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“Way Their Crept” by Grouper

The stunning debut album from Liz Harris

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Originally released in 2005 to huge acclaim, ‘Way Their Crept’ is the debut solo recording from Portland-based experimenter Liz Harris aka Grouper. Since the release of ‘Way Their Crept’ she has gone on to release a second album ‘Wide’ and also a collaboration with Xiu Xiu, but for us this introductory album showed her unique vision at its most pure. The sound is deceptively simple; merely layers of vocals processed again and again through looping delays and chains of effects, but the emotion Harris manages to inject into her voice and into the crackles, hums and waves of feedback is almost unfathomable.

Like many of the best records this is not an instantly accessible album, yet give it time and the drifting distortion and almost ghost-like sense of melody will take you into another world entirely. One might choose to label ‘Way Their Crept’ as an ambient record, but to label it as such would be doing it a great injustice – rather this is a meeting point of psychedelia, folk traditions and early electronic experimentalism.

It is incredibly hard these days to stumble across music that really sounds unique or even original, but somehow Liz Harris has managed that here, and beneath the whirlpools of ambience and tape hiss there is an untouched beauty waiting to be discovered.