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A I A: Alien Observer

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Editors’ Notes

Ethereal, spectral, and absolutely gorgeous, AIA: Alien Observer was easily one of 2011's finest releases. Yet what genre do we stick this woozy and slowly evolving stuff into? Is it experimental or alternative rock? It’s hard to find an act as purely interested in experimentation and melody with equal measure. No matter what you’re doing when you first hear music by Liz Harris (a.k.a. Grouper), after a few minutes it’s hard to not find yourself doing nothing but listening. It has that kind of intense, vacuum effect, drawing you in. Take a song like “Moon Is Sharp,” where layers of reverb swim atop a sea of echo, slowly unveiling a gently strummed electric guitar and a pretty singing voice. The way the slowly reverberating sounds morph from abstract pleasure to pop bliss and then smudge themselves back into an ambient smear is surprisingly cathartic. It sounds good, too.

Customer Reviews

Thrilling

Wonderfully sludgy, ambient beauty, with simple, space-age-y instrumentation, and gorgeous vocal harmonies that sometimes sound like ancient voices from an isolated mountain holler. The combination of old and new is thrilling.

Gorgeous

Angelic, harmonious, beautiful.

Unique

It's very artistic and beautiful. The album cover and some of the background noise reminds me of David Lych's "Eraserhead". Very nice ;)

Biography

Born: Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A one-woman ambient project from Portland, Oregon, Grouper — aka Liz Harris — first appeared with the self-released full-length CD-R Grouper in 2005. Later that year, and then signed to Free Porcupine, Grouper released the critically acclaimed Way Their Crept. From there, a series of recordings were made available, including a 3" CD entitled He Knows in 2006 and the 12" Weird Forest release Wide in 2007. In the meantime, Harris earned extra props from the genre as a whole with her 2006...
Full Bio
A I A: Alien Observer, Grouper
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