Blood Moon

Frore / Shane Morris

Blood Moon


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About Blood Moon


1   Lichen Patterns

2   Ritual Sequence

3   Orison

4   Unfolding

5   Night Rapture

Throughout the ages, human ancestors have looked to the moon for comfort and guidance. Marking time and turning tides, inspiring fear and imagination, the glowing orb that is Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor has been a constant and reliable beacon lighting the way through the dark skies of time. During an eclipse the moon would grow dark and red, triggering panic, resolution, rituals and celebrations among many cultures around the world, and this mesmerizing sight, known as a “blood moon,” is the inspiration for an album featuring five long-form tracks of tribal ambient, electro-shamanic, modern primal soundscapes from electronic music shamen Frore (Paul Casper) & Shane Morris.

Blood Moon features an intoxicating blend of acoustic and electronic percussion, flutes, duduk, organic synth textures and ethereal atmospheres & soundscapes that follow in the Tribal Ambient traditions established by Byron Metcalf, Vidna Obmana, Robert Rich, and Steve Roach. All the hallmarks of the ethno-ambient sound are reflected here as the album glows with layers of rich harmonic textures – both ancient and modern – riding a polyrhythmic current of living, breathing drums and percussion. Pulsing soundworlds, both electronic and organic, rise up from swirling atmospheric drifts, all driven by primal forces of the past and present.

“For some time Paul and I have shared a mutual love of the rhythmic tribal ambient genre, both as fans and as composers,” explains Shane Morris. “and we wanted to help keep that tradition of rhythmic, ethnic instrumentation, and trance-inducing ambient music alive and evolving.”

Paul Casper adds, “I really find the dichotomy between the ancient and the new very alluring, and I just want the music to inspire a sense that the world is still mysterious. I like the idea that as hectic as life is, whenever I look at the moon, I seem to slow down and think about how everyone alive before me looked at the same object in the sky…and in some way I can still connect with the basic wonder of the world that our ancestors had.”

Indeed, the moon has kindled great wonder throughout time, and the soundscapes of Blood Moon delicately reflect the mystery of nature, passage of time, ritual occurrences, and ancient wisdoms that are still vital components of modern culture; a symbolic reference to the power, unity, and interconnectedness inspired by countless gazes at the beauty of Earth’s companion.


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 whom 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 “Blood Moon”.
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 in “Blood Moon”, the rhythms to which they give birth are not less very peaceful here. 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 “Blood Moon”. 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 by 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, Synth & Sequences

There are benchmarks against which any tribal/ethno-ambient album will inevitably be judged. You know the names, you know the common sounds and tones. Here’s the didge, here are the drums, here are the shakers and chants. There’s no need to go into the comparisons. The standard for this kind of work should instead be, “How far down into my primal/ritual self does this album take me?” For me, the answer with Blood Moon is: pretty far. Frore (aka Paul Casper) and Shane Morris do a great job of balancing off the things you’ve come to expect in a tribal release with deep ambient atmospherics, giving us a blend of ritualistic rhythmics and check-your-breathing meditative patches. Where this album really shows it strength is in the attention to minute details, the small sounds that create dimension, texture and inner vision. It’s that aspect that creates the strongest sense of immersion. Several points firmly catch my attention and cut through my usual tribal-loving rapture. “Orison” goes deep with a humming drone wavering its way across a mix of ambient washes and a slowly rising batch of drums. Just before the 4-minute mark, flute drops in to turn it into a slow and sensual dance. Balance again is key here, with everything kept at about the same level, which succeeds in throwing a kind of incense-haze veil around the music. Just slightly distant but very effective, it has a dreamy quality to it. Excellent didge work highlights “Unfolding.” Churning up perhaps the strongest of the influential references, it’s a deep flow with big ambient pads and the cool twang of a stringed instrument I can’t identify—but I know I love it sound and texture. “Night Rapture” is 16 minutes of curling-smoke washes, hypnotic percussion, and pure atmosphere. Breathy flute pushes through like a phantom wind to nudge your mind out of its reverie. This piece retains an edge of darkness and the repetitive churn of ritual as it draws you in. You could just loop this track for a while and your primal self would thank you.

Blood Moon is a strong addition to the overall tribal and ethno-ambient canon. It will slot in alongside your personal favorites. Capser and Morris have very good chemistry; they are strong tribalists on their own, and this joining of their powers results in a rock-solid release sure to please tribal fans.

- John Shanahan, Hypnagogue

Electro-organic, tribal ambient.
Blood Moon as a title conjures up a wealth of rich association and colour which is pleasingly equalled here by this evocative, mesmeric set of deep long-form recordings. The mood is one of enigmatic reverie or timeless reverence where booming hand drums rumble against dense ambient textures; sonorous world sounds reverberate among synthetic drones and primal forms intertwine with contemporary aesthetics. Each of the recordings of Blood Moon is between nine and seventeen minutes allowing for a smooth, gradual progression of sound, hypnotic percussive repetition and evolution of structure. As well as keyboards and synthesisers, such gorgeously inspiring instruments as duduk, singing bowls, Anasazi flute, Navaho cedar flute, udu and didjeridoo fill the air with nocturnal wonder. Electronic drum sequences, frame drum and delicate shakers maintain the ongoing future/past juxtaposition.

A beautiful card wallet encloses the Blood Moon CD (blissfully free of plastic) in one open end. Lush, vivid hues colour the bright red/orange lunar orb and spangled purple night skies that adorn every panel. Heavy shadows sink foreground rocks and trees into silhouette whilst white pin-points fleck the void. Track titles on the rear cover show running times with relevant web links noted at the foot. Opening the package reveals a panoramic moonrise of the same heady intensity as the outer cover, undisturbed imagery on the left side, notes on each of the artists to the right.

Brought together by a shared love of the rhythmic tribal ambient genre and a tendency to delve into the darker corners of the musical world, Paul Casper A.K.A. Frore and Shane Morris deliver Blood Moon via the Spotted Peccary label. The album is inspired by experiences of eclipse wherein "the moon would grow dark and red, triggering panic, resolution, rituals and celebrations among many cultures around the world," Paul Casper explaining, “I really find the dichotomy between the ancient and the new very alluring, and I just want the music to inspire a sense that the world is still mysterious." The Spotted Peccary website provides a variety of purchasing options both digital and physical as well as allowing listeners the opportunity to sample each of the tracks and read about the artists.

- Paul Jury, Morpheus Music Reviews

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