Ochre, the stunning new collaborative release on Spotted Peccary Music from veteran artists Frore (Paul Casper) & Shane Morris, takes its name from the reddish-brown petroglyphs in ancient caves. Inspired by these timeless works, revered for ages after those who painted them have perished, Ochre asks the question: “What does it mean to make something that lives on after you’re gone?”
With sounds of past and present, analog and digital, earthbound and electric, it dares to answer. On Ochre, Frore & Shane Morris refine the interplay between synthesizers and percussion elements into a more succinct revelation of their ethno-ambient sound. The opening track sets the tone as “From Spark to Flame” rises from a rumble into a hypnotic polyrhythm as Udu drum accents dance around an anchoring indigenous frame drum and modular synth bass line. On “Formations,” Morris’s distant gong crescendos behind Frore’s lush textures, the ghostly hum of the wind through an austere landscape. Finale “Waiting for Eternity” swells and echoes, careening into vastness. Yearning pulses beneath its drifting chords: an inquisitive mind wondering what will be remembered when time has turned our world to dust.
Picturesque in its ethno-ambient austerity owing much to previous legacies and visionary expressions, Ochre paints sweeping vistas for the listener: an arch of crimson shale over sun-cracked desert, dust swept up in a cyclone, blown like breath through the mouth of a cave, and inside: a pattern on the wall, a symbol, a scene, a memory. The painters pass on, but what they paint in ochre remains.