Ochre is England-based artist, Christopher Leary. Since winning a remix contest held by Rephlex artist Global Goon in 2002, Leary quickly rose to prominence, establishing himself as a promising new talent within the electronica milieu. The following year, Leary won another remix contest, co-hosted by Nintendo and Computer and Video Games Magazine, taking first place with his playful Zelda remix medley.
2004 saw the release of Ochre’s debut album, A Midsummer Nice Dream, released on London’s prestigious Toytronic Records to critical acclaim. ‘Midsummer’ displayed an expressive musicality, from moody dark ambience to melancholic melodies and upbeat playfulness, resulting in a perfect balance of harmonic beauty and intricacy.
Ochre’s second album, Lemodie, was released in 2006 on Edinburgh’s Benbecula Records, reflecting a maturing, classically-infused approach to melodic composition. Combining clean analogue synthesis with sampled acoustic instruments and a grittier, noisier sound palette, Lemodie made for a subtler, more cohesive and focused release.
In 2008, keen to branch out into installation work, Leary composed Reception for the 2008 AV Festival in Newcastle, hosted by the Culture Lab. A 4.1 surround installation, Reception was written using archived recordings of French playwright and poet Antonin Artaud as the sole source material, processed, warped and convolved to create a hauntingly atmospheric piece, befitting the ‘Haunted Broadcast’ theme. (The title played both on the broadcasting theme and the Culture Lab venue for the installation.)
Following the release of Ochre’s Petl EP at the start of 2009 on Baselogic Records, Ochre’s third album, Like Dust of the Balance emerged from the studio during Summer 2009. Featuring guest writer and performer Benet Walsh (Plaid, Leila), it proved to be the most stylistically and timbrally varied Ochre release so far, evincing an expressive compositional proficiency.