Roy Montgomery, a pioneer of the NZ underground, believes there is always new sonic terrain to investigate. His latest series of albums for Grapefruit marks forty years of rigorous exploration in which he has managed to navigate disparate genres, scenes, and atmospheres, always at the forefront of experimental independent music. To commemorate, Grapefruit will be releasing four new Montgomery albums in 2021, which can be purchased individually or via subscription.
For his fourth album, appropriately named Audiotherapy, Montgomery builds his compositions from the subconscious, breaking down form and inviting in new techniques. “Audioramble” features call-and-response singing between him, Emma Johnston and Arnie Van Bussel, both of whom act as a Greek chorus to Montgomery’s reflections. “Occlusione” sets a sturdy musical bed under Maria Eleanora C Mollard’s whispered spoken word, like a voice in one’s head that risks getting drowned out in the noise. For the sublime “Audiotransport,” guitars shimmer up the sides and weave through one another, reconciling the inner voices of doubt and worry into a meditation on the beauty of existence. The last track, “Imperfect Intense”, builds on disbalance as Johnston’s vocals meet Montgomery’s in broken harmony; both singers move at their own pace despite the other, embodying how uncertainty lies at the heart of how we live. Audiotherapy is the most intuitive and experimental entry of Roy Montgomery’s 2021 (and—cough—2022) releases, closing out the series with introspection and transcendence.