Forma (Record Release)

Brooklyn trio Forma’s latest LP continues their mission to “broaden
the idea of what an electronic music ensemble can sound like.”
Semblance emerged from exploratory sessions at The Schoolhouse, the
Bushwick loft where members Mark Dwinell and John Also Bennett live,
then was tracked at Gary’s Electric studios, where their previous
album Physicalist was also recorded.

Inspired by polyrhythmic composition, the human voice, and conceptual
improvisation strategies, the songs are striking in their textural
detail and emotional nuance, alternately synthetic and sentient,
futuristic and intuitive. Incorporating flute, piano, guitar,
saxophone, acoustic drums and cymbals alongside an array of
synthesizers, the record persuasively demonstrates the group’s unique
playing abilities and fluid chemistry – attributes they credit to
“techniques we’ve developed to trick our electronic machines into
mimicking the spontaneous character of live instruments.”

Members George and John Also Bennett also cite as an influence their
recent stint in minimalist composer Jon Gibson’s ensemble, performing
his 1973 proto-ambient masterwork Visitations. The long- form modal
piece requires restraint and deep listening to execute, qualities
especially apparent in the more muted moments of Semblance, such as
“Rebreather” and “New City.”

The group states the intent of the new album as “to be more direct and
exacting”, which it is. Over half a decade spent writing and recording
together has distilled Forma’s hybrid electro-acoustic interplay into
an attuned and astounding language, capable of articulating impossible
symmetries and reflective states.

The stunning visuals of the artwork are by frequent collaborator of
the group Peter Burr.

Ka Baird

$15

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