Sunroof! is the work of prolific, Bradford-based guitar-abuse legend Matthew Bower, who has been active on the experimental / post-punk / noise underground for over 25 years, releasing over 60 albums under a variety of pseudonyms. Bower’s vast discography of visceral, free drone-rock is one of the most formidable of its kind - a monumental / labyrinthine effort to get your head around, with continual shifts and dynamic reverses between - and even within - his various projects rendering it virtually impossible to pin down.
Bower first surfaced in the UK power-electronics / noise scene in 1982, when his band Pure, after just one limited cassette release, evolved into Total. By 1987, Total itself had mutated into Skullflower (including guitarist Stefan Jaworzyn and drummer Stuart Dennison), whilst remaining as Bower’s solo project. Skullflower differed from many of the bands around them in their preference for more traditional instruments and in employing massive volume and tenuous, near-formless structures still loosely tied to rock. Various lineups included members of Ascension, Terminal Cheesecake, Whitehouse, Total, Ramleh, Breathless, and Coil. Whilst Total began as a less rock-based and calmer, ‘isolationist’ / ‘ambient’ counterpart, the dynamic then reversed with Total’s later releases often considerably noisier and more chaotic than Skullflower’s. Having shut down in 1996, Bower returned Skullflower as a solo vehicle in 2003. Other projects he has currently running include Hototogisu (with Marcia Bassett), and Mirag, which sees him working material of a vaguely black-metal nature.
Total was retired in the late ‘90s when the Puff Daddy-affiliated R&B group laid exclusive claim to the name, and Bower continued on from 1999 under the new name Sunroof! If anything, more wilfully diverse and leaning towards the ecstatic, Sunroof!’s trajectory has shifted from bubbling, transcendental pulse to coruscating feedback, jerky freeform soloing to sweet-shimmering dream-haze with traces of acid-damaged British folk, and brain-blitzing high-pitched psychedelic drone. The project has included collaborators like Richard Youngs, Mattin, C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core), Sunburned Hand Of The Man’s John Moloney and Marc Orleans, Vibracathedral Orchestra’s Mick Flower and Neil Campbell, and Phil Todd (whose Anna Planeta project also featured on a FatCat split 12”).