Biota was founded in 1979 in Fort Collins, Colorado, as the Mnemonist Orchestra. Over the years, the Mnemonist Orchestra developed into Biota (the musical contingent) and Mnemonists (the visual contingent). Both Biota and Mnemonists work as one on productions of musical and visual components. Imagine if a jazz trumpeter from a smoky nightclub, a group of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk musicians, an indie-pop band that sounds like a cross between Blonde Redhead and Circulatory System, and an experimental ambient-electronic musician all got together to record an album for aliens underwater. Yes, it's a glib description. But Biota's music isn't too easy to describe. It rarely sounds like any other music out there, and when you do notice something familiar, it quickly gets enveloped in other sounds or disappears into a complex sonic haze. Different musical phrases often overlap, and sometimes it seems that entirely independent pieces are happening at the same time.
Official Release #94. Finer Moments is a curious but mostly excellent compilation of (mostly) instrumental odds and ends put together by FZ in 1972 that went (mostly) unreleased until 2012. Disc one concentrates on the 1968-1969 Mothers. The first four tracks are from a 1969 Royal Albert Hall show that was partially documented in the film Uncle Meat. "Sleazette" is a great guitar solo, but the Mozart piece loses quite a bit without the "ballet" visuals. "The Wailing Zombie Music" sounds part-composed/part-conducted improvisation. "The Old Curiosity Shoppe" is a nice jam from 1971 featuring some nice wah-wah alto sax from Ian Underwood and wicked soloing from FZ.