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Steve Moore - Primitive Neural Pathways  CD (album) cover

PRIMITIVE NEURAL PATHWAYS

Steve Moore

Progressive Electronic


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Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Zombi's Steve Moore turns in a more up-tempo and less atmospheric work than predecessor Vaalbara, and here the sequencers and drum trax are right in front. It's a sound not always warmed to by the Prog sector and does uncomfortably echo a sort of 80s synthpop sound which everyone and their grandmother seemed to be into at one point or another. Electronic finger snaps don't exactly evoke good memories. But there may actually be a few left out there who still enjoy a clean-sounding Jan Hammeresque bop through mindless space and in that vacuous but secretly liked realm of post-Vangelis soup, Steve Moore's Primitive Neural Pathways does what it's suppose to. Enveloped bass pedals and grainy mellotron samples for 'Orogenous Zones' with its Jacko dance beat; vintage astral projections and chirps of 'Feel the Difference' modulates frequently but doesn't really go anywhere; flagrant early 80's Tech-Noir club beats in 'C Beams' and it's a blast, sharp, robotic, to the point-- a pleasure; distinct Tangerine Dream-isms run through the title track, and '248 Years' slows for a little cosmic swing.

As stated, the disc succeeds at what it sets out to do and in that way is a healthy album from Moore. Surely his partnership with Tony Paterra brings out more aggressive and riveting material than here, but I guess that's what solo records are for.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#665688)
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Just like Zombi without the drums? Not quite.

Steve Moore, the electronic half of the modern electronic rock duo Zombi, unsurprisingly creates entirely electronic music without his acoustic percussion-pounding counterpart. But the surprising part is that his third solo album, Primitive Neural Pathways, doesn't simply sound like his duo sans-drums, but is actually very smooth and poppy, immediately apparent from on the first track, "Orogenous Zones", which is so reminiscent of late '70s electronic pop that it would fit in perfectly if sent back in a time machine. It's definitely not bad at all, but it is a different approach for this usually strong sounding musician.

Fortunately, though all of the songs on this album are relatively short and digestible compared to many modern electronic-based progressive groups and even his own full duo, and since the first song is practically a pop tune, the classic dark and spacey Berlin school overtones show through on the remaining four songs. "Feel the Difference" starts off immediately like a long lost Michael Hoenig song with a slow, moody synth passage and flittering peripheral analog noises. By the time the bass melody kicks in, it sounds more like a late '70s Jean-Luc Ponty jazz-fusion backdrop, though still very enjoyable if you like that kind of music sans blazing hot instrumental noodling.

"C Beams" is the obligatory high-speed kraut-electronic song. The echoing synth melodies are very triumphant and, again, reminiscent of the classics from this genre, but feels very monotone by the time it's over, and the same applies to the title track.

This short album does finish strong, however. "248 Years" is a slow and slightly melancholy 9-minute epic that progresses very subtly, adding layer upon spacey layer of buzzing or wispy synth tracks atop a plodding beat before finishing off with a few minutes of sounds from the ocean washing to and from the shore -- a beautiful way to end the album

The synthesizer sound on Primitive Neural Pathways is very authentic and analog, more so than on any Zombi albums. In fact, much of of the slower passages are strikingly similar to some of Klaus Schulze's music on Picture Music or Blackdance, or even Edgar Froese's deepy beautiful Aqua. There are even moments of the classic spacey Berlin school "fluttering" electronic sounds that Schulze utilized to great effect on nearly all of his classic albums. But even with those comparisons, all of these tracks are short form and follow a relatively simple and pop-like structure, much more similar to Harald Grosskopf or Eddie Jobson. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that this album a fairly well-executed combination of all the big names in the '70s electronic music game, even if Moore does wear his influences on his sleeve. It is rather short, however, and tends to sound a bit samey and monotone, but it is still recommendable for people who miss that classic Berlin school sound but also want something easily digestible.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#784323)
Posted Saturday, July 07, 2012 | Review Permalink

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