Steve Moore, Zen Spiders

[Future Times]


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It’s funny how things work out. Some up-and-comers spend their entire careers promoting themselves. Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, Beatport, Resident Advisor, PR agencies, mass emails — the list of avenues seems endless these days. And yet, these hordes of baying, talentless trumpet-blowers are frequently eclipsed by silent maestros, just doin’ their thang. Like Steve Moore. He’s a librarian by day and a self-confessed outsider who barely understands nightclub dynamics. He also resides in Nyack, a sleepy town in upstate New York. And yet, the American’s music has appeared on L.I.E.S. — arguably the most respected label in this scene right now — as well as Kompakt, Permanent Vacation, Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal, and now, the eclectic Future Times. It’s a reassuring sign that actual talent can still fight through the onslaught of half-baked, over-hyped crap.


Steve Moore, “Zen Spiders”

Zen Spiders sees Moore once again turning his analog setup to kosmische soundscapes, though with a softer, more lethargic edge than we’ve heard in recent times. On the A-side, he carefully unravels a carpet of twinkling notes, streaking them liberally with clarion-like pads. It feels ready-made for patient star-gazing. The track’s earthy, roughed-up underside keeps the whole thing from flying too far upward, bass poking in here and there. Tracks like “Tyken’s Rift” and “Primitive Neural Pathways” relied on similar blueprints, standing out via exciting tension and gaudy hookiness, respectively. “Zen Spiders” has neither of these qualities and feels somewhat plain as a result, however pretty its melodies may be. On the flip, “Lwaxana” fares better. It’s just as sluggish, but here the slack pace feels liberating, giving Moore’s pastel-hued chords and gentle arpeggios more chance to shine. In the context of kosmische, it may not be particularly fresh, nor the best example of Moore’s work, but Zen Spiders is an adequate arena in which to sit back and watch a quiet, talented man simply doin’ his thang.

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