August 22, 2008
Evidence of my recent Grouper madness.
Where I listened exclusively for four days.
Aquarius Records in San Francisco provides an apt
(as well as verbose and long winded)
description of Liz Harris’s work:
“… A perfect blend of warm textured ambience and thick corrosive drones, delicate melodies wrapped in a gorgeously crunchy gritty hissy production. The whole record is a ghostly shimmer, warm washes of otherworldly vibrations swirling in a thick morass of processed vocals, murky keyboards and guitars rendered so unguitarlike they more resemble warm wiggles of sound, like slinky’s stretched as far as they will go, slightly vibrating, barely disturbing the air around them, small waves of sound like ripples in a pond building and building and piled atop one another until it’s a massive, thick blanket of sound.
Imagine the saddest slowest band you’ve ever heard playing at absolutely deafening volume, then imagine stuffing your ears full of cotton, and listening from behind a closed door, through a wall of mud and straw, warm wispy tendrils of sound creeping and crawling through the cracks, wrapping themselves in thick coils around your arms and legs, the whole room slowly filling with sound, until soon you’re totally ensconced, submerged, surrounded by thick billows of slow shifting sound.
Melodies become indistinct whispers stretched across minutes instead of seconds, guitars and keyboards become blissed out blurs, like floating weightless in a warm dark mysterious place made entirely of soft sound. Wow. Totally haunting and captivating.”
Here is my favorite Grouper track,
From her most recent album Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
and probably one of her more accessible:
Heavy Water I’d Rather Be Sleeping: