When I listen to experimental ambient, I find that usually I put it on for the sole reason of not having to pay attention to it. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but for workload productivity ambient generally works the best to fill the gap of silence while not degrading the attention I can give to whatever it is that I’m doing. But something strange happened when listening to “Drive, Vol. 2” by Natt Moore. I noticed straight off that I was paying more and more attention to the actual record with each successive track. Instead of using it to fill a void in-between thoughts, I began to contemplate the record deeply. It was simply because “Drive, Vol. 2” is much more than a record of background noise, it is a brilliant exercise in emotional and cinematic soundscapes.
Unlike most experimental music, this album isn’t a formless piece of sound; each song has a definite core structure and mood that the listener can elaborate and dwell on for its duration. Natt Moore accomplishes this with rich and lush production and dynamically orchestrated arrangements.
Gone are the minimal soundscapes of some of his earlier works, which have been replaced by a bigger epic sound, sometimes reminding me of a Hans Zimmer soundtrack. Right from the opening sweeping track, “Timeless”, Natt’s Zimmer-like knack for creating such vivid imagery is in full force, with a solid set of headphones you will be able to pick up on the subtle touches that really make this a special listening experience.
It’s when you hit play on the second track, “Hysteria”, that you realize this is nothing short of a cinematic experience, and that Natt Moore makes his best music when he moves outside of his comfort zone. Most ambient albums create a mood and settle on it.
By contrast, “Drive, Vol. 2” ping-pongs from one emotional pole to another, which further convinces me that Natt has totally crossed the ambient-experimental boundaries on this release. You’d be hard-pressed to find an ambient album this interesting, that crams as many sounds and layers into a flowing piece of work and pulls all of them off so successfully.
Much of this owes to Natt’s melodic and harmonic gifts; he doesn’t solely rely on drones to evoke beauty, as he also employs chord progressions and even simple riffs to refine his sound. The fundamentally disparate worlds of electronic and classical music have, on occasion, meshed to form truly inspirational music.
“Forward” and “Curious” blend characteristics from both those worlds and the results bring melodramatic buildups and crescendos, which are even more evident on “Hysteria – No Melody Version”.
No doubt Natt Moore has once again created an extremely interesting recording full of texture and detail. Blending cinematic and orchestral arrangements with his own trademark ambience is a brilliant idea and an excellent use of classical underpinning in electronic music.
MORE ABOUT: Natt Moore is an artist who produces music in a variety of genres, including electronic, instrumental, ambient, dance, and drone. He composes and publishes his work independently, seeking full autonomy over both the art and business of what he does. Hailing originally from Gloucester, United Kingdom, Natt got his start in the music world when he was only 7 years old, learning piano by playing classical pieces mainly by Einaudi and Roberto Cacciapaglia.