Thursday 23 November 2017, 7.30pm
“New Zealand guitarist Roy Montgomery has been involved with so much vital music that it’s hard to believe he’s spent most of his life not making any at all… His first solo work since 2001 is a 4xLP set that, at its best, plays like a shadowy dream.” – Pitchfork
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.
“The slow washes and thunder-cracks of guitar… come across like a grey Antipodean version of the tone poems of late European Romanticism, in which landscape might somehow be translated straight into musical texture: Sibelius in Lyttleton” – The Wire
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.
Alexander Tucker (b. 1976) is a multi-media artist working across music, painting, comics, collage, sculpture, film and live performance.
Formally trained as a painter at the Slade School of Fine Art, Tucker went onto produce a series of critically acclaimed solo albums for renowned Chicago based record label Thrill Jockey and All Tomorrow’s Parties. He also has a number of collaborative projects including avant-pop, electronic duo Grumbling Fur (with Daniel O’Sullivan) - and tape loop radiophonic project Imbogodom (with Daniel Beban), recorded at BBC Bush House. Grumbling Fur’s Preternaturals, was featured in Q, The Quietus and The Line Of Best Fit’s Albums of the Year 2014. Tucker has toured extensively in the British Isles, Europe, New Zealand and the U.S. Recent collaborations sees Grumbling Fur’s alter-ego Time Machine Orchestra teaming up with drone crazy maker Charlemagne Palestine, releasing two lp’s of extended improvised composition.
Tucker co-produced the comic anthology Sturgeon White Moss, which launched in early 2000, contributing comics, illustration and design. His work combines a love of underground, outsider and classic comics, weaving dark tales of metaphysical horror and it was with Sturgeon White Moss that he began serialising strips such as Thou and the graphic novel Shandor.
Bridging the gap between his fine art background and as a singer songwriter, improviser and sound manipulator, Tucker continues to collaborate with both fine artists and experimental musicians. Recurring motifs in Tucker’s work include repetition, deconstruction of standardised musical traditions and the juxtaposition of themes both ancient and modern, domestic and fantastical.
Alexander Tucker lives and works in London.