Colourmusic – Mathewson, OK

We last talked about colourmusic around the release of Swimsuit, the Oklahoma-based band’s fluid exploration through memory, projection and dreams. That was back in February of 2019, a lot has happened in the world since then. A lot has happened in the personal lives of the band, since then. We know that, due to the release of Mathewson, OK. which is available on the usual streaming services.

In a very brief press release, songwriter Ryan Hendrix explains: “I don’t know if we are allowed to make ambient music, but we made a record.  It’s a homage to an area of Oklahoma that doesn’t exist any more that used to be a town that doesn’t exist anymore.” adding,  “I have been lucky enough to have my first child and I wanted to get an actual womb recording for her to have her whole life.  Why, cause I always wanted to have a womb recording for myself.

Colourmusic have always had a knack of extracting personal intimacies and amplifying them to a universal scale, and that happens again here. Yes, the trajectory of ear-popping psych-rock is altered. Gone are the bottomless waves of volume that build bridges, spanning concepts. Now we’re in mind-altering ambient melodies, where delicate, misty structures suggest routes of travel.

With just four tracks the collection is not short of time. The longest track weighs in at almost 35 minutes. The other three tracks gently tug the heart rate up, and down, and back again.

Synths lay beds. Chimes meander through a sequence of dreamy thoughts. There’s no percussion. Only time with no measure. But there is a measure, somehow contained in tonal units that shift shapes, open colors. Meander. Meander. Meander.

The inclusion of navigational coordinates in the song’s subtitles is a touch of otherness that we come to expect from Hendrix. Subtle, nuanced additions that augment reality. It’s beautiful stuff that has the mind traveling deeper into the concept of this forgotten, surreal space and time.

“Dedicated to a man who loses knives” The result of Mathewson, OK is nothing like anything you may have expected from Colourmusic, but also it’s everything we should have expected from Colourmusic. A deeply personal, heavily conceptual piece, that’s hard to turn off.

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