Mumpbeak: Mumpbeak

Interstatic’s Roy Powell lets loose with his Clavinet.

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Wrangling a Hohner Clavinet through various FX-pedals, InterStatic and Naked Truth’s Roy Powell has liberated the vintage keyboard from its usual funk back-up servitude and transformed it into a yowling lead guitar crossed with a neurotically scatty harpsichord.

He’s working alongside Bill Laswell’s heavyweight bass and King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto’s bristling arsenal of glitchy electronica and trademark gut-punching drums, and this loose-limbed, prog rock power trio refract their considerable heat and light through a sophisticated, jazzy prism.

Executing sharp-witted and capricious themes, Powell attacks the hybridised instrument with a manic acuity. Wryly titled tracks like Piehole and Nork are littered with luminous atonality and savagely fuzzed-up freak outs, though Powell never relinquishes focus for mere relinquishes focus for mere indulgence.

Roaring and tempestuous, Powell’s bold, often lurid-sounding lead-line keys and the serpentine virtuoso low-end musings of bass greats Tony Levin, Lorenzo Feliciati and Shanir Blumenkrantz, lend Mumpbeak an astonishing variety, depth and atmosphere. Makes you wonder what Powell could do with a Mellotron…

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.