That Steve Moore (b. 1975) makes his home an hour north of NYC in the misty Hudson River Valley?ust across from Washington Irving's legendary Sleepy Hollow seems maybe too coincidental. As one-half of Zombi, in which he plays synthesizer and bass guitar, the Pittsburgh native's affinity for unsettling mood and motif is well-documented over the band's two self-released EPs and three Relapse releases.
Zombi provided Moore with the chance to turn his blood-red obsession with U.S. and Italian horror films of the 1970s and 1980s into his own brand of cinema for the ears, preferably ones capped with headphones in a darkened room, black candles optional. Armed with a bank of analog equipment and with drummer A.E. Paterra aboard, Moore drew evenly from his years of university music study as well as cassette-tape pedagogy under horror-soundtrack composers John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi, and Goblin.
Gradually, Moore's infusion of Zombi's music with progressive-rock elements reached an apex with the "Cosmos" album. Arrangements growing in scope and ambition, fusion-informed rhythmic complexity, and even the odd keyboard solo and anachronistic MIDI sequence recalled not only the mid-1980s AOR-prog of Rush, but also the works of Tangerine Dream and Jan Hammer. More recently, Moore's appreciation for 1970 and 80s AM gold, which runs far deeper than mere kitsch, has surfaced.
To wit: the Italo-disco inflected "Sapphire," named by Cybernetic Broadcasting System as one of the top 100 dance tracks has been featured on the mix CDs "Go Commando With James !@#$%^ Friedman" (on Defend Music, also featuring tracks by Annie, Bloc Party and the Knife), and "Cosmo Galactic Prism," (Eskimo Recordings, also featuring Hawkwind, Bob James, Boards of Canada and Parliament). Following his early gurus, Moore has scored four full-length films to date: Nick Palumbo's Murder Set Pieces and Home Sick, with Zombi; Fred Vogel's The Redsin Tower, with Pig Destroyer's Scott Hull, and Christopher P. Garetano's Horror Business. Moore has signed on to compose soundtracks for Son of Horror Business as well as Palumbo's forthcoming Frigid.
As a sideman, Moore has played guitar with Red Sparowes on a recent US/Canada tour, and has contributed Hammond B-3 organ to the latest Panthers album. Moore's debut solo album for Relapse, "The Henge," will release quite appropriately in late October, 2007. The compositions seem to expand laterally on infinite planes, relying on ambience and simple, recombinant themes to maintain a greyscale austerity. There are dynamic moments, too: The unexpectedly bone-jarring beats of "Infinite Resignation" and the panic-inducing orchestral strings of the brooding "The Henge/Ascension", wherein Moore's throaty guitar riffing offers a rare allusion to the metal that was a significant part of his early diet. The sci-fi trance closer "Cepheid" suggests SETI by way of Fairlight sequencer, a quantum leap toward Grand Unification among electronica fans, prog revivalists, post-metallers, and new-age audiophiles. And in a world where Carl Sagan smoked grass every day, anything is possible