- Glimmering kosmische techno from a master.
- Getting a straight-up techno EP from Steve Moore feels like a decadent pleasure. It's amazing what slapping a kick drum under his rich, wandering synths can do, a slick combination he first showed off on his solo Kompakt debut from last year, where any grit or leftfield tendencies from past releases went out the window. The title, Auto Sequence Start, is meant to signal the end of a "cycle"—in this case, presumably the pandemic—and while that seems like wishful thinking, the EP does show Moore sounding rejuvenated and ready to go, the latest killer record from an artist on a blazing hot streak through several different genres.
The title track is about as good as it gets: krautrock-style arpeggios over chunky drums that Moore layers his classic note-bending synths over. It's epic and emotional, but ambiguous—the kind of thing that could open a set on a high or close it on a comedown, or just stretch out the tension in the middle. "Assemblers" is similar, highlighting the rich timbres and textures of Moore's synth work, while "IV" references Chicago house with its ascending-descending melodic lead. The key to that one is a massive bassline that only plays out a couple of notes, but provides a catchy foundation for everything else—proof that Moore understands techno and house as much as any dance floor lifer.
That being said, my favourite track is probably "Shining Rainbow," the one cut that leans towards Moore's ambient work. It's beautiful and floaty, and yet has a certain compositional weight to it, especially with the icy synth strings he introduces a couple minutes in. Moore is a lot of things—a gear head, a rocker, a composer and a producer—and he's at his best when he's all of the above, like we get on Auto Sequence Start.
01. Auto Sequence Start
04. Shining Rainbow