Volume 8 of the Mugen Series splits the almighty drone/noise duo Telecult Powers into its respective halves – Witchbeam and Mr. Matthews – and casts them out into the void for searing sessions of solo synthesis.
Brooklyn’s Mr. Matthews (Matthew Regula) has carved out a name for himself as an independent synthesizer craftsman, hand-building unique oscillators and complete tabletop synth systems as the sole proprietor of his True Color Of Venus workshop. Mr. Matthews’s three shorter live sessions for the Mugen Series each contextualize his distinctive electronics in different atmospheres and rhythmic configurations: the skittering static pulse and manic gurgling leads of “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” the death ray oscillations and fried, mournful quasi-melodies of “Requiem for the Survivors of 9-11,” and the mutated bursts of noise formant chaos of the miniature “End Papers.” In an ocean of sound-alike Microkorg loopers and softsynth slingers, the corrupted keening, tremulous low-end, and howling treble voices of TCOV synths render Mr. Matthews’s previous solo recordings on labels like Tranquility Tapes and 905 Tapes instantly recognizable – as the interlocking rhythms and fine grains of each increasingly sophisticated homespun opus continue to spark the underground into slack-jawed amazement.
Witchbeam, the Cleveland-based constituent of the Telecult Powers posse, has established a rich personal mythology of omni-spiritual investigation and occult curiosity to complement his mind-warping musical excursions. Combining the unique voices of Mr. Matthews’s TCOV synths with a rig of pedals and tape decks crammed with field recordings and clattering rhythms, Witchbeam’s solo performances extend into hallucinatory realms of Hoodootronic experimentation, as workshopped during his years spent exploring the cultural fringes of New Orleans. “Amigos,” Witchbeam’s session for the Mugen Series, captivates from start to finish as a quarter-hour journey into his noise-based improvisatory practice and intuitive structural sensibilities, burgeoning from a disembodied mire into passages of hypnotizing, primal rhythm. Witchbeam’s unpredictable live decisions juxtapose his swirling layers of static madness against a series of torrential disruptions, allowing overloaded oscillators their lead moment in the spotlight alongside the droning voices of other quadrants of his synth system before the corroded voice samples of the coda begin to chatter the session’s friendly title into the din.