M’lumbo was founded in the mid-80’s by Robert “M’botto” Ray and “Zombie” Ron Boggs as an escape from commercial music (they were then in, amongst other things, a “rock” band managed by Mick Jagger’s manager that included future Helmet leader Page Hamilton). To their surprise, early handmade cassettes began selling briskly at local record stores leading to radioplay on over 100 U.S. stations and many rave reviews.e since been featured on over 300 public, college and progressive radio stations worldwide (including syndicated shows featuring their music); have done commercials, films and work for MTV , MTV 2, Chrysler, Mini Cooper, and Hyundai; and have drawn countless enraptured reviews, received an ocean of comparisons to Miles Davis, Sun Ra and the Orb, and praise from such disparate avatars as Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening, Brian Eno, Carly Simon, DJs Olive and Spooky, Neil Young and Tom Waits, and have influenced some bands along the way (Sex Mob, Either/Orchestra).
They have given countless orgiastic and enthralling performances at both the original and second Knitting Factory, recently played the third (Brooklyn) location, as well as numerous other N.Y.C. venues such as Joe’s Pub, S.O.B.’s, and St. Anne’s Cathedral, with opening acts such as Neotropic, Sean Lennon, Badawi, Mantronix, virtual reality inventor Jaron Lanier, Jojo Meyer’s Nerve, dj Muttamasik and Duncan Sheik with constant recommendations of their shows by Time Out New York and the Village Voice.
In 2000 their film System Noise (with wall-to-wall music and guest appearances by Gary Lucas, Badawi and Neotropic) won ‘best experimental feature’ at the New York International Film Festival, toured as a Slamdance feature and secured European distribution. Following completion of this film, M’lumbo recorded The Nine Billion Names Of God, an album of eight mind-boggling originals which combines accessibility with transportive transcendence that ‘will transport you to M’lumbo’s private twilight zone’ (Boston Herald)
“M’lumbo’s boho splendour! forget the Lounge Lizard’s fake jazz, this is fuck-jazz; highly accomplished and highly irreverent at once ‘Psychotronic’ skit-skatting through the musical spectrum in a hyperactive-inspired burst of creativity and rhythm” (B-Side) “Imagine a collision between Tackhead, Eno-era Talking Heads, Bill Laswell, 70s Miles Davis… Mere words cannot do justice to convey the musical construction that you are going to hear” (Dead Earnest)
On The Nine Billion Names Of God, M’Lumbo offered up the latest chapter of their luminous journey through cinema, dreams, electronica, accoustica, humour, terror, sprituality, jazz, world, acid rock, drum’n’bass, classical and forms unknown, with each moment stamped, ineluctably and seamlessly by M’lumbo‘s wild post-everything originality. (Sheigi Katanabe, New Tokyo Musical Express)
The band has over the years in its different incarnations released albums labels such as Warner Brothers, Staalplaat and World Domination. Group members have worked as sidemen, directors, editors and sound designers to a host of world-class artists and clients ranging from MTV to Chrysler, ESPN to Abbey Lincoln, Mazda to Luther Vandross, Methodman to Pacha Massive, Gil Evans to P Diddy, Pharrell to Pearl Jam.
Their forays into into jamband psychedelic jazz, world and electronica deepened with more recent releases – Sacrifices to the Neon Gods and The Angel Wars. For recent recordings and performances they have been combining forces with the award-winning Jane Ira Bloom, the possessor of “one of the most gorgeous tones and hauntingly lyrical conceptions of any soprano saxophonist” (Pulse); guitarist Page Hamilton, leader and founder of the wildly influential and Grammy-nominated band Helmet; and the eclectic and virtuosic Gary Lucas, “one of the best and most original guitarists in America” (Rolling Stone). The fruits of these collaborations can be heard on their brand-new releases Celestial Ghetto and Tuning In To Tomorrow (on iTunes too) as well as on their forthcoming album of covers, on which they return after long hiatus to wild reinterpretations of famous pop-culture “standards”.
“M’lumbo takes the familiar and makes the earth slide.” – New York Newsday
“It’s Mickey Mouse, The Stanford University marching band, Santana and Syd Barrett rolled into one…borders on genius.” – Baltimore City Paper
“M’lumbo makes world music for some world other than Earth.” – Dirty Linen
“To approach a merely adequate description, try and imagine a combination of Miles Davis, Sun Ra traditional African music, and early Bonzo Dog Band…very exciting, filled with unbridled energy and humor. The musicianship is superb and the arrangements exceptionally creative.” – Alternative Press