Gen Ken Montgomery - Drilling Holes in the Wall [Monocrome Vision - 2007]For the almost 30 years that I've been listening to "Industrial" music, Gen Ken Montgomery was a name I was familiar with but somehow passed up. Being sent this release for review will do a lot to rectify that.
Montgomery has had extensive credentials in the underground experimental scene, having collaborated with such names as John Hudak, Al Margolis and (of course) G.X. Jupiter-Larsen. The tracks on this disc date from the late 80s and early 90s and are recorded by long-time "krautrock" maverick Conrad Schnitzler. His main instrument is his circuit-bent Casio keyboard, a picture of which is in the booklet.
The title track is supposed to be a celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall, although hearing this for the first time it sounds more like what music from other planets would be like. Nothing quite like I've heard before, in other words. It's almost as though Montgomery was taking the ideas of Dada well past its logical conclusion.
The tracks New Age Machines Parts 1 and 2 are by far the best pieces on this collection. Very much masterpieces of 20th Century electronic music, and in the spirit of Luigi Russolo's Art of Noises manifesto. There's a couple of intense live tracks too, one even from behind the Iron Curtain in 1986.
So Drilling Holes in the Wall is nothing short of a revelation. Gen Ken Montgomery is simply a genius -- as good and as innovative as serious "Industrial" music gets.Lawrence J. Patti