The Division is the new project of Matthew Schultz, formerly of Lab Report. Hailing from Chicago, Schultz has played with numerous underground luminaries over the years, including Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Chris Connelly and Lydia Lunch. Mantras is apparently the first in a projected trilogy of albums which will investigate an ancient Order. This first CD explores a terrain of dark ambient spaces, ghostly tribal rhythms and unusual Middle Eastern instruments.
‘Do What Thou Wilt’s (a nod to Aleister Crowley) features tribal percussion and an eastern sounding instrument like an oud, overlaid with smooth, droning synth lines. ‘Incantation One’ begins with gongs and cymbal clashes, which are joined by another plucked ethnic instrument, and muezzin wails. ‘Life’ with its driving syncopated rhythm and thin reedy sounds (sampled rhaitas?) sounds not unlike Talvin Singh’s collaboration with the Master Musicians of Jajouka. ‘Monks’ is based around low droning vocal samples – creating a sombre, oppressive feel similar to early Current 93.
This can be recommended to all fans of ethno-ambient soundclashes and the lighter side of industrial music.