Jo Montgomerie ~ from industry home

from industry home begins with a curious story, a blast from the past, the pre-history days before our site was a site.  Back then, Boomkat was all the rage, and the young Jo Montgomerie was tasked with creating all those little snippets that shop visitors played as they perused the recordings.  Coincidentally, Jim Haynes (now of The Helen Scarsdale Agency) held the same job over at Aquarius Records.

Montgomerie started to wonder about the fragments that fell to the floor and were swept up at the end of the day: dust bunnies of sound and debris.  One can imagine her smuggling out the pilfered trash, taping the slices back together and threading them through a reel-to-reel recorder, a romantic image.  In a spiritual sense, she grew attached to the forlorn and forgotten sounds, such as the ignored or acclimated, the background and the seemingly superfluous.  from industry home becomes an inversion, the lead story buried, the back pages promoted to the front.

In music, one tends to focus on the chorus over the verses, the melody over the harmonies.  Going deeper, one may miss the background hiss, the thump of recording equipment, the rustle of sheet music.  To Montgomerie, these sounds possess an incredible allure.  On from industry home, she adds decontextualized instruments and the sounds of her own home and body.  One may take wild guesses as to the sources; “section 20” implies passing trains and time-stretched church bells, but there’s no guarantee that such sounds are included.  In like fashion, Montgomerie’s Instagram art (which includes hundreds of ready-made album covers) smears and obfuscates original images, producing colorful and curious impressions.  In both sight and sound, the blurred becomes the beautiful, the overlooked becomes the overture.

Is this what a body sounds like?  While other skin-sampling artists highlight the ordinary or even the ugly, Montgomerie folds herself into her recordings in a manner that suggests she herself is another color or tone.  Her samplings create a simultaneous sublimation and celebration of self, a sonic reflection of the fact that matter cannot be destroyed and that all humans are comprised of atoms once located elsewhere.  When “renew” thickens, growing increasingly urgent before a blessed relenting, the turnover serves as a reminder that molecule by molecule our bodies are replaced every seven years.

“1308” is a scribbling, a melange of sounds that seem to emanate from the rafters and floors, the echoes of insects and ghosts.  The track yields a suggestion of chains, a haunted shuffle, wordless warnings.  Whether or not the title is a reference to the film “1408,” the comparison is apt.  Closer “inside” bursts its stitches, an expansion of volume and density, amplifying the typically unheard until what is normally heard is drowned.  The overall impression: what one thinks is the highlight ~ a book’s cover, a song’s melody, a person’s face ~ may not be the highlight after all.  Background noise and peripheral sound each possess their own intrinsic value.  (Richard Allen)

One comment

  1. This was a wonderful album recommendation. Thank you.

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