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(70:39, Cuneiform Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Tyken's Rift 6:14 2. Light Echoes I 6:39 3. Aldebran Exchange 6:42 4. Light Echoes II 14:06 5. Protomorphosis 8:53 6. Ancient Shorelines II 28:05 SOLO PILOT: Steve Moore – all instruments
Prolusion. US composer and musician Steve MOORE is perhaps best known as one half of the US duo Zombi, although he is involved with a fair few other band projects as well. His solo career started in 2007, and since making his debut plenty of singles and EPs have been released by him alongside several full-length albums. "Light Echoes" is his fourth full-length album, and his first issued by the US label Cuneiform Records.
Analysis. Steve Moore isn't an artist to seek out if you're looking for conventional progressive rock as such. While undoubtedly progressive, it is the rock part of the description that is missing from his albums. On the other hand, if you enjoy material of the kind often described as progressive electronic music, then you have indeed come to the right place. Of the six compositions at hand, the initial four follow a fairly similar route. A dark and mostly toned down synth motif is set up as the foundation. Contrasting this a light toned surging, fluctuating or otherwise fluently moving synth motif is added. In between those we have single or multiple layers of melodic electronic percussion, gently hammering, swirling and reverberating. This latter detail is of a kind that does bring forth associations to the likes of Tangerine Dream. An effective framework for the composition, with the contrasting synth layers maintaining tension, while the percussion elements cater for motion and the main degree of a fairly constant variation. The light toned layer also tends to be slowly intensifying, which adds a neat additional point of tension to the proceedings. The arguably most interesting of this opening quartet of constructions is Aldebran Exchange, where the use of wind synths and a more intense set of light toned synths craft a cold, bleak landscape that makes quite an impact. What might be described as a forceful display of lifelessness and emptiness I guess. The final two compositions are of a somewhat different stature, Protomorphosis to some degree and Ancient Shorelines are much more focused on slow, subtle alterations. The use of contrasting layers is reduced, the ongoing constructions are more one-dimensional, and the slow pace in which alterations occur gives them somewhat of a static feel. Minimalistic creations that will succeed or fail depending on whether or not this particular approach manages to mesmerize or not. For me these excursions failed in establishing this hypnotic effect, but for dedicated fans of this type of music I suspect that the massive Ancient Shorelines in particular might be regarded as something of a highlight.
Conclusion. Electronic music with ambient and minimalistic tendencies sporting multiple references back to some of the famous German artists of the 70's in general and arguably Tangerine Dream in particular is what Steve Moore provides on "Light Echoes". It's not an album that heads off into any previously unknown stylistic waters, but fans of Tangerine Dream in particular should feel right at home in this landscape. Presumably they'll also find to be a fairly enticing one, and due to that this disc comes with a recommendation to this crowd in particular.
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