Matthew Bower

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Matthew Bower is a British musician, active since the early 1980s, with a vast collection of collaborative and solo work behind him.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.



Skullflower was formed when Bower joined up with Stefan Jaworzyn, Gary Mundy and Stuart Dennison in 1987 [1] having previously worked under the name Pure with Alex Binnie and Alex Windsor. Unlike most of their immediate contemporaries in the London-based industrial underground, they used traditional rock instruments such as guitars and drums as well as tapes, synths etc. The line-up could be fluid, with members of contemporaries such as Whitehouse, Coil and Ramleh contributing. The group are often cited as having been a strong influence on Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and, indeed, Broadrick later released two Skullflower albums on his HeadDirt label. Jaworzyn left the band with bassist Anthony DiFranco and guitarist Russell Smith (formerly of Terminal Cheesecake) joining. The unit moved further and further away from any recognisable rock genre with albums such as Obsidian Shaking Codex and Transformer showcasing a free-flowing, rootless brand of drone music, often adding reeds and strings, sometimes played by John Godbert. Skullflower was put on hold around 1997 with Bower pursuing other activities, and triumphantly revived in 2003, with Bower enlisting people like Mark Burns, Neil Campbell, Michael Flower and Colin Potter (of Nurse With Wound) for new material. Although he recorded some of these albums (including Tribulation) alone, many of the group's live commitments were fulfilled by a duo of Bower and Lee Stokoe (who records solo as Culver). A show at the 2008 Colour Out Of Space festival saw Bower and Stokoe being joined by Alex Binnie and Stuart Dennison. At April 2009, the full line-up of Skullflower was Bower, Stokoe, Dennison and Samantha Davies. He and Samantha Davies also record together as Voltigeurs. 2011 saw the release of 'Fucked on a Pile of Corpses' more visceral/Black Metal/and an almost return to the industrial sounds of Total. Fittingly, it was released on long running English Industrial label Cold Spring. At the close of 2011 the full band line up is Bower, Sokoe, Davies and West Yorkshire Patriot, George Proctor (Mutant Ape).

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Guitar fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.


Bower recorded under the name Total, from 1984-7, and then as a solo vehicle from 1991-2000, [2] on labels such as Majora, VHF, American Tapes (run by John Olson of Wolf Eyes), Self Abuse and Freek as well as appearing on Virgin's Isolationism compilation. Initially a more drone/neo classical/industrial counterpart to Skullflower's harsher work, the roles slowly reversed, reaching a peak with the noisy Merzbow Mixed Total cassette being released around the same time as the mostly gentle, fluid "This Is Skullflower" CD. Bower coincidentally stopped using the name, adopting Sunroof! for his solo work, at the same time the US R&B group of the same name appeared; there was no connection between these events.

VHF Records is an American record label, known for their extensive work with several major experimental artists. The label is based in the Washington, DC suburb of Fairfax, Va., and it initially focused on indie and experimental bands from that region. The label has since branched out to release innovative and offbeat music from around the world, although Northern Virginia artists are still prominently featured in the catalog. The label was founded by Bill Kellum in 1991, originally to release a single each by his own band, Rake, and that of his friends, Wingtip Sloat. After a handful of releases by both bands, Kellum acquired the US rights to the first releases by UK psychedelic group Flying Saucer Attack including the CD edition of their debut album. Following this, Kellum released an album by Matthew Bower's Skullflower, which in turn led to the release of an LP by Bower and Richard Youngs. Since then, Youngs has released a dozen collaborative albums on the label, including 6 with Simon Wickham-Smith, 3 with Alex Neilson, one from his progressive rock unit Ilk and one with Makoto Kawabata. Kawabata has also released 3 solo albums for the label. Other artists include Vibracathedral Orchestra, Roy Montgomery, Jack Rose, Pelt, and Stephen O'Malley's Æthenor. Matthew Bower released another 2 Skullflower albums on the label, one Total release and several more under his most recent solo alias, Sunroof!.

Wolf Eyes American band

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Other projects

With Skullflower officially resting and Total retired, Bower began a more inclusive project called Sunroof! which, on occasion, could feature Richard Youngs, Neil Campbell, John Godbert, Phil Todd and other friends. [3] More melodic and keyboard based than his previous work, albums were issued on VHF, Giardia and his own Rural Electrification Project label. In addition, he also guested with Vibracathedral Orchestra on a number of occasions and has issued 2 albums with Richard Youngs. Bower’s discography of visceral, free drone-rock is one of the most formidable of its kind and he was considered in 2005 by The Wire to be one of the "map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s" (issue 259).

Richard Youngs is a British musician with a prolific and diverse output, including many collaborations. Based in Glasgow since the early 1990s, his extensive back catalogue of solo and collaborative work formally begins with Advent, first issued in 1990. He plays many instruments, most commonly choosing the guitar, but he has been known to use a wide variety of other instruments including the shakuhachi, accordion, theremin, dulcimer, a home-made synthesizer and even a motorway bridge. He also released an album which was entirely a cappella.

Neil Campbell is a British musician, notable for his vast catalogue and his many collaborations. In 2005, The Wire declared that he, Richard Youngs and Matthew Bower had "provided the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s".


Giardia is a genus of anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites of the phylum metamonada that colonise and reproduce in the small intestines of several vertebrates, causing giardiasis. Their life cycle alternates between a swimming trophozoite and an infective, resistant cyst. Giardia were first described by the Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1681. The genus is named after French zoologist Alfred Mathieu Giard.

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  1. Huey, Steve. "Biography: Skullflower". Allmusic . Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  2. Huey, Steve. "Biography: Total". Allmusic . Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  3. Huey, Steve. "Biography: Sunroof!". Allmusic . Retrieved 3 May 2011. blog many digital only releases since 2015