If you have ever wondered what would happen if Radiohead did a trip hop version of Kid A for a PBS show, then you have the answer right here. It’s the closet thing I can compare it to and rightfully so. A robot sings all the lyrics, Many of the beats are electronic, and there are plenty of old analog synths like in many Kid A songs. The mood is drastically different though. Start A People is much more childlike and happier then the cynical Kid A. Actually the entire theme can be traced back to old children shows and childlike nostalgia. Simply put this very fun album.
My favorite thing about Start a People is the great synth tones. Starting from the album opener “Raspberry Dawn" You are instantly greeted with warm moog melody in a Philip Glass fashion. Another bell melody glosses over the moog line and eventually the drums come in for an awesome groove. Being a synth junkie I love the attention they get. They are my favorite form of ear candy. Beeps and bops surrounding me while wearing headphones seem to light up my mind like a light bulb. From sine basses to processed strings and you get a great variety in tone and Black Moth Super Rainbow do a great job of creating textures to let them shine.
The drums and bass are also great. Their tight locked grooves are often the highlight of the song. There is also a good variety in tone and rhythm with the drums. It’s real tempting to call it hip hop at times but the drums have a personality of their own constantly under some sort of effect or clipping. I have yet to tire from them.
Then of course there are the robot vocals, which really give BMSR their Identity. I usually enjoy them although every once in a while they can become annoying. Overall they work out for the better though as a robot singing about sunshine and death from a childlike perspective is much more interesting than your normal rock singer.
Very few of the songs here follow a certain structure, another plus. Songs like “I Am The Alphabet" clocking in at only a minute are amazing interludes. It’s better to keep things moving than to drag on something that has already proved its point. Be sure to pay attention though or this will seem like one big electronic blob.
Overall, I really didn’t expect much from an obscure group like this. I actually couldn’t find any of their records on Amazon and had to order this trough the orange twin label. It’s an obscure indie gem and I highly recommend it. One of my favorite albums of the year.