Grouper is the solo project for ambient musician Liz Harris, of Portland, Oregon. Harris’ music is a mixture of softly-strummed guitar, Wurlitzer keys, and her delicate, dreamy vocals, all of which are heavily drenched in reverb.
“With Liz Harris’ eerie vocals floating above a bed of grainy drones and sparse synth and organ melodies, A I A does not deviate too much from the formula she solidified on 2008’s Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. But we see the Portland songstress fine-tuning the textural experimentations that have become her trademark. Dig the decaying tones of opener “Moon is Sharp” or the tolling chants of “Dragging the Streets” to hear Harris’ progress as a composer. A I A is a desolate, expansive affair; it sounds like a clandestine broadcast and the way an unborn baby might hear a pop song in utero. Hyperbolic imagery aside, you would be hard pressed to find very many contemporary records that yield the type of vaporous journey found on A I A, nor one that’s as hauntingly beautiful.”
Oneohtrix Point Never is the recording name of Brooklyn-based experimental musician Daniel Lopatin, whose album Returnal was released by Editions Mego in June 2010. Lopatin’s music is composed and performed primarily on vintage synthesizers, and has been described as “drone or ambient music”, “gentle eddies of sound” and “like a cracked mirror refracting the sounds of the past”. He is also a member of Games aka Ford & Lopatin.
“Lopatin is skilled at creating music that is both disorienting and pleasing at once. Whether noise, drone, ambient or minimalist, the form of the music continually shifts, which fulfills the role in traditional minimalism that’s reserved for the addition of new patterns to the mix; to shift the focus and change the entire piece by creating new relations between the patterns. On Returnal, more so than Lopitan’s other albums, this shifting of styles serves to accomplish this without ever feeling disjointed or jarring; the album itself plays as a seamless whole. The disorientation instead comes from the slight, almost imperceptible off-kilter feeling to the music. It’s always buried in a pleasing array of tones, creating a very peculiar and unique feel. Almost like a welcoming vertigo.”
Saturday, October 15th, 10PM at the ‘Sco. $3 with OCID, $5 without. Tickets available at Etix and Wilder Information Desk.