Mud Spencer – Kliwon

Mud Spencer – Kliwon
Argonauta Records
Release Date: 26.05.23
Running Time: 46:06
Review by Dark Juan

I am Dark Juan, and I am here to tell you about music. That rarely happens for the first three hundred words or so because my butterfly brain goes screaming off at tangents and I normally start waffling about orbital dynamics, or quantum theory, or my dog. I like to terrify the editors at by putting things in the words I write that they might actually have to edit although they have now stopped editing out my threats of necrophilic abuse of Vladimir Putin’s mum, probably because it crops up with depressing (for them) frequency. However, I shall attempt to achieve the headiest heights of adequacy for you, dear readers, because you are all worth it and frankly, I’m bored of the idea of exhuming Putin’s mum and literally rattling her bones now. I’m much more enamoured with the notion of tying each of his extremities to nervous, amphetamine-fuelled elephants and then making a loud and sudden noise. It might become slightly uncomfortable for him. 

Dark Juan is not uncomfortable right now. He is burning jasmine incense and swaying gently to the sounds of Mud Spencer, an Indonesian-based Heavy Psychedelic band. The famed Platter Of Splatter™ is gently spinning and has been painted in bright paisley colours especially for Mud Spencer. Let us dive into this LSD-driven soup.

First things first – if you are into short, sharp blasts of songs I suggest you stop reading now. Mud Spencer do not do short songs. The shortest piece on this record is over five minutes long, and the most drawn out over SIXTEEN minutes. ‘Suzzanna’ opens Mud Spencer’s account – a slow, drawn-out simple guitar motif flitting below slowly building menace, that just keeps on going and going as other motifs are drawn to the central guitar line before the whole tune devolves back down to that simple, isolated guitar line. Rodolphe tells us that his music is performed while he is on his bed and he goes outside with his devices and does the mixing while he is on the side of a mountain. On the fucking side of a mountain! I mean, how much more Psychedelic can you get besides powering your equipment with Quaaludes and doing it in the back of a Type 1 VW camper van?

Current single ‘Ratu Kidul’ is next up, and this is sixteen minutes of pure acid-sustained headfuckery. Misty, wispy guitar chimes and again there is an achingly glacial building heaviness that eventually heaves itself out of an amphetamine ocean and lies there, radiating heavily medicated malice and a distinct feeling that that rage is turned in upon the inner universe of the song. It’s like someone pissing you off when you are stoned out of your gourd and you’re pissed off, but too off your tits to do anything about it apart from raise your eyebrow a half-centimetre in a withering fashion at the miscreant who has irritated you to fully express your displeasure. The guitar work is fucking wonderful when it eventually gets going. Eventually being the operative word.

‘Dead On The Heavy Funk’ does exactly what it says on the tin. An amphetamine-induced five-minute romp through some Hammond organ fucking leads to the kind of Heavy Funk that is beloved of prog bands in the middle 128 of some really dour song and it adds a descant moment of fun and life in an album that features rather more navel-gazing than Dark Juan is used to. Dark Juan normally only gazes at his navel when he has an erection because it surprises him as much as it does anyone else.  Mud Spencer are not concerned with velocity. They move at the speed of continental drift and the songs are akin to icebergs calving – slow grinding leading to fault lines cracking and then huge swathes of them crashing down and moving away from the ice shelf. Mud Spencer moves at the speed of planets forming. Nowhere is this more evident than on ‘Jasmin Eater’ (who is Jasmin? My “friend” would like to know. Wink, wink) where Mogadon-slooooow grooves intertwine at the speed of a mating sloth and there is some absolutely glorious fuzz and some more worship at the altar of the blessed Hammond organ. The whole effect is of having inhaled some psychoactive drug and time slowing down to envelop the listener in a hypnotic trance – the listener being only dimly aware of the outer world as the inner universe is focused on and the heavy guitar analogous to the sound of blood travelling through your body as your higher state of consciousness is tickled by external stimuli that take time for your drug-addled brain to process.

This is clearly a very personal record to the creator of the music. As you all know, Dark Juan is drawn towards slow and heavy (they are easier to catch haha) and droney but Mud Spencer draw it out too far for the taste of this Hellpriest. As good as the music is, it tends to linger too long on particular parts or a single motif and it gets a little boring, to be honest. It is like that last high before the whitey. You’re not going to get any higher and if you try you’re going to crash down like there is no tomorrow and everything is fuzzy and indistinct.

That is how I would describe this album by Mud Spencer. Fuzzy and indistinct. There’s music in here that the Doomster or Stoner will enjoy but you have to sit through a whole lot of noodling first. Sorry, Mud Spencer, I am not particularly thrilled. 

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Sistem peringkat percikan darah Dark Juan yang dipatenkan – Hi Indonesia, hopefully Google Translate hasn’t butchered your language too badly) awards Mud Spencer 6/10 for a record that could have been fucking wonderful, but instead is a difficult listen because of the elongated nature of the music.

01. Suzzanna
02. Ratu Kidul
03. Dead On The Heavy Funk
04. Jasmin Eater

Rodolphe – everything. 


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.