So we managed to sneak into Grouper‘s rare Brooklyn gig on Friday night and still aren’t sure what we witnessed over the course of her main 60-minute set. (She also presented a new tape collage piece.) To be honest, the entire thing looked/sounded incredibly creepy, as if one of The Shining‘s redrum-happy twins suddenly learned how to sculpt dronescapes and acoustic something-or-others from an ancient keyboard and several effects pedals. It didn’t help that the room was humid as hell—literally—with Issue Project Room‘s single, solitary fan getting switched off in the middle of the first ‘song’ because it was interfering with Liz Harris’ signal.
Now, when we say it didn’t help, self-titled doesn’t mean to suggest that Grouper was godfawful. She was actually quite great in an Enya’s Selected Ambient Works sort of way. In fact, the only thing that suffered during her spectral tone paintings was our ability to process what was going on—to figure out what was live and what was looped through the storm clouds ahead.
Anyway, if you missed the whole thing, we’ve got a special treat after the jump: Grouper’s entire performance from ATP NY last fall. Captured beautifully by WFMU, it features four extended tracks. Oh, and the photo (grabbed from _J on Flickr) on the left is from a Berlin appearance in 2009. Unfortunately, the Issue Project Room show was impossible to shoot without breaking its fragile spell.