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Montana Release EP ‘Nearer’ (2024 Remaster)

Montana was formed in Sydney in 1998 by Paul Scott, Ken Stewart, Steve Melville and Michelle Margherita. They began playing at friend’s parties and around the Sydney inner-city indie circuit, sharing the bill with Mr Blonde, The John Reed Club, Youth Group and 78 Saab.

Within a few months they had booked time at Damien Gerard Studios to begin work with legendary in-house engineer Russell Pilling, the tracks recorded including the debut single ‘Koolest Band’, formed part of their debut EP.

Koolest Band received significant airplay on independent stations across Australia and national broadcaster JJJ put the song on high rotation. Interest from US labels resulted in the band playing shows in Los Angeles, including a spot at the Whiskey a Go Go and at SXSW.

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Following the release of Koolest Band EP and another year of constant gigging in Australia and the US, the three piece (Michelle Margherita, Steve Melville and Paul Scott) felt confident enough in the studio to stretch out sonically. Tracks for the follow up were recorded at Velvet Sounds studio under Pitt Street in the heart of Sydney.

There were many talented people involved in the recording of the Nearer EP, but special mention must be made of Tony Wall and Adrian Grigorieff who tracked most of the songs and the late, great Craig Porteils who mixed them. The EP sold out its first pressing in less than a week, causing a few headaches for their small indie label Velvet Lounge and debuted at number 9 in the indie charts.

Stream the EP

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Song For George Harrison’

The second in Gareth’s dedication series and with a stunning review already live thanks to Big Take Over magazine in NYC.

“The song itself is a lustrous jaunt. clocking in around three and half minutes, the instrumental piece is acoustic, with strumming guitars and lithe bass keeping the beat. ” David Browne HERE

 The inspiration for Song for George Harrison was to channel and imagine the spirit of George and infuse Beatles DNA into the compositional process. The mood is an informal jam vibe, as if the studio producers are absent, but microphones are left on with tape rolling while George plays and improvises with friends.

 Gareth opens the track with George’s beloved instrument, the ukulele, supported by a keyboard mellotron sound subtly referencing a partial Beatles tune. The sitar Gareth plays is a vintage Sri Lankan instrument, played in reverse in some of the mixes, as a tribute to the spirit of experimentation of the 1960’s Abbey Rd Studios.

 The three mixes reference the evolution of 60’s mixing technology, with the Spectre Mix taking a deep dive into the massive and live ‘Wall of Sound’ aesthetic, faithfully recreated with period correct vintage studio and live equipment from the Beatles’ heyday.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a sizeable repertory across multiple genres spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects, rock & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.

Born in Milan, Gareth began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning scholarships for advanced guitar study at The Royal Madrid Conservatorium & the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music & has lectured in music across Australian & European universities.

In 2002 Gareth formed the first guitar supergroup with Karin Schaupp & The Grigoryan Brothers, Slava & Leonard. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to #1 on the Classical Music Charts and even featured on ARIA pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums & was Australia’s biggest selling classical act for several years.

Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & has released a succession of collaborative albums with Martin Kennedy & with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). His recent release ‘The Guitar Player’ received a coveted 5 star review from The Sydney Morning Herald. Gareth’s current output has a strong rock bias with classical overtones & his writing is increasingly focussed on the ethereal nature of music.

Stream / download here

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