Review: Forest Drive West Navigates Minimalist, Emotive Soundscapes In ‘Parallel Space’ EP

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Forest Drive West | Parallel Space (EP) | Echocord

Release Date: 10 January, 2020

The identity of Forest Drive West remained a mystery for some time; with prominent catalogs of exquisitely produced offerings growing on labels such as Rupture London, Hidden Hawaii and Livity Sound – the elusive London producer has become known for his impressive technical skill, especially when it comes to creating tunes with obscure time signatures and intricate algorithms – Joe Baker took up the moniker without necessarily intending to remain elusive, rather with the intention to focus on his music with little interest in the spotlight (when he isn’t teaching computer sciences). Baker’s catalog of sounds showcase the producers intricate approach to jungle and techno, and with the release of his most recent EP entitled ‘Parallel Space’ – Forest Drive West demonstrates his unique approach to atmospheric electronic music that in it’s essence draws listeners into his world.

Drift‘ cradles the gloaming; an aura filled with midnight-dark, the introduction looms as a submerged palpitation – the lucid simplicity crafts a hypnotic atmosphere, alluring and focused. The progressive layering of synth textures engineer a rich, full soundscape; ominous drones and swells wander like lost phantoms, percussive ghosts glitching with tension. An unearthly tone engulfs ‘Drift’ in its shadowy techno belly – a minimalist underworld boasting a mesmerising dance.

A lush, drizzling ambience opens the titular track ‘Parallel Space‘ – the rhythmic elements of the track embodied within its introduction. A tender hailstorm of vibrant resonance echoes across breathing meadows; rise-and-fall percussion oscillates amongst the airy soundscape, cultivating an ecosystem of immersion with a tone danceable in nature, yet emotional and thought-provoking in it’s own organic way.

From every melodious beat and introspective atmosphere; each unique embodiment creates a delicate symbiotic relationship to formulate ‘Parallel Space’ as a fully-fleshed and mature entity of it’s own. Forest Drive West’s ‘Parallel Space’ EP shines vividly through the use of solid production techniques and carefully crafted compositions.

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Rating: 7.5 / 10

Feature Image: Forest Drive West by Jen Walton