Bomarr, (Matt Valerio), is a self-made man of many hats: beatmaker, remixer, DJ, compilation curator and video artist; one-third of Restiform Bodies, one-half of Bat Rays, and one-whole nice guy raised in New England, now living in the New Wild West. As a child, he was living-room-renowned for a mean Casio cover of Lionel Richie; these days he’s best loved for a different sound. Call it punk ’n’ fuzz electro-hop, or synth-heavy bass-favoring hypno-bounce, or just dirty digital fresh—Bomarr’s style is inimitably his.
This all-around collagist of the lost-then-found got his start on a “Shirt Tales” drum kit as a tyke, snuck Fat Boys dubs into his collection as a lad, break-danced at his pop’s bar as a preteen, and graduated to a three-man gothic/punk outfit as a high school sophomore in New Hampshire. His bandmates then were named Dave and George. In a couple of years they’d find proper aliases and an insatiable need to leave their mark on hip-hop as the melody-bending, psych-rap, jinglecore trio Restiform Bodies. His bandmates are still Dave and George, only they’re better known as Passage and Telephone Jim Jesus.
In 2001, after cutting his teeth on college radio shows and making records with his cohorts (1999’s Moods & Symptoms with Passage; Restiform’s Oubliette tape and self-titled album debut), Bomarr moved to Oakland to join Anticon’s growing army of innovators. Since arrival, he’s been a veritable creative force. 2002 saw the self-release of his first solo instrumental comp, Beats Being Broke, and 2003 brought the highly sought handmade 3-inch disc, Fetal Antiseptic Drama Party (featuring a pleasantly warped redux of Ginuwine’s “Pony” and a track composed entirely of sounds sampled at a local Whole Foods). In 2005, Bomarr began his annual limited-release Wild X-mas mix series compiling bizarre holiday songs rescued from the dollar bin. And with the close of 2007 came Freedom From Frightened Air (self-released) and its companion piece Scraps (free for download), which document Bomarr’s recent forays into beat mastery, his critically praised collaboration with San Francisco’s Clovis Heald, and his growing success as a remix artist for folks like Grizzly Bear, Midstates, Of Montreal, Alan Astor, Sole, Bleubird, Cars and Trains, The Delta Mirror, Seamonster and more.
Bomarr’s been putting his vast obscure video collection to use as well, composing music/film collage for exhibition and release (see 2003’s Surface Sincerity DVD). And as if all that wasn’t enough, he’s been working with the Sneakmove label on their 7-inch “Minicomp” series, contributing to the 365 Days Project (a celebrated found music blog), and DJing S.F. clubs. Despite his early love of the spotlight, Bomarr gets nervous before going on stage; yet despite that, he loves improv. He and Passage operate a punk-dance party band called Bat Rays, and in 2005, Bomarr and TJJ released their freewheeling electronic experiment Live at Chapel of the Chimes. With the RBs, Bomarr has shared the stage with the Arcade Fire, Unicorns, Kid606, Animal Collective, Hrvatski, Cex, Métal Urbain, Grand Buffet, Barry Andrews (Shriekback), the ECC and various members and friends of Anticon.
His past work compiled and sufficiently purged from his computer’s coffers, Bomarr is turning his attention to power moves in 2010. He’s currently preparing his official album debut, doing more remix work, and entertaining collaborations with Ross Peacock of Ned/Clipd Beaks, Lida Husik (Shimmy Disc, Astralwerks), Joel Petersen (Broken Spindles/The Faint) and a few others. He recently remixed Tunng and maintains a dayjob at IODA in S.F. digitally distributing the hard work of indie labels everywhere. Surprisingly, he sleeps.