- Like so many experimental synth artists, Steve Moore makes a lot of music. In addition to playing in bands like Zombi and Titan, last year alone he partnered with Daniel O'Sullivan for a synth pop album as Miracle and released two full-lengths under his own name. Pangaea Ultima, his new album on the increasingly prominent Spectrum Spools, could be his most high profile solo release yet.
Moore has been doing this kind of thing for a long time now, and a certain knowing quality shines through Pangaea Ultima. From the billowing opener "Endless Caverns" to the throbbing closer "Worldbuilding," these feel like full and considered compositions rather than improvisations. "Worldbuilding" is an apt term for how Moore structures each piece, letting new layers wash over each other as his sounds interact and mingle. In more ruminative moments like "Aphelion" and the title track, Moore reaches an emotional resonance that falls somewhere between the sublimity of Emeralds and the more theatrical end of Tangerine Dream.
The title track also features something else crucial to Pangaea Ultima: percussion, in this case a metronomic thud that grounds the song's eight-minute sprawl. Moore does something similar on "Deep Time," which might sound like a slowed-down techno banger if it had more than just a faint heartbeat beneath it. But as Moore revealed in 2012, he doesn't care much for dance music, which isn't what he's trying to do here anyways—the percussion is just another facet in his soundscapes.
Pangaea Ultima is equally rewarding to those who dive in and devour every minuscule detail as it is to those who listen more passively. The LP's title (a reference to a future supercontinent) hints at some idealized coming together of disparate parts. It's this very sense of completeness that makes Pangaea Ultima so engrossing.
01. Endless Caverns
03. Deep Time
05. Pangaea Ultima
08. Endless Mountains