think there’s a very solid chance that many people will identify this next cut as one of their ultimate favorites from this album. The deep bass tones of “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm” and its mist of mysterious sound definitely leads to another massively spine-tingling experience…like, I literally get goosebumps listening to this song and the hairs on my arms stand up on end. Again, to be clear – this is NOT hyperbole – this is what I’m authentically experiencing when I’m listening to Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky. The use of space, pace, tone, and melody on “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm” is jaw-dropping – the kind of song that locks in your attention quickly, and retains it completely through magnificent composition and incredible sound. Ask yourself when you listen to it – what would you change? There’s not a single solitary second in a song like this that’s even a hair out of place, and every element that Forest Robots add to “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm” serves the moment in compelling ways that move its instrumental story along. LISTEN to the attention to detail…the crystal clarity of the sound…the intricate way each of the elements in the atmosphere are placed and layered together to form this composition…what Forest Robots are doing here is award-worthy, full-stop. The lightest synth tones fueling the layer of melody on the surface in contrast with the richness of the low-end and acid-jazzy beat of the electro-percussion…I mean, c’mon people – this is as top-shelf as it gets – “In The Late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm” is without question, a huge highlight.
What a ride! I can’t even begin to express just how much I love this record and what Forest Robots have accomplished here on Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky – this is one seriously incredible album, created by an artist that clearly has his head & heart invested into every second we hear. It’ll set you down as gently as it began with the final track “Follow The Fog And The Rain” to end the set on a short, less-than ninety-second long quaint final song…and if anything, it immediately provokes you to repeat the entire experience all over again. Which I’ve done, many, many times, happily – and I’ll do it again.
Rest assured that your year is not a complete one without this record, that much I can tell you for sure.
When you think of new age music, you won’t be too far from it if a sci-fi movie comes to mind and its instrument and synthwave-filled soundtrack. That is why Forest Robots’ style is so unique. As with their other albums, this brainchild of Francisco Dominguez is in his own words, a collection of music that hopes to provide a soundtrack to the outdoors. He also hopes to pass along a message that our public lands are worth protecting and preserving.
Times When I know You’ll Watch the Sky continues from where Fran’s previous seasonal themed albums stopped, what you get is a passionate journey that originates from his soul. The sounds from the album are minimalist, professional, blissful and also relatable. The melody and rhythm also produce such a calming effect that you can easily lose yourself in the aura. Forest Robots’ music can be otherworldly at times, not quite EDM-ish but delicate enough to be its own sound.
One of the most impressive things about Times When I know You’ll Watch the Sky is how relaxing it is to just listen to the project from one song to the other. Each track flows gently into the next, providing an endless stream of melody that is simply breathtaking. It’s like a whole new vibe that starts from the first track and keeps you locked in till the very end. The songs are addictive, thoughtful and put together with such musical genius that it’s not hard to appreciate what Forest Robots is doing with sound. If you’re looking for something higher tempo, Follow the Fog and The Rain provides a merry jig that will get listeners moving their body along with the vibe.
Forest Robots continues to show how adept he is at creating conscious, thoughtful music that has meaning. Times When I know You’ll Watch the Sky is immersive, ambient and even though it could seem experimental, you’d definitely love the direction. This body of work is beautiful, and everyone will find something to love there. A short movie is also included with the album titled All Things Grow Faint with Great Adorn In Autumn that also gives even more context to the album.
We recently reviewed—and enjoyed—his single, Inevitable, a lovely Depeche Mode meets Leonard Cohen piece, dedicated to his young daughter. Now, Los Angeles, California-based electronic music producer, Fran Dominguez, has rebooted his musical alter-ego, the Forest Robots.
The result is the latest studio album, the third in a series of ambient-electro collections dedicated to Mother Nature and the four seasons. Supermoon Moonlight Part One was dedicated to Spring. Timberline And Mountain Crest to Summer. And his latest, Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, is an ode to Autumn.
Beautiful airy and ambient melodies open the listening experience, eventually giving way to a hip-hop-style rhythm drenched in sparkling synth tones in, Just Before Nightfall In The Forrest. The whole thing feels like a lucid dream-walk in the woods. In The late Autumn Afternoon Rainstorm offers gently rolling synth keys over another stylistic electro kick & clap. More layers of synth tones come and go, expanding on a curious and inspired feeling. This is peaceful music.
The meditative album title track, Times When I Know You Watch The Sky II, expands and contracts with that Forest Robots brand of synth infusion, all the while a minimalist high-hat and snare keep time. The Clouds That First Gather At The Mountain, boasts an all-out trippy techno-meets-hip-hop rhythm track, with liquid-style synth tones swirling and flowing about your head set; and then ends with 40 seconds of soothing California thunderstorms.
Deep bass fills the set in the intro to, Faint Sunlight In The Far Horizon. Single guitar notes intermingle with airy organ tones, creating a hopeful feeling after all. The project concludes with, Follow The Fog And The Rain, a lovely layered synth piece, void of percussion of any kind, creating an ultra-restful space in preparation for Winter’s hardships.
Soothing. An electronic exploration in relaxation. A blueprint for aspiring ambient-electronic musicians. Forest Robots’ (a.k.a., Fran Dominguez) third album, Times When I Know You’ll Watch The Sky, has a peaceful—almost playful—vibe from front to back. Though it provides plenty of rhythms which are fashionable enough over which one could toss down a rhyme, there is simply no need. In this ode to all things of the natural world, words fall short, and vibration is paramount. Check out a few tracks below. The full album launches November 1st.
Also, below check out the video, All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn, a visual companion to the music in this new album. Much like the themes on the album, the film is Fran Dominguez’s visual interpretation of nature and the transformative effect it has on all of us.
Times When I Know You’ll Watch the Sky is a new album from Forest Robots (the musical project of Fran Dominguez), scheduled to be released offically on November 1, 2019. However, you can pre-order it on Bandcamp here.
For those unfamiliar with Forest Robots’s style, it basically combines elements of orchestral futurist music (synthwave, etc) with the organic ambiance of nature in various forms. In opting for seasonal themes, the first two albums dealt with spring and summer. while the latest, Times When I Know You’ll Watch the Sky, pays homage to fall. The songs on this album typically feature a brisk and breezy analog style intro that often sounds somewhere in between record player crackle and a gust of forest wind. It’s a highly effective precursor to when the beat kicks in and envelops you in the enchanted musical ambiance.
When most people think of “nature” music, they imagine new age style stuff that you would hear playing in the background at a store that sells incense and crystals. This isn’t like that. It’s not mellow meditation music. It’s fun, upbeat and you can dance to most of these jams. Yet, the vibe is still cerebral enough to where you could enjoy some contemplative reflection if that’s what you’re looking to get out of it.
Another way this album plays against type is with it’s focus on the sky and the stars. Though the theme is autumn, you won’t find cliches about pumpkin spice and raking leaves. The titles of the tracks mostly relate to the moon, the sun, the rain etc. The emphasis is on what’s happening in the sky (and beyond). This keeps with the space/futurist/nature combination that’s central to the artist’s brand. The tracks are all instrumental of course, so the titles serve as clues to what is being conveyed.
The more I listen to it, the more I think this album would work well as a soundtrack to some kind of role playing adventure video game that takes place in a forest and mountain setting. Bright, lively and emotive, the songs also have an eerie and suspenseful component to them (Of Rivers And Rivers Of Light being a good example of this). All in all, this album is an avant garde and refined near-masterpiece that has me looking forward to what’s in store for winter.
I should also mention that there’s an accompanying film being released in tandem with this album, titled All Things Grow Faint With Great Adorn In Autumn. I recommend viewing it for the full listening experience. Influenced by the work of David Lynch and Salvidor Dali, the surreal visualizations supplied will allow your mind to dive deeper into the music for those who are willing to go there.