♫♪  Forest Management - “Blue Leaves”

Passageways, John Daniel’s newest record as Forest Management (out March 22 on the superb Whited Sepulchre), is an “ode to Daniel’s childhood home — a secluded apartment complex in Cleveland that his parents managed.” My own childhood home had some fun passageways: a second staircase at the back of the house that led down to the kitchen, a stairway to nowhere in my brother’s closet, a vent in the living room through which you could see the basement, a scary (boiler?) room in which there was also a tree stump that I used to hammer nails into.

We moved to the suburbs, though, when I was in kindergarten, so the “passageways” after that were those paths we cut through the underbrush in the woods. Bike trails to treehouses and stuff. My new house was the “secret passage” equivalent of the shrug emoji.


Yeah, that guy.

I’m glad that John Daniel feels a little more connected to the “endless corridors into discovery and imagination” that he traversed as a kid. Connected enough to artistically express that wonder in video form, even! “Blue Leaves,” the first taste of Passageways, is a journey through Daniel’s memory and imagination, filmed on location in John’s childhood home. Images blur like the memories of the things that happened in these places, past and present collide within John’s own sense of nostalgia, and we’re left to separate our own feelings about our own pasts and presents and their collisions, endless loops feeding back till we can’t discern one thing from another, rendering us incapacitated.

But that’s only if we let it get away from us.

An image appears near the end of the video, presumably from John’s own collection of writings: “I must often close my eyes and remember…” “Blue Leaves” captures that, in the thick ambient wash of the Forest Management sound, like faded photos in old albums unearthed in closet cleanouts.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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