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Hash Jar Tempo - Well Oiled (1997)

Hash Jar Tempo to projekt muzyczny Filadelfijczyków z Bardo Pond oraz pochodzącego z Nowej Zelandii eksperymentalnego gitarzysty i kompozytora Roya Montgomery'ego. Zespół powstał w marcu 1995 roku i pozostawił po sobie dwa albumy "Well Oiled" (1997) i "Under Glass" (1999). Jak przystało na skład, na obu albumach króluje niepodzielnie przestrzenna, pełna potrójnych gitarowych brzmień, psychodeliczna improwizacja.

Hash Jar Tempo was the name applied to the infrequent collaborations between Psychedelphia space-rock combo Bardo Pond and New Zealand-based experimental guitarist Roy Montgomery. They first teamed in March of 1995 to record the guitar freakout Well Oiled, and when Montgomery returned to the U.S. in 1998 to appear at San Francisco's Terrastock II festival, he made a stop at Bardo Pond's new Philadelphia area recording studio to team for a second session which a year later yielded the album Under Glass. 

Recorded in a one day session, Well Oiled lives up to the Krautrock-inspired goof of the band name (think Ash Ra Tempel) without simply replicating the time. Instead, it very much is what is promised, a collaboration between Roy Montgomery and Bardo Pond that lives up to the experimental and exploratory heights both are easily capable of. All cuts are untitled, and given the improvisational nature of the disc, the feeling is that of just listening in on six fine players working together and seeing what can happen without prompting. Unlike the group's semi-namesake, Hash Jar Tempo doesn't punish and haunt so much as it does engagingly trip out, with the right head-nodding pace and echoing chimes that will attract both older stoners and younger shoegaze freaks. There are certainly some pretty intense moments, though -- the fourth track is one of the best, a subtly relentless freakout that feels like slow magma crushing everything before it, with some wild guitar work deep in the mix. Montgomery sometimes isn't as immediately apparent on the cuts, but at points he's clearly present -- if it isn't him doing the central guitar chime on the third track, it's definitely him with all the squalling noises deep in the mix around the core glazed flow. From there things build in slow intensity, never quite exploding at the end but with a constant sense that all the cascading feedback -- unaccompanied by any drumming -- will yet totally let loose. Another Montgomery standout is his majestic lead line that kicks things off on the fifth track, arcing up and down and up again with all the power and melancholy of his work on Temple IV. 

Under Glass is another release from two already great abstract projects -- the Hash Jar Tempo moniker denotes a collaboration between New Zealand's Roy Montgomery and the Bardo Pond, artists whose individual work explores the extremes of spacey, atmospheric rock. Under Glass consists of eight long compositions formed from slow-building swells of sound, sometimes with a dramatic, lumbering feel and sometimes with a more drugged-out and sedate tone. The aspect of the group's work that separate them from similar projects, however, is their use of indistinct, barely present bits of drums and vocals, making Under Glass seem less like an exercise in ambience and more like a spacey rock band as seen through a dense and disorienting fog. (allmusic)

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