Tuesday, September 01, 2009

not new music

Dissolve - That that is... is not (1994, Kranky)

I was introduced to New Zealand guitarist Roy Montgomery some time in the mid 90s when my high school chemistry teacher made a tape for me with two of the songs from this record, "Strand" and "Dissong." There was a lot of great shit on the tape, like Pierre Henry, Silver Apples, Scenic, Painkiller, Naked City, and a few others that I can't readily recall, but the Dissolve songs stuck out immediately to me and, nearly a decade and a half later, I still listen to this record fairly frequently.

Dissolve, a project with fellow New Zealand guitarist Chris Heaphy, is but one of many groups that Montgomery has been associated with. In 1981 his first band, the Pin Group, released the first single on New Zealand's famous (and currently, like, super hip) Flying Nun label, even though the Clean are often credited as having done this with their debut, "Tally Ho." He went on to be a member of Dadamah, who released a couple of singles and the fucking fantastic record "This is not a Dream" in the early 90s on Majora, all of which saw a compiled cd release on Kranky. As a solo artist he has released several singles and a handful of excellent full length albums, with the highlight probably being 1996's Temple IV. His collaboration with Bardo Pond, Hash Jar Tempo, was also well received, despite being one of the worst named bands ever.

I am a fan of damn near everything that I've heard regarding Montgomery's lengthy discography, but this record, along with the aforementioned Dadamah and Temple IV albums, is definitely among my favorites. It's not very often that an album with two guitarists, no other instruments and very little in the way of vocals can keep me (or many others) interested throughout, but this one has done it for me time and time again and I only hope that it can do the same for some of you as well.


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