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Saturday, July 30, 2022

N.O. Moore - Lunar Sync (Orbit 577 Records, 2022)

By Ron Coulter

Lunar Sync is the first album of purely electronic compositions by the UK-based electric guitarist, N.O. Moore. It was recorded in Cambridge, UK from 2019 to 2020 and released November 26, 2021 on Orbit577, the “offshoot” of 577 records (Brooklyn, NY) that focuses on “digital albums”.

Lunar Sync is a 10-track album where each track is created from a relatively short ostinato, i.e. a repeated/looping musical phrase, using a “modular synth system”. The ostinati range from very rhythmic (tacks 4 & 6 for example) to drone-like (tracks 2 & 10). The development in each track is either the manipulation of the ostinato and/or the addition of secondary melodic material, like a solo over a vamp.

The album notes state that “Moore draws from Sun Ra’s contributions to electronic sound, as well as his theories and philosophies,” and one can hear similarities in some tracks to Ra’s album Space Probe from 1974. Moore cites Eddie Prévost’s writings and weekly improvisation workshops as significant influences, as well.

Track 10, 'Final for now,' is the highlight of the album; it is the longest track at 8:01, and has an elegant pacing and a balanced richness of materials, primarily in timbre and pitch range.

Overall, the album has a trance-like quality due to the repetitious nature of the musical material, but there is enough variety of style and expression from track to track to pique the listener’s interest and engage them throughout the album.

Listen and download from Bandcamp