When keyboardist Ray Powell set out to fill out his project band Mumpbeak, he went straight to the top of prog rock royalty. Mumpbeak’s self-titled debut features drummer Pat Mastelotto and a host of talented bassists: Bill Laswell, Tony Levin, Lorenzo Feliciati, and Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz.
Described as “art by committee,” the project takes on shades of King Crimson, Yes and Gentle Giant with a darker, moodier vibe.
“Itʼs more elastic and thereʼs more humor in it than you would find in a really regimented, military prog band,” Laswell states.
The songs started with Powell, who plays a synth organ and a Hohner clavinet that he runs through effects to sound like a guitar. Powell then recruited Mastelotto to lay down drum parts. Blumenkranz laid down most of the bass tracks under the direction of Laswell who added his own touches to the songs as well.
Feliciati is featured playing fretless on “Nork” and Levin lays some serious low end for “Chain.”
For a taste of the record, check out the streaming track “Forelock”:
Mumpbeak Track List: