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Start A People

Black Moth Super Rainbow
Start A People
(70s Gymnastics Recording Company/Graveface Records)

What does nostalgia sound like? It probably depends on what era you grew up in, but for me it's many things. Surprisingly enough, even though I don't hear any of those in this record by Black Moth Super Rainbow, I still get a feeling of nostalgia when listening to Start A People. After releasing a great (and limited debut) called Falling Through A Field, BMSR is back again just over a year later with 16 tracks and just under 40 minutes of music that percolates with the sound of summers gone by.

For those unfamiliar with Black Moth Super Rainbow, an explanation of the sound is probably due, but it probably won't completely do justice. Imagine the old-school gurgling synth melodies of Boards Of Canada coupled with atmospheres that recall Air on an acid trip and mix in some chunky live drums and you're getting somewhere close. Opening track "Raspberry Dawn" takes all of the above and swirls them into a psychedelic haze of distorted vocals, heavily-filtered melodies and ringing drums that all sort of mash together into a slightly-uneasy cloud of weirdness. "Vietcaterpillar" mixes in even more upbeat drums alongside the squelched synths and bizarre vocals, while "Seeeds" almost self-destructs on itself by running everything through heavy processing and slight pitch bends warble the track ocassionally as if it's playing on an old boombox.

"I Think It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too" pulls together everything that the group is good at into what is probably one of the best tracks on the release (and indeed, the track is a slight remake of the same track that appeared on the debut release from the group) as cascading melodies and vocodered vocals all drift around a repetitive but insistent rhythm section that keeps the track moving along crisply. In some places, the lo-fi production and insistence on running everything through effects gets the better of the actual songs (as on the aformentioned "Seeeds" and on the almost sizzled "I Am The Alphabet"), but for the most part Start A People is a weird little trip through a batch of tracks that sound like a a luddite robot (if you can imagine the juxtaposition) created them. Strangely addictive.

Rating: 7