Spectrum Control / CaRl – Mugen: Volume 5


Spectrum Control (Dewey Mahood a.k.a. Plankton Wat) and CarRl (Charlie Olvera) kickstart the second batch of Mugen Series tapes with extended live-looped guitar performances replete with fretboard heroics, concentrative rhythmic beds, and ecstatic leads.

While Dewey Mahood’s Plankton Wat releases on labels like Thrill Jockey, Debacle Records, and Digitalis featured discrete compositions teeming with deliberate melodies, synthetic textures, and overdubs, his Spectrum Control output spirals into cosmic abandon across live workouts of loop-based structured improvisation. On the mammoth “Hidden Galaxy Cluster,” Mahood’s masterful attention to tone and effects processing conflate with his psych- and space-rock-trained harmonic sensibilities into a dynamic suite of overlapping vignettes linked together by Fripp-worshipping loop/delay tactics. Propulsive progressions and ring-modulated drones spread into a moody backdrop for Mahood’s fiery soloing, which bursts from the speakers in trails of static-charred distortion and self-harmonized e-bow drift. The fifteen minute session stands as a celestial entity unto itself, possessing enough gravity to reel our stunned consciousnesses into orbit. Mahood caps off his side with “Dark Matter,” a miniature black hole of thick chords and comping with time-altering properties as pronounced as its larger scale counterpart.

Charlie Olvera debuted in the HausMo catalog under the name USA Gold as co-composer and producer of D/A/D’s “Love Will Make You Stay,” channeling his refined studio practices into a slice of dreamy 80s pop that could have soundtracked any number of Phoebe Cates vehicles. Under the CarRl moniker, Olvera cuts the safety net of studio production and tears into an epic live guitar session that showcases a boundless array of shred strategies. Olvera builds “Crystals Like They Amethyst” from the ground up over a stream of delayed arpeggios, stretching his disciplined picking across an improbably long base loop of minimalist repetition. After locking chord changes and bass notes into place over his kinetic grid, Olvera blasts into an upward trajectory of crisp leads, e-bowed drones, and mind-rending torrents of noise that blanket the stereophonic spread alongside the chiming trails of the previous minutes. If the performance tactically aligns itself with the recursive output of Manuel Göttsching and contemporary forebears like Mark McGuire and Dustin Wong, Olvera carves his own path through the six-string cosmos by virtue of his structural deliberation and cohesion of mood across a session of massive scope and emotional resonance.

Available May 2014 on limited edition cassette.

Design by: Max
Pixel art by: Dannielle Del Rosario (figures) & Brian Griffith (front panel backgrounds)