For a guy who is everywhere in the synthwave community, making music for thousands of fans and placing his songs in films, SelloRekT/LA Dreams is a bit of a mystery.
Now, it’s not as if he’s some digital embodiment of the gestalt of retrofuturism. Even if his Facebook photos are only of his shoes and his artist pics are usually only album art, Kevin Montgomery is a real person who lives in Los Angeles and drives the city’s vast road network, translating what he experiences into a catchy and bright breed of synthwave.
“The most that I want out of SelloRekT/LA Dreams is that through my music people will come to know parts of the ‘80s scene that aren’t just outrun and dark synth,” he told Vehlinggo. “More people will realize just how diverse the 80s were.”
A recent product of that is the PaintBox album, which follows a little more than a month after the fun and exciting The Big Door. This work style has prompted some on the Internet to wonder if his ethic ever allows him the opportunity to have any dreams, let alone ones about LA.
Montgomery has been releasing music through his project since 2012, putting out a large catalogue of work that is bound together by a love for the 1980s. He grew up during that time period and experienced his “first everything” with the decade’s music as the backdrop, he said.
“The 80s embodies everything I am as a musician,” he said.
He has spent his life in places to which people often direct 80s nostalgia. He started out in Miami and ended up in LA, where he now serves as its ambassador in a scene that often finds itself pining for where Montgomery began.
Montgomery started out learning to play analog synthesizers at a young age and in his teens played in various bands, fine-tuning his musicianship. Early synths in his arsenal were a Roland and a couple Korgs.
Eventually, he landed upon a formula of electronic music with acoustic instrumentation into which he’d add programming, drum machines, and turntables. He turned to the sounds of Jan Hammer, Genesis, Howard Jones, Art of Noise, The Cure, Koto, Sheena Easton, Simple Minds, and others for inspiration, he said.
He named his new project SelloRekT, a nom de plume that has confused the hell out of me for some time. It seems that might have been the point.
“SelloRekT is just a conversational statement,” Montgomery said, noting that it usually evokes the question of definition. He later added the LA Dreams moniker, which he says “really describes my sound.”
Since his first release in August 2012, Montgomery has garnered a lot of interest not just inside the synthwave realm, but in other places where 80s genuflections are alive and well. He’s made music for various indie films and European ads, and is currently producing music for a video game. Models making portfolios have also turned to LA Dreams for support.
One of the movies to feature several of his songs is the British Grindhouse film The Wrong Floor, directed by Marc Hamill, who has served as technical advisor for artists such as Jamiroquai and Daft Punk. According to IMDB, the film is currently in post-production.
Going forward, Montgomery wants to compose music for big Hollywood films and the BBC, and perhaps even break into the anime market.
As for revealing the true nature of the man behind the shoes?
“I usually keep the focus on my work,” he says. “Perhaps soon one day I will emerge.”