Starting in 2006, this fine work was initiated with a series of Friedl’s Hackbrett improvisations that were then unleashed upon Montgomery for him to rework and extend with his own interventions. It became apparent to the two, that the only way for this less than obvious pairing of approaches to succeed, was that Montgomery should work the instrumentals in his own way, pushing Friedl’s compositional elements through electronic filters and warping and shaping them to form something fresh.
Opening piece, AMORE is the perfect example of this, and what we have throughout the series of works here, are intrinsically digital/sampler compositions. Much of Friedl’s source material being deformed and topologically twisted through a sampler, with all the fluttering and warbling typified by that method, yet filtered in ways that bring a unique and inventive angle to a well established methodology. Once again, the material sways between moments of intense activity and near silence, a pendulum, undulating across a series of drones and metallic inclusions. HEAD homes in on the purity of digital texturings, and SAW leaves the source material relatively intact, with added texture and sharply defined organic layering added by Montgomery.Closing piece of the eight is THORN, inhabiting the higher registers of the sound spectrum, this is the aural equivalent of stainless steel, glistening and robust, and a fearsome piece to encounter under headphones. As has become usual with any NVO output, the quality of the recording is second to none, a technically precise, and intensely engaging series of pieces that place Montgomery firmly on the map, and re-assert Friedl’s position as one of the scene’s most energetic and original exponents. This is one that will almost certainly qualify as my Album of the Year. Essential. BGN