After Its Own Death / Walking In A Spiral Towards The House
Released: 12th July 2019
The new project from Grouper’s Liz Harris contains some of her most beguiling work. Spread across two long, contrasting ambient compositions, her music remains in an enigmatic class of her own.
In two main movements comprising nine titled parts, Harris typically conjures a sense of stately calm underlined with menacing drones. However, the feeling is less bleeding heart and soporific, and perhaps better defined as floating and airily introspective. It’s a subtle but crucial distinction that resonates with her change of moniker and the widely reverberating dimensions and dynamics of the Nikhek sound.
You’d be forgiven for missing this one, as Liz Harris’ (of Grouper fame) latest project has been strangely underplayed, to such an extent it’s only now getting a properly distributed physical release via W. 25th (as opposed to her usual home at Kranky, also strange). And what makes this even stranger is the album itself is an absolute gem. Four tracks of occasionally blissful, often foreboding static and drone that stretches to just under an hour and sounds a lot more ‘live’ than studio to me.
After Harris’ last Grouper record of minimal piano-and-vocal-led chamber song, this is an interesting (and much welcome, despite Grid of Points being great) return to the more heavy weather concerns of her earlier work albeit with a newly discovered sense of grace that was best explored on GoP.