Roy Montgomery/Chris Heaphy - True
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Roy Montgomery/Chris Heaphy
True

Roy Montgomery has been around for well over a decade now releasing music as a solo artist as well as in collaboration with others (like Chris Heaphy in the group Dissolve). Like fellow New Zealander Robert Scott, he's a virtuoso on the guitar and has slowly drawn a faithful following of those who've discovered his amazing soundscapes. The information behind this release is that Montgomery was provided with a script for a film/play by Stuart McKenzie. He then composed a continuous landscape of instrumentation, which was then added to a bit by Chris Heaphy. The result is 8 tracks and 50 minutes of music that will either lull you into a trance or bore you out of your skull.

If you're into highly repetitive, intertwining guitar melodies that progress very slowly and surely, and don't mind the damaged sound of the guitar on this release (mainly because of the filters applied to it), you'll probably find many things to like in this disc. The truth is that Montgomery can noodle around with the best of them, and although things simply drag on in some places for way too long, there are passages that are outstanding on True.

The problem is that there simply isn't enough variety on the disc. The tracks have long fade-in and fade-out times and even though the album runs less than an hour long, there are many points at which you'll probably be asking yourself whether or not you've already heard the song that you're listening to. The main reason for this is that although the tracks do change up, the guitar sounds and effects used are so similar to one another that it's easy to make that mistake. There's no doubt that it would provide a very moody and atmospheric background to a play.

As I mentioned above, though, there are good things about the disc. If you're into trancey, spaced-out guitar music by the likes of Windy and Carl or even the less beat oriented work by a group like Flying Saucer Attack (who have listed Montgomery as an influence on their work), you'll definitely find things to enjoy. Both the first and second part of "Unfathonable" offer a dark and ominous mood that would be the perfect accompanyment to a night thunderstorm while "Clouding Over" offers warbling guitar work that is quite eerie. Definitely more interesting as a background than music for the foreground, True is interesting, but other work by Montgomery makes it pale in comparison.

rating: 510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00