Music

Steve Moore Returns to His Solo Investigations on 'Beloved Exile'

Photo: Temporary Residence

With Beloved Exile, acclaimed composer Steve Moore revisits his favourite themes of minimalism, drone music, electronica, ethereal, and new age elements to bring forth one of his prettiest works.

Beloved Exile
Steve Moore

Temporary Residence

10 May 2019

Steve Moore first arrived on the experimental music scene with Zombi, an electronically infused progressive rock act alongside the great percussionist Anthony Pattera. Through the 2000s and 2010s, Zombi would release an array of fantastic releases, always experimenting with their rock and electronic motifs. Through the years Moore remained extremely active and continued to release works under his own name, but soon enough he would traverse into the film score world. Moore got consumed by the process of scoring music for film, with all of his works after 2013's Positronic Neural Pathways being written as accompaniments to films or TV shows. Thankfully, this abstinence now comes at an end with the release of Moore's new record Beloved Exile, an immersive work that highlights the best qualities of the artist's unique sonic vision.

There has always been a transcendental quality surrounding Moore's works and Beloved Exile is no exception, with the record presenting a holistic experience collecting influences from sources as disparate as vintage synth sound collections, new age, and spiritual music, as well as an uncanny cinematic ambiance. Still, what comes through at first is actually a touch of old-school electronica, shining through "Your Sentries Will Be Met With Force". The track constructs a hazy psychedelic experience, enhanced by the fantastic, ethereal vocal delivery of Emel Mathlouti that provides a dreamy sense of wonder. Yet, this retro vibe is not the only game in town for Moore, who switches towards a more modern and soothing tone with the title track. The percussive elements of Jeff Gretz subtly dress this work through their smooth, repetitive rendition creating a mantra-like procession while the synths create an array of artifacts that possess a cubic-like volume, placing them peacefully in the surrounding space.

While Moore always dives head first into a domain of electronic music, where he really shines is when he is taking those elements towards a minimal abstraction. On "In the Shelter of the Dunes", he puts aside the electronic backbone of his music to allow Mary Lattimore's beautiful harp to dictate this beautiful procession. Through this calm manner, Moore moves to a strangely folky dimension, crafting a warm and calming moment with a slightly dark underlying theme. It is an essence that he again revisits in "Throne Lane", but through even more delicate movements and a glacial pace that exposes his affinity for drone music.

It is that essence that he also explores in the record's most ambitious moment "My Time Among The Snake Lords", with the lethargic progression awakening a primal feeling, as if an ancient, voiceless ritual is taking place. The textures of the track are stunning, with Moore masterfully moving between a deep subtlety and a more towering form, highlighted through some unexpected bass drops. Still, the most intricate part of the track is its ability to transform with Lattimore's harp joining in and slowly turning the page from the drone minimalism towards a mesmerizing, verging on psychedelic rendition.

It seems like taking some time away from writing music without an accompanying medium has given Moore the chance to observe and better understand the inner workings of his compositions. It was a process worth the time, and it has now resulted in one of the prettiest records Moore has released.

8
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

The Cyclops and the Sunken Place: Narrative Control in 'Watchmen' and 'Get Out'

Hollywood is increasing Black representation but Damon Lindelof and Jordan Peele challenge audiences to question the authenticity of this system.

Featured: Top of Home Page

'Breathing Through the Wound' Will Leave You Gasping for Air

As dizzying as Víctor Del Árbol's philosophy of crime may appear, the layering of motifs in Breathing Through the Wound is vertiginous.

Music

12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.

Music

Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish Replace Form with Risk on 'Interactivity'

The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.

Music

Martin Green's Junkshop Yields the Gritty, Weird Story of Britpop Wannabes

Featuring a litany of otherwise-forgotten budget bin purchases, Martin Green's two-disc overview of coulda-been Britpop contenders knows little of genre confines, making for a fun historical detour if nothing else.

Reviews

Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.

Reviews

'Stratoplay' Revels in the Delicious New Wave of the Revillos

Cherry Red Records' six-disc Revillos compilation, Stratoplay, successfully charts the convoluted history of Scottish new wave sensations.

Reviews

Rising Young Jazz Pianist Micah Thomas Debuts with 'Tide'

Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.

Music

Why Australia's Alice Ivy Doesn't Want to Sleep

Alice Ivy walks a fine line between chillwave cool and Big Beat freakouts, and her 2018 debut record was an electropop wonder. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, she tries to keep the good vibes going with a new record decked out in endless collaborations.

Books

Five Women Who Fought the Patriarchy

Whether one chooses to read Square Haunting for the sketches of the five fascinating women, or to understand how misogyny and patriarchy constricted intellectual and public life in the period, Francesca Wade's book is a superb achievement.

Film

Director Denis Côté on Making Film Fearlessly

In this interview with PopMatters, director Denis Côté recalls 2010's Curling (now on Blu-Ray) discusses film as a "creative experiment in time", and making films for an audience excited by the idea of filling in playful narrative gaps.

Music

Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.