Forest Bath

Various Artists

Cudighi Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/05/2021

A term coined in the '80s in Japan to define a physiological and psychological exercise, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, doesn't involve any actual water or shedding of clothes. Instead, all that forest bathing entails is simply just taking in nature and immersing yourself in all its glory. Here, 13 artists contribute one tune each that celebrates this Japanese art.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

World Standard starts the listen with “Shin Rin Yoku,” where soft ambience moves with a meditative quality that approaches New Age ideas with birds chirping, heavenly wordless singing and much dreaminess.

This soothing theme then continues to the mesmerizing and pretty “Asian Forest Rockers” by Thrushez, as well as the gentle keys and hypnotic appeal of the blurry “Two Lights,” where Lo Mismo textures the setting precisely. The highlight from the first half, Accou's “0002 1-Audio-8,” then manipulates a spacey sort of delivery with both synthetic and organic exploration.

The back half of the listen offers the shimmering and stirring “Napping In The Sky,” where Hudson Glover's use of analog synth and pop ideas are quite inventive. Meanwhile, CHAM's “REI” twinkles with meticulous use of percussive sounds amid a very unpredictable landscape.

The standout track on this portion, Matthew J Van Howe's “We Walked Among The Voices Of Trees,” then uses repetition strategically as field recordings are timed out well in the clever and original composition.

An extremely diverse project that showcases electronica, pop, New Age, and ambient song craft from very atypical artists, each track here certainly could soundtrack a jaunt through nature, or even provide some much-needed relaxation in these turbulent times. Come to think of it, with all the problems facing the human race currently, everyone could benefit from forest bathing in some capacity, whether it be the music in question or the act itself.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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