Biome – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-4601
Our mystical ancient grandfathers were known to look to the skies for insight and enlightenment, experiencing timeless tribal magic through carefully watching the dark skies of eternity. We can look to the moon for familiar comfort and cyclic guidance. Our heartbeats pilot us through the many different shapes and forms of the physical world. A Biome is a biogeographical unit consisting of a biological community that has formed in response to the physical environment.
1. About the album Biome
Frore’s Biome makes me think of tribal sound machines that run at a steady hypnotic pace. As the machines shift and shimmer, they morph seamlessly from one pulse-beat to the next, with intricate weaving parts. I love the enchanting sounds of spellbinding deep trance percussion. Sometimes I can slow my racing thoughts and I imagine that the hypnotic music can actually activate awareness and help connect us all within a deeper existence. While the machine is running, the feeling is forever. The multitude of creatures who inhabit any biome experience their lives in ordinary time. Obviously, the machine does not actually run on and on forever. Does it?
The eternal drumbeat can sometimes allow you to transport your awareness. Why do we dance? Anyway, I do not know if a trance beat is anything but interesting and spellbinding to experience, another unique opportunity for the constant listener to explore. The six rhythm machines of Biome go on for the duration of each track, but while you are in it, the experience is infinite. Dreams are similar, or so I wonder. Perhaps the machines each have a natural hypnotic presence, cycling into infinity. I imagine a series of mirrors leading back to the beginning, and a fundamental human impulse to merge with the absolute.
With Biome I hear the sound of the interconnectedness of living organisms, and there is a constant kinetic assurance that is not meant to be restful, as is the goal of much ambient music. What works is that the beat is overpowering and persistent. I hear dream-soaked electronics and primitive winds creating a blend of organic and electronic sounds, fusing ambient synthesizers with tribal percussion and traditional instruments such as Navajo flute, fujara and Aztec death whistle. The sound is unique.
2. The tracks
“Algae Bloom” (8:58) kicks in with that massive…
…low toned beat, deep rumbling through slow chaos, building in relative size. The sound soon evolves into a percussive pulse. On this track is where the beat comes from chaos, something really big stays down in the rumbling pit. Something that motivates a profound tribal elegance, respecting the powers of nature that form the world we all live in. In a bloom the abundant life starts blocking sunlight from reaching other organisms, causing a depletion of oxygen levels in the water, and, depending on the organism, secreting toxins into the water. This is a dance of enlightenment. The whole thing is in motion, and I think it sounds cool.
Amber is tree resin mostly orange, reddish, or gold in color while sometimes there might even be red or the rare green and blue amber. Randomly, insects and other things became trapped in tree resin that eventually became fossilized amber. “Trapped in Amber” (9:48) has an emerging glow which becomes a rapid tempo beat in an open darkness. I sense hands pattering, the title conjures a dance of frozen creatures who were once ambulatory and might now only dream of the past, a cerebral dance. I feel the heart quickens for a time then eventually starts to calm and slow as the trance enchantment progresses, with more textures and surprises as the machine continues to throb.
Protozoa means first animals
“Protozoa” (9:45) makes me think of single-celled eukaryotes, existing moment by moment, leading lives of elemental motility and predation, swimming around. This type of creature is heterotrophic, deriving nutrients from other organisms. Each individual is nourishment for slightly larger creatures, they must all eat or be eaten. The sound is a new species with a short and rapid paced life within the primordial soup. It sounds to me like a beating machine takes form, after a few moments the beat becomes everything. I think I hear the beat bubble and creatures howl from inside the soup, weaving strands and making powerful forms from muck. Listening, the time is forever, the machine runs on and on.
Ferns cover the forest floor, finding conditions perfect, moisture and the right amount of light. Ferns have complex leaves. “Fern Cluster” (8:10) puts me in mind of shady forests; ferns grow upon crevices in rock faces, wetlands including bogs and swamps; and with tropical trees. Now this machine runs like a boat engine, roaring on slow swells and persisting into challenging environs. The title makes me think of slower tempos, but these life forms compare all that is very small to things that are much smaller yet.
Full of or giving off light, glowing brightly; shining
“Luminous and Tangled” (9:13) emits tentacles consisting entirely of microscopic life in rock pores and cracks, kilometers beneath the surface. Imagine little wagging tails frothing the fluids. I hear broth tentacles, I see arms of light reach into the air from beneath the machine as it runs on forever, and I hear thousands of small waving limbs visible wherever there is light. I think the waving is a form of dancing, sometimes new forms emerge as the dance grows more intricate. Listen, the flute grows inside.
“Mycelium Dreams” (13:50) sounds like the mass of interwoven filamentous root-like structure of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like extensions running a tempo that evokes a root-like structure of a fungus. A mycelium may be minute, forming a colony that is too small to see, or may grow to span thousands of acres as in Armillaria. Also known as honey fungi, it lives on trees and woody shrubs. The largest known organism covers more than 3.4 square miles and is estimated to be 2,500 years old. Some species of Armillaria display bioluminescence. The decomposition of plant material must have a sound, somewhere. Mycelia often grow underground but can also thrive in other places such as rotting tree trunks. I hear buzzing creatures nearby. The beat utilizes jagged pulses, tempos combine to form a complex heartbeat.
The music of Frore has been featured on the Hearts of Space radio show, the Star’s End radio show and is frequently played on Stillstream.com (the ambient radio channel) among other outlets. Frore is music that evokes a dark, thoughtful, and primitive atmosphere for reflection and/or dreaming. The composer is not sure why he uses so many world fusion and tribal sounds in his music projects. As a child, he always wanted to discover lost Indigenous tribes in the forest, loving the mystery and excitement surrounding such a concept. It can be difficult to cultivate living material into a fully functional form. I can hear world instruments, drones, pads, sequencer lines and even touches of industrial and IDM.
Frore is the ambient music project of Paul Casper, a musician hailing from southeastern Virginia, in the USA. Paul has a unique approach to ambient music, always seeking to fuse what he calls “primitive sounds” with current technology, his music makes him realize how nothing much changes with people, that music is a fundamental human impulse and an attempt to make sounds to “fight off the loneliness.”
4. Where to buy the album Biome?
You can buy the album Biome at the store of Spotted Peccary Music and Bandcamp.
Written by Robin James, April 20th, 2023
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