steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Plankton Wat

"Crystal Wizard" CDR

Stunned Records

Genre: instrumental folk, improv folk, American Primitive

Portland, OR

Dec 6, 2008

Plankton Wat's Dewey Mahood (Eternal Tapestry) plays complex and prickly guitar instrumentals drenched in an indefinable psychedelic haze. Crystal Wizard, his second solo release out under the Plankton Wat moniker (following a DNT Records debut earlier this year), is a relaxing yet acid-tinged journey in the American Primitive tradition. This is steel string so pure you can actually hear the steel. Whether stoned or not, Mahood's music is made for a dimly-lit room and a fine cup of tea.

Although their foundation is built from the guitar up, Mahood has also overdubbed these tracks with occasional bells, sparse percussion, and even some chanted vocals. The melodies have a distinct Middle Eastern vibe, vaguely reminiscent of work by Steffen Basho-Junghans but considerably less structured. Especially impressive is the drearily magical "Serenity Boundless in Black Night," an atmospheric mood piece heavy in overdubs and reverse sampling. However, it is the sprawling, ten minute finale, "Refelections [sic] of Crystal Wizard," that takes the cake; it is a slow-building mini-epic that gradually becomes more and more cluttered before it reaches its climactic breaking point. Crystal Wizard may not be what you think of when you think of psychedelic music, but Dewey Mahood's brand of abstract instrumental guitar is like an acid trip of its own. And as it has been limited to 100 copies by impressive CDR label Stunned Records, you'll want to track this sucker down as soon as you can.

plankton wat's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, ltd to 100 copies, distributed by the label, released 2008]