Black Moth Super Rainbow – Falling Through a Field

Black Moth Super Rainbow
Falling Through a Field

This is the first official release under the Black Moth Super Rainbow moniker (though this project has existed previously as a under the guise Satanstompingcaterpillars). Falling Through a Field is a collection of recordings captured between 2001 and 2003, some of which were already published on scattered Satanstompingcaterpillars releases.
Black Moth Super Rainbow (collectively, Tom Fec, Ken Fec, and Seth Ciotti for this particular release) create music unlike anything else currently being created in the indie scene. BMSR’s compositions come off like a creatively demented (though oddly warm and endearing) calliope music soundtrack to a Tim Burton daydream. This particular body of BMSR work doesn’t stray far from this project’s previous musical outings, when the project specialized in slightly irregular, yet perfectly acceptable soft electro-folk basement noodlings. Falling Through a Field is no different, as it was recorded on samplers, computers, microcassette, and analog 4-track, with every instrument used on the recordings coming from the late 1970s (including various cut-and-pasted drum rhythms, which were taken from copies of old records).
Listening to Falling Through a Field is like trying to stay awake in class or at work the afternoon after having pulled an up-all-nighter spending quality time with the biggest crush a person can possibly think of. While the lack of sleep is invasive to the brain, it seems that the mind is most focused on incredibly etheral daydreams and feelings where every thought and notion gets taken right back to the blissful state of the night before.
Blissful is one of the very few words actually fitting of describing this collection of material. The disc finds murky cut-and-paste beats swelling in and out of delicate keyboard and synth parts, while every so often a soft voice croons simple lyrics in what seems like just above a whisper. There are guitars, too – soft acoustic guitars that seem to appear and disappear with such delicacy that most often, they aren’t even noticed until they’ve completely taken over a track with a beautiful melody of some sort, and they fade out so smoothly that it’s hard to pick out exactly when they start to disappear.
The soft acoustic drone of “Colorful Nickels” is by far the certerpiece of the disc, whirling tender acoustic guitar parts together with oddly reverbing, echoing, and entrancing synth blurbs. “Nickels” sounds almost cherubic, and it’s not hard to imagine the track rolling beautifully through a large church worship hall, echoing fully and warmly off the pews and stained-glass windows. “Lake Feet” is another stark, stunning acoustic-based number, as a delicate five-note guitar piece repeats itself behind a very minimal, shimmering keyboard round. While these obviously folk-influenced tracks stand out amongst the disc, most of the material here carries more of an electro-tinge to it (albeit with strong folk leanings, however).
Tracks like “Last House in the Enchanted Forest,” “Vietcaterpillar” (a very creative song title, indeed), and “Season for Blooming” come off more like off-kilter dance beats that allow themselves the privelage to die off early rather than risk becoming annoying and invasive. Other electro-based tracks come off a bit more ambient, such as the dreamy “I Think it is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too,” the slightly chirpy “Boatfriend,” and the hushed breakbeat (!) of “Letter People Show,” which actually sounds somewhat like a potential DJ Shadow track. The hidden track here is a more than interesting listen as well, as the premise is built upon a stark, lyric-less a capella vocal piece which cuts into a mirroring acoustic guitar rhythm with echoing electro noodling, before cutting back to the a capella vocal rhythm, and so on.
The coolest thing about Falling Through a Field is that this disc manages to evoke images of so many things without actually sounding like any of them. After multiple listens, this disc could best be described by taking Wil Olham’s acoustic guitarwork, crossing it with Sparklehorse’s Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot material and then having DJ Shadow tear apart and put back together the remaining results on analog 1970’s mixing equipment. However, even using those names as reference points doesn’t do this any justice, and this collected body of work doesn’t actually mimic or even refer to any of those artists. With Falling Through a Field, the Black Moth Super Rainbow project proves itself a very creative and innovative ongoing musical endeavor.