Looping is an intensely alone art form, the artist delving deeper and deeper into their own head and heart for the perfect combination of sounds, creating endless variations on an orchestra of one, each unique as a fingerprint. Sound by sound, tick by tick, pop-hiss by pop-hiss, Hello Moth builds an orchestral soundscape from an array of unexpected noises, the whole becoming enchantingly more than the sum of its parts.
Hello Moth’s central instrument of choice is the ‘80s throwback Casio VL-1 synthesizer, an instrument that is the peak of all that is sometimes considered the worst of the ‘80s synthesizer movement; shallow, soulless and lacking resonance, the Casio VL-1 is the opposite of a baby grand or a Stradivarius violin. In the hands of Hello Moth its relentlessly soulless disposition is subverted into something altogether more eerie, otherworldly, haunting.
The irresistible counterpart for this unsettling sonic landscape is Hello Moth’s vocal and lyrical overlay. His tender, instrospective lyrics are sung in a floating, mostly gender-ambiguous voice; occasionally that voice drops into a harsh, compelling bass shout that is all the more shocking for its juxtaposition. That vocal ambiguity might be what leads some music critics to feel vaguely troubled by his music (it has been described as at once ‘calming and slightly creepy’). Whatever else Hello Moth indescribably is, he provides an immersive musical experience.