the crest of a dune: joe murray on will montgomery, in atoms, slowthaw

December 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Will Montgomery – The crystal at the lips (CD, organized music from thessaloniki, t29, edition of 200)

In Atoms – WREATHS (self-released download)

slowthaw – doll cuts (download, aetheric records)

t29

Will Montgomery – The crystal at the lips

Super-brain Will takes not one but two scores from toff-composer Manfred Werder and uses their cryptic instructions to place his hizzing field recordings about the noble Hansard Gallery, Southampton.

I’m a relative newcomer to all this kinda jazz and find the pale austerity a real turn-on.  So, for once, I resist the temptation to listen ‘blind’ and check out a bunch of links that lead me to Werder’s beautiful and inventive scores and a disturbing picture of the other Will Montgomery… a so called Chicago Bear. I’m hungry for context and even beat a path to the straightest RFM bedfellow yet [Editor’s note: you’re on a warning].

So, rigid with excitement, my pink little shrimps pick up the baffling wind and stray electrix easy enough.  I tune in deeper and the sea-birds start caw-cawing (it’s Southampton right) and small-city hubbub of traffic and noisy kids kind of build a bivouac between my hammer and anvil.

Some voice intones ‘honey’ or ‘honning’ or ‘awwney’ or something, adding to the general duck-egg blue fuss in the air between my speakers.  I catch myself squinting as I’m listening with a fierce intensity.  The high heel footsteps clip-clop and are as dubby and regular as a Pole jam from way back.  And then…it’s over.  You know I can’t get enough of this domestic psychedelic sound-world so press play again.

When I finally recover my frothing I check out track two, ‘Filtrate’, which is even better.  It’s an exercise in reduction, redaction and erasure.  Will takes a source field recording from the desk of one Mr Kostis Kilymis and proceeds to rub out all the ‘field’ frequencies.  This delicate slash with the tippex leaves the lucky listener with a transparent ghost of the original recordings.  Beautiful magnetic curves loop out of ether mirroring Sarah Hughes’ spare sleeve design.

I recline awkwardly and close my eyes to concentrate harder.  It’s all just feedback I guess but the tones are so wonderfully grimy and smeared… all soft grey pencil rather than garish fluorescent highlighter and tracing single lonely arcs.  One by one the tones rise and fall in splendid isolation.  And never, until the closing seconds, do they intersect, setting off a sepia-tinted soft blossom.

Crickey!

There’s a calming desolation to these recordings, like watching sand blow off the crest of a dune.

wreaths

In Atoms – WREATHS

A super-classy synth/drone affair in three parts.

  • Pretty dramatic, like Black Beauty, as horses appear out of the mist. There’s a close up of a sweating flank and long-lashed eye.  You can feel the yearning from the saddle.
  • The intro to Sweatloaf (complete with vinyl crackles) but instead of Sabbath riffs we get lovely denuded drum patterns.
  • Gentle floating? A bath of warm cumin seeds; at first a dry slithering over the body but then eczema-like patches form sticking to any protein dampness.

doll cuts

slowthaw – doll cuts

Blissed-out electro/drone summons the unveiling of a leisure centre in Asgard.  All the gods and demi-gods stand proud as the wave machine is turned on for the first time and marvel at the heated floors and lockers you open with a 20 pee piece.   After the frolics they stop for hot chocolate on their way out.

Scene: A horizon scanning meeting in the Department of Transport.  While the interim Accounts Director (the real Director is on sabbatical – yeah right!) outlines our 2016/2017 business plan I track the starlings over Victoria Coach Station.  Huge abstract shapes fold in on themselves.  Murmurations… that’s the word for their psychedelic ravelling my shattered brain reminds me.

Their black-fuzz smears the peachy sky.

It hypnotises me to such a degree I’m absentmindedly rolling my pen across the desk, ‘clack, clack, clack’ it goes.

Anything to add Mr Murray?

The interim Director points at me.

I stammer,

slowthaw.

It’s about all I can manage under the circumstances.

—ooOoo—

organized music from thessaloniki

In Atoms

aetheric records

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