Brain music from Liz Harris

vDrone queen Liz Harris has put together two new albums that tap directly into her already developed spacey and rather expansive style.

vDrone queen Liz Harris has put together two new albums that tap directly into her already developed spacey and rather expansive style. Remaining powerful yet quite simple, this is the attitude that Harris has claimed in response to the many listeners who appreciate a good ol’ dose of tranquil music once in a while.

This semi-new draw toward musical placidity, along with all of its acclaimed introspective and calming effects, have all come together in what music critics are dubbing this duel record release as “the perfect marriage of all she’s ever done before,” and Liz Harris’ “magnum opus.”

Released April 11, “A I A,” a two-part vinyl consisting of “Dream Loss” and “Alien Observer,” will be the fourth full-length studio album put forth by Harris’ solo project, Grouper. This ambient-noise virtuoso has appeared to perform beyond most of her contemporaries.

By merely dabbling into the sound arsenal she has provided her audience, Harris manages to create a sense of sensual security that encapsulates your body, ultimately unleashing those familiar feel-good vibes that subtly lash out at all that’s known to you as warm, calm and cozy.

The Portland native officially started her musical career in 2005 with the self-released eponymous debut on CD-R, which was followed shortly afterward by her next two LPs as released on Type Records: “Way Their Crept” and “Wide.” Harris then became somewhat of a prolific figure among the same folks who united in a genre rebellion, claiming to be tired of the explicit aggression that grunge music had undoubtedly mustered up in the early ’90s.

This so-called movement was accredited with giving birth to the counter sub-genre of “slo-core,” mainly characterized by being comprised of droned-out layers hidden between slow beats while simultaneously spewing a lo-fi flavor. This flavor is so distinct that one would only expect to hear it coming from a bedroom, perhaps making up a lullaby for a sleeping infant.

Just as slo-core presents itself as an alternative to the alternative, Grouper packs a unique eeriness that comes laced with enough reverb to give any headphone junkie spatial sickness. Liz Harris’ unmistakable style provides an immense feeling of relief for many of her fans. Sadly, many fans have come to the unfortunate realization that they really don’t have anywhere else to turn to get the same recognizable traits of what Grouper produces.

Harris, in an interview with Pitchfork, remarked how much she wanted to stress on certain details involving these recent two albums, “[A I A] are meant to stand solidly on their own, and also as satellites in the same system.” She then further describes the albums to the interviewer at Pitchfork: “‘Dream Loss’ is a collection of older songs, mostly written before a hard time. ‘Alien Observer,’ for the most part, is made of songs recorded after that time. Each has a song that belongs thematically on the other, a seam stitching them together. Both albums…explore otherness. Being an other to one’s own self, to other humans; ghosts and aliens, both literal and metaphorical; and other worlds to escape to (beneath the water, in the sky).”

This release will undeniably become an example in the ancient musical debate in which many musicians and those involved in the music industry will be rambling at each other for years to come: As more and more clever minds keep on rapidly pushing music to evolve, how can contemporary music keep pace and withstand the issue of the “fad?” As we merge into the decade, my personal fear is that we will become known as the era that founded emo-drone music.

Alas, as Liz Harris tacks on the addition of her fourth LP, “A I A,” to her quietly captivating, growing portfolio, she must be sitting with satisfaction as she makes her mark with her impressionable creations. ?