FRORE & SHANE MORRIS: Blood Moon (2015)
“This Blood Moon is a very good ambient tribal album which opens the doors for new perspectives in the genre”
A little as the reflections of the moon which wrap a too quiet evening in a Jurassic jungle, the introduction of Lichen Patterns rises between our ears with an ochred lamentation which is about to reveal the intense nocturnal activities of BLOOD MOON. A mixture of opalescent and blackened synth waves, where some shamanic hoarse grumbles are joining, the opening of Lichen Patterns proposes a very sibylline sound shroud before being delicately shaken by a meshing of manual percussions. Then we plunge into the charms of this first collaboration between the designer by excellence of suffocating prehistoric ambiences, Shane Morris, and Frore; a musician that I don't really know and whose name is in reality Paul Casper. The aboriginal tom-toms and the knocks of the very metronomic bass percussions are sculpturing a kind of slow trance dance whereas the multiplicity of the synth lines, and their tones so full of particles of prisms than as of perfumes of graphite, exhale ambiences where spectres hum in a sonic fauna to the thousand ambiospherical delights. Divided between rhythms of spiritual trance, sculptured by a wide range of ancestral percussions, and rich meditative moods, fed by an impressive pallet of sounds, BLOOD MOON offers an interesting sonic journey where the comparisons between some of Steve Roach's pilgrimages into the aboriginal lands cannot simply be avoided. If the percussions seduce, the sonic decorations and the synth soundscapes are not outdone with a plenty of synths lines painted of seductive colors which will capture a hearing in need of adornment and with effects which plunge the same listener into territories bordering virgin appearances. Organic or psychic, electronic or acoustic, esoteric or exoteric; these effects give more brilliances to the percussions which peck nervously at the 5 soundscapes of this album.
If Lichen Patterns offers a rather relaxing structure, Ritual Sequence raises the level of intensity with more hectic percussions. Percussions which plough heathen moods fed by the groans of Didge, the muffled songs of spectres and those of the flutes with a tint of blowpipe. The structure reminds me extremely Steve Roach, especially with those synth lines floating such as long lassoes without preys to catch, in his quest of the Australian deserts with tones and organic pulsations which are smothered by a dense layer of synth to the very ancestral aromas. Orison distances itself from the usual style of Shane Morris with a clearly more tribal approach. One would say a ritual dance of the Middle East with lively percussions and with airs of Armenian flutes; the Duduks. If the percussions play a leading role here, the rhythms to which they give birth are not less very peaceful. So, Unfolding is closer of Steve Roach's ambient tribal universe than Ritual Sequence. In fact, both titles are closely bound by the same atmospheres, aboriginal flutes in less. If the percussions are also well fed, they are less strong and let glitter ringings of carillons which throw an aura of incantatory mysticism on the most ambient, the most serene track of the album. I like it! And the sonic shroud is filled with small hearing pleasures which are going to delight those who are gourmand of sounds and tones.
Night Rapture is the highlight of BLOOD MOON. The intro grows slowly with percussions which trace a laborious ascent. Little by little the pace accentuates its cadence beneath muffled growls, which stretch in long reverberations, and synth lines of which some are escaping and form shadows which float like ethereal songs. It's dark, heavy and insistent. Like an ambient trance! The subtle crescendo is very wrapping. Between the uncomfortable blackness of the nights of agitation and the hypnosis of the continual upward percussions, Night Rapture infiltrates our senses with a merciless will of bewitchment. The ambient stubborn rhythm is always climbing these timeless staircases while that some rich synth lines are erupting, such as slow waves rolling with harmonies always a little muddled up which inject a mix of ethereal and sibylline ambiences. This is incredibly mesmerizing. Our eardrums tremble under the din of the percussions. The wild approach of Night Rapture evaporates bit by bit after the 12th minute into some shivers and insect noises, ending so a journey at the end of the ominous and fascinating ambiences of BLOOD MOON; an album in the same lineage as Proof Positive and Spiral Meditations of Steve Roach. A very beautiful album which opens new perspectives to the ambient tribal genre, due to the wealth of its rhythms and its soundscapes to the evolutions as much audacious than the ingenuity behind the multiplicity of the patterns of manual percussions.
Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2015) *****
Available at Spotted Peccary Bandcamp