Black Moth Super Rainbow: Start a People

On this, their second full-length disc, Black Moth Super Rainbow present the soundtrack to an enchanted playground as experienced by a happy, inquisitive child. The disc’s sixteen short tracks are less like songs in their own right than snatches of music heard by chance as one explores this warm, sunny hinterland of trees, colors and wizards.

The sounds heard in this way are constructed from a basic template of analogue synths, easygoing beats and amiable, Vocoder’d singing. The all-analogue approach is what makes the disc so immediately arresting and listenable. The synth textures are reminiscent of Pleasure Principle-era Gary Numan, while the vocals recall ’70s Kraftwerk without the minimalist austerity. The lyrics, meanwhile, locate the disc firmly within an endless, summery present: “the sun came up late/tomorrow never came.”

Yet there is a dark heart to this playground that BMSR are frustratingly reluctant to explore. Among the many lyrical references to sun, sunlight and sunbeams, there are hints that all is not as it should be: “there is death and love and awful things/the sunlight takes away all that it brings.” One looks to the music to reflect this ambivalence, but in vain: BMSR are seemingly content to stick to the formula of solarised keyboard melodies, warm, engaging rhythms and lyrics that, happily, remain just the right side of twee. Only in one or two places do the beats approach the vigorous; otherwise the pace is either smooth and mid-tempo, or hazy and de-energised. The disc is an absolute treat – fresh, accessible and appealing – but some acknowledgement of the potential for clouds to blot out the sunshine would not have gone amiss.

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