Montano :: Subtitled (Self-Released)

At its best, which is often, Subtitled glows with a warm, low intensity.

Montano ‘Subtitled’

[Release page] Subtitled is ambient music with some gentle beats and glitch scuffing, almost every sound sculpted from field recordings. The New Zealander duo reportedly recorded copious amounts of sound from their home island, Australia and Japan, intent upon transforming it into their own rarified world in a Wellington studio. Their range takes in intimate portraiture, broad landscapes and slowly-gelling jams, almost an ambient jazz.

Sometimes the integration of field recordings with studio instrumentation dovetails seamlessly—like on the opening “This Night That Day”—at others, it’s a more clumsy musique concrète.”We Went to the Seafloor” sounds more like “We Went to the Bathroom and Washed Our Hands Repeatedly.” The jerky interpolation of rail and road work with sparrow song is just plain aggravating. On the other hand, short-circuiting wires give a heavily treated piano a surprisingly delicate filigree. Montano relies heavily on reverb, which is fine with me—the brief, hollow dub of “Sedative” actually elicits a particularly pleasant reaction and the fuller, more outdoorsy “Glossed Over” a similarly elegiac, bye-for-now effect.

In a word about the cover art, the duo explains that the “track listing is deliberately uneven, in places hard to decipher.” A gratifying visual effect, but the uneven execution of the tracks themselves is less so. But at its best, which is often, Subtitled glows with a warm, low intensity.

Subtitled is available at here.

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