Steve Gunn & David Moore
His reputation as an exploratory guitarist secured, Steve Gunn put the focus on his evolving strengths as a vocalist with his 2021 album Other You. He made the album in Los Angeles, and its breezy vibe represented a shift from Gunn’s previous work, where six-string-driven tension and texture dominated his poetic excursions. The latest record was more spacious, serene, and lyrical, drifting and rolling more than surging and rocking. As Pitchfork said of the record, “This light shines through Other You at a low angle, illuminating it like a dinner party on a terrace. Here, surrounded by friends, at ease in the gloam, suspension reigns. Things may be rough, and exhausting, but in this present moment, there is an overwhelming sweetness.”
Still, even within those more relaxed confines it might’ve been a stretch to imagine Gunn launching a collaboration with David Moore (the man behind the long-running ambient project Bing & Ruth). With his own ensemble Moore has carved out a mesmerizing sound world updating the minimalism of Terry Riley with ambient drift rooted equally in new age and German Kosmische. On the project’s latest album Species the sound profile is dominated by gently wafting organ tones that swirl and billow.
In 2022 Gunn released an EP called Nakama, a calming collection of remixes and remakes of tracks from Other You that included collaborations with Mdou Moctar and Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society and a remix by Circuit des Yeux. The final track is a remix of his stately “Reflection” by Moore, who has described his participation by saying, “It was a joy to get inside of Steve’s music and rearrange the furniture. ‘Reflection’ struck me instantly as a classic song that I wouldn’t want to stray too far from the original, so I added some piano and moved around a lot of the pieces until I found something somewhere between sunshine rock and a psychedelic opium den. Such a pleasure to get this one where it ended up.” Gunn clearly approved, as the remix has led to a full-fledged guitar-and-piano collaboration, with a new album coming from RVNG in the spring of 2023.