Forss explained his choice to focus on the religious side of traditional music in an electronic album: "To me there is something magical about choir music...it has a very strong emotional impact on me". And with this album, it's abundantly clear why this music form played such a role in shaping his music. Although many would see the slick beats of a Flying Lotus-style electro-album as being too far removed from the world of church music to ever go together, Forrs has created a gem here.
Third track 'Me Apparo' is such a celestially-inspired journey into how far electronic music can be pushed that when it finishes four and a half minutes after it began you feel like you've walked into sunlight for the first time in months. The sheer audio elegance of track 'Regulus' makes your head spin; it's so moving, never building beyond an insistent hum but quietly disturbing all the same. Ecclesia is created from many hours of church organ and choir recordings sampled and mixed over digital beats; the entire album has the ability to sound progressive and exciting while using a form of music thousands of years old.
Similar to the Godspeed you Black Emperor style of one album=one song, Ecclesia is an album to play when you can hear the whole beauty in one. To listen to just one half of this album in a day would make it seem oddly incomplete, like you left half-way through lunch and haven't been able to stop thinking about the food you left behind. If this simile sounds trite it's only because this album is so difficult to sum up easily. Waves of harmonies crash over one another without ever jarring, the steady thud of the percussion pushing you further into a dream-like state, all the while aware that any attempt to explain this album will reduce you to a gibbering idiot because there just aren't words that adequately describe it.
Accompanying the album is an app intended for the visual exploration of the music. Eric himself said of the app "Too often apps detract from the actual music but many long hours have been spent making this a fully immersive, sympathetic and unique experience". With a stellar album to work alongside, this app looks set to be a benchmark for all those artists trying to add a new tilt to how we think of 'music'.
Of course there are probably a few people that would say the tracks on Ecclesia are too similar, with not enough focus on the individual resonance of each track, but this is the purpose of listening to the album as one track. The artistic merit when listening to Ecclesia drunk with your friends will be far less apparent than when listening on your own, perhaps when you're reading or enjoying the finer side of herb appreciation. One thing is for certain with Forss, you'll never know just what's coming next.
To find out more visit the website here.
Ecclesia by Forrs is out now.