BioBlack Moth Super Rainbow come from deep within the woods of Western Pennsylvania. An actual, 5-member band not comprised of the expected laptops and sequencers, BMSR is a psyche-pop group in early '70s electronic clothing. Sometimes the songs feel like pagan rituals in a sugarcoated fairyland. Other times they're like sad thoughts on the happiest days. All played and lovingly assembled by real people with real hands. BMSR lives and makes music in their own lollipop neon folktale world.
Members prefer to go by aliases and stay away from normal press photos so the music is always the main focus. Led by Tobacco (Vox), who does most of the writing and production, the band also consists of Power Pill Fist (bass and atari), Father Hummingbird (rhodes and monosynth), The Seven Fields Of Aphelion (monosynth), and Iffernaut (drums). Not really coming from any kind of scene, Black Moth Super Rainbow is somewhat of an anomaly in their hometown of Pittsburgh; a place where most people don't even realize BMSR is from. By developing their ideas in near-seclusion and without any local influence, they come across as something feral and without solid comparison. Imagine being able to wipe the slate clean and hearing a pop song without ever hearing a pop song before. And then replacing the types of melodies you're accustomed to hearing from certain instruments with something different. It's kind of like that.
Most people associate sounds like a vocoded vocal with techno and novelty, and analog synths with electro, but BMSR is coming from a different place and trying to re-contextualize these sounds. They're categorized in the Electronic Genre, but their heads are somewhere else.
Dandelion Gum (2007) is a loosely based concept record about witches who make candy in the forest. Each of its 16 songs represent a different candy-induced freakout in the gooiest and sweetest ways possible. Songs that are built to stick in your head for hours meet textures that are impossible to scrape off your teeth. You might not even realize that the sunny melody you're humming to yourself all day has so many hidden layers behind it - all hummable as well. It's as accessible of a record as it is abstract, and as bright on the surface as it is moody underneath. Dandelion Gum feels as colorful and sticky as its name suggests.
Recorded over the course of 3 years, Dandelion Gum is a product of the woods. It is deeply inspired by stories passed down from relatives and ones the band created themselves after long nights in the cabin. The best of those stories, and one that we hope could be true, is of the sisters who refused to leave their shack deep within the forest. The sisters (or witches as they are lovingly referred to in local folklore) were truely scary and it is said they would concoct all kinds of sugary treats for anyone foolish or adventurous enough to wander that deep. Most likely, this is an allegory for drugs and you can come up with whatever seemingly appropriate type of operation those women were running. But the stories of the individuals who made it back home are some of the most fucked up stories around. Some are really bright, some are really sad, and some are designed to make you think about life and rainbows and death. BMSR wants you to feel that when listening to this record. And then they want you to remember it all day, and try it again tomorrow...
BMSR's first record, Falling Through A Field (2003) was 3 years of four-track and sampler recordings that shows how the band came from an almost folk beginning. Printed initially in a limited quantity of 500, the disc has been out of print since it first came out. A re-release on Graveface is coming.
Their sophomore record, Start A People (2004) was about re-creating the sounds of childhood public broadcast television and applying them to the Black Moth Super Rainbow formula. It's a blissful, hazy, fuzzy record that can make you feel good whether you were a kid in 1982 or not.
Live, they are an extremely psychedelic pop band that likes to create a sometimes vastly different experience from the recordings. Echoplex freakouts and gong smashes with spinning drums are part of the repertoire now. Noise plays with melody, and old synths might help you remember why it can be fun to wiggle or jump or cry.
Black Moth Super Rainbow lives on Graveface Records, and although known as somewhat of an enigma, has come out of the forest in 2006 to play at the request of bands like Of Montreal and The Black Angels. They have released a wild full-length collaborative record with The Octopus Project and are working with such diverse artists as Dreamend, Laura Burhenn (Georgie James), and Anticon's Passage on their future projects.