Ochre – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-9106
With Ochre we are in a cave, flickering light from a burning torch reveals a pattern on the wall, a collection of symbols, a scene, a memory.
1. About the album Ochre
A sound starts coming up out of the earth, something rhythmic, something mysterious, ancient dancing pulses, hypnotic trance music, like the sounds of spirits somewhere in the depths, rising from the darkness below. The sound defies any easy categorization, drawing freely from a well of sources including Electronic music, Ambient, African, and Caribbean drumming, Pre-Hispanic music of the Americas, Jazz, Psychedelia, and Folk traditions from around the world. I have thought about the sound of microbe boogie jams, atmospheric multilayered and simultaneous trance, and organic ambient stunners. Intertwining these two musical forces into a more complex rhythmic territory than in the past, Frore (Paul Casper) & Shane Morris, have so far released on Spotted Peccary Music : Ochre (2023), Horizon (2021), Eclipse (2017), Blood Moon (2015), Shane Morris with Mystified have released Epoch (LSM23), Evolution (SPM-2302), and Emergence (SPM-2301). Recently there is a solo album by Frore Biome (2023).
We are in a cave, flickering light from a burning torch reveals a pattern on the wall, a collection of symbols, a scene, a memory. The sound paints sweeping vistas for the listener, this album has a thicker presence than some of the previous albums from Frore and Morris, the percussion is taking on new more complicated directions, the two very different musicians fuse into a totally unique trance and drone sound, the frame drum takes us out into the wider cavern areas, ethno-ambient austerity traveling trance guys chanting in a big cave, with buzzing percussion while above us all a percussive melody weaves back and forth endlessly, and what more than what they paint in ochre remains.
2. The tracks
The sound is slowly emerging from the cave to the surface, I hear wooden voices or grumbling. “From Spark to Flame” (8:52) will take you there, the drums bring order from out of the chaotic jungle and the light increases as the trance boogie gathers, just let it take you up there. Imagine breathing the air that has remained down here from so long ago, and the first who came exploring new areas and discovering “Formations” (5:54), the sustained drone tones that flow in and out flickering shadows on the cave walls as the tones catch and then fade.
“Into the Dust” (11:29) expands the frame drum drama, the dancer’s circle rotates, extending time through all the changes. I can hear that the echo is deep, and I am helplessly swaying in the tempo. Now a slight metal sound which eventually forms a melodic pattern, all very sparse. “Hidden Meaning” (7:09) goes spiraling into the distances beyond. It takes you there.
With some barking drum beats I think there is much more metal being tapped and allowed to reverberate, flute and sustained echoes never dense or cluttered, ferric colors tingle through the atmosphere, the beat takes over and the fires burn providing light, “Ochre” (12:52) carries as the marchers climb the inside of the mountain. I hear a slow growling and ringing that leads into a cosmic abyss, I swear that we are flying somehow, because the air is so big. “Waiting for Eternity” (9:13) until the voices of the cavern dwellers creep into the atmosphere, what music they make!
Frore is a musician from southeastern Virginia, in the USA. His sound combines Analog, Digital and Modular Synthesizers. 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.
Shane Morris is a percussionist, synthesist, and composer of ambient electronic music. Inspired by nature, patterns, and systems. His choice of instruments for Ochre includes frame drums, udu, gongs, shaker, and chromatic flute. An udu is one of the African music instruments with relaxing sounds, an idiophone of the Igbo of Nigeria, a small ceramic household object that was also used as a percussive instrument.
Shane is an avid live performer and improvisor playing regularly at City Skies and Electro-Music festivals, as well as numerous live internet performances. He also holds a BA in Anthropology and Music with an emphasis in “Trance” and has been playing music professionally for nearly 20 years.
4. Where to buy the album Ochre?
Written by Robin James, November 17th, 2023