- Blissful, evocative drone from the Midwest ambient artist.
- Looking over the burgeoning catalog of Chicago-based ambient artist Forest Management is like peering at a roadmap to the Midwest ambient underground. A former drummer, John Daniel has spent lots of time on the road since 2010. His 50+ releases act as mementos of these journeys. From Cleveland to Pittsburgh to Chicago, Daniel has toured and released via the DIY scenes, labels and venues that have fostered a Midwest tradition of billowing drone.
On Rooftop By Dusk, a lengthy EP of archival recordings spanning from 2012 to 2017, Daniel proves he's been an honorable purveyor of the ecstatic, longform sound from the jump. A few of the tracks on Rooftop By Dawn, like the best ambient music, stage a plaintive reckoning with the sublime. There's "Following, Forming," whose murky, plangent melody puts me in mind of Selected Ambient Works II. Then there's the sprawling, 50-minute "Venice," which fits into a idling-spaceship tradition that spans from Brian Eno's Apollo to Seabat's Outside The Disc. The music Daniel's made since, like the excellent 2018 collaborative full-length with Celer, has bloomed from the foundational tones heard on Rooftop By Dusk.
03. Following, Forming