Fancy Goose - Build a Forest EP

Released August 26, 2014

By Chris Matei

Fancy Goose is a Port Coquitlam based musician. The latest EP is an instrumental electronica piece, that is self-proclaimed to evoke “fine feels (Source).” These “feels” take the listener back to a simpler time, one possibly spent guiding polygonal avatars through mysterious caves in search of hidden treasure. The album shows two sides of its creator’s abilities, sandwiching a pair of sunny pop arrangements between dreamlike, ambient opening and closing pieces.

Opening track, Looking away from explosions, sets the tone by showcasing its spacious, minimalist instrumentation. Glossy and resonant calliope-like synth swells enveloped in dark reverb weave around a lazily looping chord progression. The track reaches an unexpectedly intense climax as a buzzing low frequency pad builds to a huge crescendo out from under the relatively innocuous loops, then drops away to reveal the main riff given new verve by way of the addition of boppy, filtered drum sounds.
The short and sweet Whale Knows Not charms despite its brevity. The whole song comes across as having been lifted out of the background of a friendly shopkeeper’s hut in a video game you may have played in childhood; from the economically simple synthetic kick and snare sounds, to the peppy melody that seems to be built for repetition after grinding repetition.

What Comes and What Must Go is the highlight of the EP, built around ambient rumbles and a lush, delayed piano arc. What Comes and What Must Go introduces pulsing modulated stabs and energetic drums, filling out its arrangement with a rushing sense of forward motion, energy, and excitement unique to this collection of songs.

Title track, Build a Forest, returns to the much darker sonic palette defined by the viscous organ sounds and gargantuan low-end first heard on the EP’s opening track, punctuate with raw cymbal crashes whose decay frizzles into distant white noise as a sinister drone bubbles up from below.

Above all, with this release Fancy Goose seems to establish himself as a creator of abstract tonal landscapes bathed in electronic vibes. There are elements of Build a Forest that recall great existing work of this style. Some of the material is reminiscent of songs produced by Terrence Lee under the alias Lifeformed, or Koji Kondo and Keiichi Suzuki’s work for the soundtracks of SNES-era role playing game series Mother (Earthbound). Fancy Goose’s Bandcamp has since heralded the release of a new single - hopefully indicative of further work to come. For now, Build a Forest offers minimal, ambient, drone, and electronic music fans the chance to explore two distinct sides of this instrumentalist’s distinct musical personality.