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discover: Carl King

By Anthony Garone

AKA Sir Millard Mulch and Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk. Need I say more?

Who is Carl King?

Carl King is a filmmaker, author, musician, and animal lover. He has released music under the monikers: Sir Millard Mulch and Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk. That’s weird, right?

What’s so weird?

The music of Mulch and Zoltan is unearthly, incredibly weird, and extremely fun. There are so many unique characteristics of Carl’s music, it’s hard to know where to start. Much of his music features synthesized sounds, many of which were generated by an Atari ST with Cubase. The drums are often programmed to be nearly impossible for human performance, and when they are performed by a person, it’s some incredible virtuoso like Marco Minnemann, Morgan Ågren, Virgil Donati, or Nick D’Virgilio.

My favorite aspect of the music is the rhythmic exploration. Lots of Carl’s music is in 4/4, but you would never guess it because of the way he plays with tuplets and polyrhythms. Even after dozens of listens, I can barely comprehend what’s going on. Listen to tracks like Upptäcken Av Ancient Alien Obviation Ruler Kit or 2nd Invasion Åv Ména Strumpor from Dr. Zoltan’s album Why I Am So Wise, Why I Am So Clever, And Why I Write Such Good Songs.

If you can’t already tell, the titles of his songs are hysterical.

There are many spoken, comedic pieces that are great as well. Food Magnetizer, The Maximum Volumizer, and Middle-Case Keyboards from Mulch’s album How To Sell The Whole F#@!ing Universe To Everybody… Once And For All! are so ridiculous and funny. There’s really nothing in the world like them.

How I Heard About Carl

Carl and I met on America Online via my friend Todd Welstein back in 1996 or so. I only knew Carl by his stage name, Sir Millard Mulch, and I referred to him personally as Millard until he changed his identity to Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk and then went to his more straightforward, birth-given name. We met in person for the first time in Los Angeles around 2008 or 2010.

He actively made weird music between 1995 and 2011. Now he produces videos for GuitarTricks.com, Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, and more. Find out more at his website and check out his videos.

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