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grouper / roy montgomery - Split
Root Strata deliver the digital edition of this gorgeous split release from Grouper and New Zealand's Roy Montgomery. The pairing is an inspired match, facing Montgomery's extended solo composition for guitar against four shorter tracks of spectral magick from Liz Harris. Starting with the Montgomery's 'Fantasia On A Theme By Sandy Bull (Slight Return)', we're soon enchanted by a long passage of jangly folk guitars, riffing on a droning raga imbued with the opiated drift of Durutti Column or like a more lo-fi devotion to the Takoma school of players. Liz Harris is in spellbinding form for the next four tracks, gliding from the frosted field recordings and late night ambience of 'Hollow Press' to the exquisitely intimate 'Vessel', introducing the ghostly presence of Liz's vocals set to warbling tape loops presumably recorded in a very cold space. The feeling of chilly suspense carries through to 'Hold The Way', where wandering keys are looped with her glassy vocals into a wintery maze of slow-motion melodies and ethereal textures, before 'Pulse' brings us out of the forest to a roadside sonic vista of field recordings, leaving the brittle, deciduous sounds in the background. Beautiful, harrowing music.