Roy Montgomery is a guitarist and academic from New Zealand. Across an array of peerless solo and collaborative releases on labels like Kranky, Siltbreeze and VHF he is the architect of a widescreen drone aesthetic exploring psychedelic abstraction and pastoral minimalism that has proved to be highly influential.
A key protagonist in the Christchurch 80s noise rock scene, his minimalist post-punk band The Pin Group were the first act to release on Flying Nun and lead to other explorations in short-lived drone project The Shallows and the gloriously open-ended freedoms of noise pop outfit Dadamah.
After a quiet spell, he returned in the late 90s, producing towering spires of guitar lines that exposed fragility between the strums. With his solo releases and in collaboration with Flying Saucer Attack, Bardo Pond (Hash Jar Tempo), and Chris Heaphy (Dissolve), his focus shifted from the truth-mining of rock music to epic celestialism. His ambitious yet humble tracks outstrip their origins, and Montgomery toured the world sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing twenty-plus-minute compositions.
A long period of silence followed, marked only with a split album with Grouper (who lists Montgomery as a primary influence), involvement in Torlesse Super Group, and a couple of thematic variations serving as soundtracks for films.
He unexpectedly re-emerged in 2016 with R M H Q (also know as Roy Montgomery’s Headquarters) on Grapefruit/Ba Da Bing, four albums of new material released simultaneously that marked a return to his distinctive pastoral guitar style but added the rare sound of his singing voice. Like all of his catalogue listening to his work is a visceral experience with repeating phrases swelling and decaying, immersing the listener in the cyclical narrative of his compositions.
MAG, aka Magdalena Ågren, is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Using trombone, megaphone, voice, homemade electronics, loops, and drum machine all at once to build her music from scratch. From the smallest simple element, it grows into a gigantic dystopian lo-fi orchestra. Sometimes restrained and suggestive, sometimes chaotic and wild. MAG strives for deep introspection and expressive power, seeking both confrontation and commonality. MAG has recently released her first solo album, Magnitude, in 2016 on Surplus Recordings and Zeon Light Skiva, and has played more than 100 shows in Europe and North America. Magdalena Ågren also currently plays in two other band projects, SORK and Trapped in a Loop.
Oona Libens's poetic-scientific quest is driven by a fascination for pre-cinema, a passion for analogue technologies, and the childlike wonder sparked by the shadows on the wall. Ropes and pulleys, sheets, projectors, cassettes, lamps, overheads, and a veritable library of glittering or light-refracting reflecting possibilities. "I like the materiality and openness of those analogue materials. I find or am given many of them, or I make them myself." The result is a heart-warmingly sincere artistic practice on a human scale.