I’m constantly blessed with surprise packages that drop through my letter box, particularly from labels whose work I haven’t yet experienced, and whose artists I do not know. Hypnos is one such label, and they had the good grace to send along one or two of their fine releases for my perusal. Sans Serif is the adopted name of one Forrest Fang, a composer whose work here celebrates and emulates the late great La Monte Young. Young’s influence has been expounded my many an ersthwile minimalist composer, and here, Fang indeed does justice to his memory.
With releases and collaborations under his own name, particularly on the recent Gongland album, Fang explores more classical territory. Under the Sans Serif moniker, the work is overtly minimal and long form, combining elements of classicism, with digital composition. On Tones for La Monte, Fang deploys combinations of sustained tones and chords, wispy, evaporations and distillations, charged atmospheres that reduce the formations into pure essence. These are wonderfully executed pieces, not unlike Keith Berry, or Thomas Koner, but with the composer’s own signature, encapsulating the sounds in endless reverb, watercolour splinters, and rich tonal bass. These works are entitled to evoke either Greek numerology, or brain states..Alpha, Omega, Delta..etc..not entirely original, but if relating to brain states, then entirely appropriate, as each piece emerges through translucent planes, revealing as much about the nuances of the instrumentation as about the composers’ intentions. Here, strings are grazed, tones are warm, rich, and resonant, the atmospheres serene and enchanting. Here is a CD that I will almost certainly be re-visiting many times, and I cannot recommend it too highly..fine stuff indeed. BGN