Forest Management
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Forest Management

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Classical Ambient

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Loving ... "Sky Image" by Forest Management"

“Sky Image” by Forest Management is a four track EP of exceptional ambient drones that will be released on the always-brilliant Twice Removed Records microlabel in March, 2014.

If you are a regular here you will know how much I love my ambient drones and these pieces from Forest Management are a delight, in the shape of the sounds I love most. These tracks are delicate yet nuanced, they float in your conscious and provide a cushion from the hardness of daily life. They have an organic feel to them ... it is as if they’ve been flavoured with the breathtaking awesomeness of natural world.

This is my kind of ambient, one that paints pictures in the mind and disseminates ideas. These tracks portray, for me, a sense of walking in places that make humans feel small - through old forests, in forgotten caves or beside violent seas, or even in a distant desert where the view of the sky is unsullied by man-made light. I find respite in these sounds. They are pieces I can turn to when the urban landscape has gotten too much for one day.

I found “Sky Image” by Forest Management fascinating and would highly recommend it for folks who love their ambient sounds. - Headphonaught


"Forest Management - Upload"

“Upload” by Forest Management opens with deep bass tones and rich layered pads speckled with the rhythmic reverberations of pops and clicks, slowly eroding any angst left over from the day.

Upon completion of my Upload download I was quickly ushered into Forest Management’s world of great music. John Daniel, of Cleveland, Ohio, has a deep discography of warm drones and sweeping soundscapes. Upload is worth more than just a listen, and the opening track pulls the listener deep within the seven track album, subduing even the most distracted mind. The emotions are powerful and it’s hard not to be moved by tracks #2, #3, and #6. However each song is great and they all move nicely along to the next one creating a solid release front to back.

It’s always nice to just relax and tend the fires on a cold day here in the forest especially when accompanied by a great album whose sound (and name) match the setting perfectly. Upload contains an immense amount of warmth for these cold winter months and the subtle emotive changes swaying in and out of each track lifts the listener up and out of any negative state. Floating above the forest canopy, making sure it’s eco-system is managed with care. - Tone Harvest


"Forest Management - The Contemplative Life / Sky Image"

Forest Management (aka John Daniel of Cleveland) is a fairly new voice in the ambient/ minimal electronic/drone sphere but this past month has seen two releases from him. The first is a full length entitled The Contemplative Life released on the Cathedral Transmissions label. The second is Sky Image, a 20 minute, 4-song EP available as a 3″ CD via the Twice Removed label. One full length and one EP, both are excellent in part because they showcase different approaches to their respective formats to create two works that are distinct from each other but showcase Daniel as a guy to keep an eye on.

First, the EP format. Sky Image is an EP that takes it’s time building momentum. Specifically, it is the EP’s third piece and title track that serves as the climax of the whole affair. In a way, it’s a risky strategy to delay the piece de resistance given the short time span for the EP format, but Sky Image has a breathy confidence in knowing that it’s going somewhere. One of my first introductions to Daniel’s work was video of him playing live and what struck me was his patience – Daniel looks like he is legitimately engaged with every single note. And that’s what Sky Image is – it’s a work of patience for both creator and listener. As for the sound itself, most of the EP feels like it’s infused with two layers of sound: one being driven by melody, the other being an unending electrical hum that varies in degrees of hiss and hum. It’s as if the quaint, barely there sound of some power lines above a city scape have been recorded and cranked in the mix.

For the first two pieces on Sky Image, it’s as though that tension is in an unending dance between these two opposites in tension. It’s a moving but tense affair. The third piece and title track, however, finds the melodies rising above the fray. It feels like this is what all of this has been building to – this specific moment of synthesis. There’s an almost ethereal quality, as if some ascension has occurred. Final piece “Crystallize” returns to the minimal state of the first two pieces. Still, there is some lingering quality, some remained optimism of that previous piece that shines through, as if the atmosphere has changed irrevocably, permanently – no matter how subtly. And, really, that’s why Sky Image works – it may list four tracks, but it feels like a cohesive whole, each part inextricably linked to the next. Sky Image confidently builds toward its climax, never rushing, knowing the rewards await the listener.

As for the longer format, The Contemplative Life works as a journey as well but it’s much easier to disentangle the individual strands that comprise the whole. And the small marvel when looking at the two works side-by-side is that Daniel is able to approach the different formats with a sort of reverence for what each can achieve. As it relates to the longer format, he is able to make ambient music that works both as a series of smaller components and as a whole. One of the things Forest Management does so well is to write ambient songs that have an almost pop sensibility, sometimes even in terms of how they are structured. Despite the short length of the individual pieces, almost every piece builds to or revolves around a central melody that is memorable enough to linger in the listener’s mind after hitting stop. A prime example of this is second song, “Running Stop”, the album’s most instantly memorable melody. Unto itself, it’s evocative, it’s moving and, were this the world of pop music, its what record selling types would deem a first single. It’s also the second song after the opener, so there’s a lot of album left after hearing it. And it’s in keeping those songs in context that proof of Daniel’s skill lies.

As a whole, The Contemplative Life becomes more, well, contemplative. The songs become more immersive and layered as the album unfolds. But what’s impressive is that Daniel can move beyond a song like “Running Stop” to offer a series of songs that, while less ‘instant’, are equally charming when given their proper due. As the whole album unfolds, the works get dronier and more abstract. The three part series of “Stage” songs that comprise the middle of the album have the feel of someone turning the tone dial down as it progresses, giving the songs a more murky quality that feels like a journey toward something darker and more sinister. The album’s final track “Not Merely a Destination” is most similar to “Running Stop” in that the melodies are placed right at the forefront from the opening. But the tone of the album has completely evolved, it has a much more foreboding quality as it all comes to an end.

Both of these releases get better with subsequent listens. It’s not that they aren’t striking from the first listen, it’s just that they keep getting better with repeated listens. There’s a depth, nuance, and confidence to these works that make them quite striking once you spend some real time with them. Taken hand-in-hand, these two releases demonstrate Forest Management is a talent to take serious note of. - Fluid Radio


"Forest Management ~ Sky Image / The Contemplative Life"

Cleveland’s John Daniel is Forest Management, a prolific ambient artist whose latest two releases were released in the same week. Played back-to-back, they form a diptych that stretches purposefully from early winter to early spring.

One of the aspects of forest management (the career) is to visit property that is crowded by foliage and to make decisions about what to keep and what to cut. The goal is to promote active growth; the culling is a favor to the forest. In like fashion, Daniel makes such decisions on a regular basis. None of his compositions are crowded, but this does not mean they are not full. Instead, each piece contains enough room for the elements to be heard and appreciated.

coverThe opening track of the Sky Image CD3″ is extremely quiet, but it bears a perfect subtitle: “The Beginning of Winter”. The music is distant, awash in a digital wind. Twice Removed is located in Perth, so the timing is apt, and by this time, the Northern Hemisphere is more than happy to pass its winter down the longitudes. This peaceful selection is one of Forest Management’s best: pared down, sparse, intimate. The remainder of the EP is similarly sedate. “Itself” is barely more than a whisper, but it’s a beautiful whisper, akin to the work of Yann Novak. The title track coaxes melodies from static, while “Crystallize” does exactly what its title implies, tidying the previous elements into a neat little pile.

The Contemplative LifeThe Contemplative Life begins with the sound of the artist taking a shower. The tap is opened, the water falls, the soap is applied; then Daniel rinses himself, draws back the curtain and towels off. It’s a metaphor for a new beginning, but we’re relieved to know that there’s no video. In a contemplative life, every aspect is examined. It’s no surprise that the album is more active than its predecessor, although some of the subtleties have been lost. The ambient washes are louder, and piano notes feature prominently as texture. This is the sound of early spring, of minds and hearts and earth awakening. The smudges – like snow on earth – are receding, replaced by definition. “Glass Doors” is especially engaging, a challenge to the torpor of white. The fading finale edges forward in time and timbre, a harbinger of things to come. (Richard Allen) - A Closer Listen


"Forest Management :: Sky Image EP (Twice Removed)"

The primary goal of forest management, the experts say, is sustainability. Ohio’s John Daniel certainly fulfills that criterion. I could listen to this forever. Sky Image floats out of the speakers like seed copters from a dandelion puff. As the EP proceeds into the second and third perfectly becalmed, unnarrative ambient miniature, a sheer curtain of static grows thicker, as if he were broadcasting from far away and we’re losing the channel. Uncanny how the title track immediately fools the mind to dream of images shifting in the sky. - Igloo Magazine


Discography

“Sky Image” – Twice Removed, March 2014

”The Contemplative Life” – Cathedral Transmissions, February 2014

“Reality Cleanse” – Overview, 2014

"Upload" - Self-released, November 2013

“Recollection of Dreams” – Self-released, April 2013

“The Thinker’s Reasoning” – Self-released, April 2013

“Turn” – Self-released, November 2012

“Siblings” – Self-released, July 2012

“Braun Or Contipelli” – Self-released, June 2012

“Transparent” – Self-released, May 2012

“Winter Snack Surreal” – Self-released, December 2011

“Music For Stargazing” – Self-released, July 2011

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Cleveland native John Daniel has been recording and releasing ambient music since 2011, when he released his first solo album entitled Music For Stargazing. A site-specific recording that was eventually installed into the Walter R. Scheule Planetarium at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, Music For Stargazing was the beginning of Daniel's recording project Forest Management. Since then this moniker has produced almost a dozen releases (physical and digital), and most recently, joined the rosters of international record labels Twice Removed (AU) and Cathedral Transmissions (UK). Inspired by the subtle similarities between artificial and natural, Daniel sculpts audio environments that slowly engulf the listener in their own self-awareness. Through electronic composition and digital synthesis, he explores the more human, liquid qualities of sound. Daniel has shared bills with a number of experimental artists, including NPR/Pitchfork favorite Julia Holter, Radio People (Mexican Summer), Drainolith, and noise legends Nautical Almanac. He will be touring in support of his label debut full-length The Contemplative Life in the Fall of 2014, with Watchword (Jeff Hatfield of Outer Space, Fragments).

Band Members