Tuesday 28 February 2023

Roy Montgomery - Temple IV

Roy Montgomery - Departing The Body (1995)
I thought this was the best thing he'd ever done back in the 90s. Sure I haven't listened to a new Roy Montgomery LP for twenty years but I reckon this tune woulda been hard to surpass. After shoegaze had bitten the dust in the early 90s you had to go other places to find similarly spirited music. One direction for those who wanted more blissed out guitar shenanigans was the whole space rock and noise-y psych drone scene with labels like Drunken Fish, VHF Records and Kranky

I guess Flying Saucer Attack were seen as the avatars for this aesthetic change-up but in reality they were just continuing what had been an underground scene for many years with particular strongholds in New Zealand and America. This aesthetic had been particularly strong in the recent past with labels like Xpressway, Siltbreeze and Ajax flying the flag for no-fi diy psych drone ambient noise. 

Roy Montgomery had been around for 15 years as part of the infamous NZ band The Pin Group. He was destined to be somewhat immortal after The Pin Group's single Ambivalence was the first ever release on the soon to be iconic Flying Nun label in 1981. 

Fast forward to the mid 90s and among Kranky's first 10 releases were three albums that included Montgomery: Dadamah's This Is Not A Dream, Dissolve's That That Is... Is (Not) and his second solo album Temple IV. So he was definitely a pivotal figure in this milieu. 

Departing The Body was on Temple IV which was Kranky catalogue number KRANK 009. Back when Kranky was still the best kept secret in town before they went overground and signed alt-rock blockbuster groups Godspeed You Black Emperor & Low. Temple IV is just Montgomery, his guitar, some fx and a four track. He created an idiosyncratic, warm, mesmerising and evocative sound. Montgomery's personal musical vision, despite having some superficial similarities to contemporaneous groups on these labels, was not really like anybody else's at the time.

Roy Montromery - Jaguar Meets Snake (1995)
This one's pretty bloody good too. Temple IV is chock-a-block full of splendid lo-fi four track jams. 

Roy Montgomery - Fantasia On A Theme By Sandy Bull (1996)
This was a pretty monumental tripped out psychedelic improv jam back in the day. It still sounds pretty fuckin choice mate! How he keeps up the momentum up for over 20 minutes is quite a talent. This was on the epic triple LP compilation Harmony Of The Spheres on Drunken Fish. Montgomery featured alongside other space cadets Jessamine, Charalambides, Bardo Pond, Loren Conners and Flying Saucer Attack each doing a side long jam. 

No comments:

Post a Comment