Even after you've listened to Andy Moor's new album Zero Point One a bunch of times, it's still hard to get used to how strong these tracks are. There are eighteen of them, and even if you keep going back to listen to the whole album, track after track through the musical light show of its many different voyages, it still won't matter. Although you may think that on just one more listen they can't all seem so rich or so well put together, it doesn't matter; they still do.
Andy Moor is one of the really respected producer DJs in Electronic Dance Music, and on the Trance Nation side of EDM he's been known for years for the quality of his productions. Still, this is something new. As successful as his hit tracks and remixes have been, Zero Point One is an album, a rich, musical album full of different songs, different textures, and different moods.
There's a major new world taking shape in Trance music, as the producers who built the many faceted sound of Trance out of monstrously melodic tracks, layered through and through with the lush atmospheres that make trance music its own art, have started to make really careful, complete albums. The artist album isn't new in EDM, but because trance has always been such an independent world, huge and global but always its own unique country, it's been a gradual, step-by-step process. It's been a complicated challenge, because trance artists don't fit easily into the world's expectation of what a recording artist is; for the most part they're touring DJs, software-based composers and producers who almost all came up putting out one track at a time, usually with its main purpose being to tear up a dancefloor when somebody played it in a set with a lot of other tracks.
From the collection of club-ready singles and radio edits that used to be what was on an album release, trance artists have started to explore a much wider range of colors and choices. Wider in its outlook than most, Zero Point One pushes hard on the boundaries of those explorations and it's drenched in modulating colors, but because of Moor's ability to weave sounds and ideas together like they're all part of the same discovery, Zero Point One never stops being its own complete experience.
The album has eighteen songs that feature twelve different vocalists, and on two of the tracks Moor works alongside producers Ashley Walbridge and Daniel Paul Davis. All the same, it plays front to back like an album by a group that's worked together many times before. How does Andy Moor manage it?
For one thing, he finds good songs, and he finds them in a lot of different ways. "Sometimes I write the vocal line and lyrics with the vocalist, sometimes I write a backing track for a writer to provide a top line, which a vocalist sings," he says. "Sometimes the vocalist sends me a vocal they've already written." That may begin to explain why Zero Point One can move so smoothly through its differently-lit landscapes. "I like the latter method as it means there is more than one person involved in the tune," Moor continues, "and it inspires me more than if I had already written the vocal. It's still fresh, and I frequently get more ideas." Zero Point One is packed wall to wall with good ideas, and one of the things that makes it play so well as a whole is that the vocalists are so bright and so different, and each of them brings a very different texture of light to the carefully varied shades of Moor's production.
Another thing Andy Moor does throughout Zero Point One is blend one idea into another, and often one melody into another, without ever losing a whisper of the track's momentum. One of his secrets is that he has melodies to spare; he can come out of a vocal and go right into another line melodic enough to be the hook for an entire track, use it to get where he wants to go next, and then let it turn into something else again. How he never gets lost is a bit of a mystery. "Often I will create parts of a track and build up that section alone, before transferring these elements to other sections," he explains. "I feel that having subtle complexities evokes more feeling."
Andy Moor's Zero Point One is out July 6, and you can buy it at iTunes or directly from Armada Music. The album is bound to launch a ton of remixes and singles; there are enough ruthlessly constructed beats, haunting progressions and priceless vocals built into its eighteen tracks to shred sound systems for quite awhile. Although that's definitely something to look forward to, there's much more to Zero Point One than that. Anybody who hears the remixes from this record is just about sure to hear some great tracks, but if they only hear the remixes, they'll miss something really unique. They'll miss the chance to take a vision-expanding ride through the colorful, captivating, effortlessly intricate world of Andy Moor's Zero Point One.