Steve Moore has kept pretty busy despite a slow time for working musicians. Starting last year with a killer track on the Portals comp via Behind The Sky, Zombi’s excellent 2020, a series of covers this year under the ‘Zombi and Friends’ moniker, the collab album Liminial Migration with Bluetech, a new Zombi ep earlier this year as well as plenty of score work that I’m sure we’ll be hearing soon enough.
Despite all of that amazing music, we now have a brand new solo Steve Moore full-length to sink our teeth into. Gone World is Moore in cosmic groove mode; dance floor bangers and Froese-esque escapism that for my brain is just what the doctor ordered.
I’ve never been much of a techno/house guy. Maybe because the idea of me on a dance floor causes myself much anxiety and embarrassment. But Steve Moore has this knack for making electronic dance music that I can totally get lost in. More than likely it’s because I got into Moore’s work through Zombi first, and rocking out to Escape Velocity in the living room made this Midwest clown just go with the grooves. Moore makes techno that feels heady and purposeful, not just for getting sweaty at the downtown club.
Gone World is Steve Moore’s first release with label Pittsburgh Tracks and he makes it count. This is 8 tracks of pure electronic bliss. It’s a mixture of both groove-heavy tendencies as well as the headier aspects of Moore’s sonic explorations. Think a perfect coming together of the Kompakt singles and Escape Velocity-era Zombi with a touch of his more 80s-inspired film work. It all comes together beautifully in a constant motion of rhythm and melody.
Title track “Gone World” opens the album on bubbling synths and a liquid rhythm. There’s optimism here, something I know I’ve been lacking as of late. It’s the perfect note to open on. “Information Superhighway” locks into that Escape Velocity vibe. Touches of liquid sheen electronic with the headiness of early 70s Komische. Stunning.
Elsewhere “VII” and “Docking Bay” roll in with gorgeous, ethereal synth textures with a touch of celestial drift. The nearly 10-minute “III” builds peaks and valleys on the backbone of a techno rhythm. I could imagine this scoring camera footage from the Mars rover. Moore knows how to combine both earthbound elements and sci-fi explorations flawlessly in his work. This is a fine example of that. Album closer “The Prophet Speaks” is all electronic haze and slow-moving, like a fog rolling in. It’s dense and cinematic. Just incredible.
Gone World is another absolute stunner from maestro Steve Moore. It encapsulates all of the composer’s strengths into a massive, deep dive of a listen. Propulsive, visceral, and immediate with the sonic weight of the best Berlin School heavyweights. One of my favorite albums of the year.
8.6 out of 10
‘Gone World’ Is out now via Pittsburgh Tracks. Buy it here.