Steve Mooreâ€™s now out-of-print LP â€śPrimitive Neural Pathwaysâ€ť was released in 2010 to some acclaim and now fetches major bucks in all the usual record nerd places. Fortunately, VCO Recordings has done the decent thing and reissued it as a more reasonably priced (albeit still limited) cassette or download for those of us that missed the boat the first time around. And this was certainly one not to miss, with a healthy dose of skillfully executed retro synth jams and a deep sense of instrumental songcraft.
Consisting of just five tracks and clocking in at roughly half an hour, this tape certainly never wears out its welcome. If you grew up during a certain time, or are at least reasonably in tune with some of the pop culture of a few decades back, youâ€™ll find a lot of odd familiarity here. The opener â€śOrogenous Zones,â€ť for example, sounds like it could have been the opening theme to some chintzy late-70s British sci-fi show. (And, for the record, I am hoping that comes across as a compliment.) This retro-futuristic space vibe seems pretty thick on both the title track and the closer, â€ś248 Years,â€ť as well.
Still, Moore is no one-trick pony, and you get something like â€śFeel the Difference,â€ť which trades the spacey vibe for an intense dose of sex appeal. Weâ€™re talking neon lights and polyester level smoothness, here. Really, everything on this tape sounds good, but for me â€śC Beamsâ€ť is the clear winner, even alongside the rest of these strong tunes. Just imagine everything you like about 80s synth pop jammed into a driving, five-and-a-half minute instrumental and I bet it will come pretty close to this song. Seriously, this song is better than Kit from â€śKnight Riderâ€ť blasting Depeche Mode out of his tape deck.
Getting to hear this now, it makes total sense why â€śPrimitive Neural Pathwaysâ€ť seems to be such a coveted album and why a reissue was necessary. If you missed out the first time, donâ€™t make that mistake again.