Monday, 8 June 2009


It is kind of late for a review of these two seven inch splits as both have been sold out for a while but they have such interesting music that, even you cannot get the original records, at least you can listen and enjoy these songs or even discover these bands if you still don't know them. I don't own them myself as I knew about their existence when they were already out of print but was able to find the mp3s on line.
I've known Grouper for a while and loved last year's Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. This name's been the alias of Liz Harris since she started publishing records in 2005, combining drone music with pastoral sounds in a perfect balance, experimentation and classicism, echoing voices and echoing sounds. False Horizon, the song on the City Center split, is where you can listen to her with a more classic approach to music while the song on the Pumice split, Rising Height, has a more ambient and phantasmagorical arrangement, blurring the instruments and the voices into a solid and unified sound.

I've discovered City Center through this record and it's been a good surprise, as I've traveled to their first proper LP, also called City Center, released after some out-of-print CDRs, singles and cassettes. If the song here, This Is How We See in the Dark, can melt with the acoustic and droning philosophy of Grouper, the record expands their ideas to multi-diverse territories, mixing lo-fi electronica, sometimes up-beat and sometimes just as a detail, with luminous pop and folk, using samples and traditional instruments, putting them as close to High Places as to Panda Bear but melting everything until their songs only sound as City Center. I'm pretty sure that in a while they could even be mentioned as influences.

Pumice is a one man band from New Zealand that can sound very annoying until you get it, playing with out of tune sounds that don't fit together, strident organs and distorted guitars that after a while create a harmony. I was pretty amazed when I checked and found that he's been publishing stuff since 1997 and, taking into account how lo-fi and spontaneous sounds in this song, I have no idea how his early stuff can sound.

Released January and April 2009

Grouper - False Horizon.mp3

City Center - Bleed Blood.mp3

Pumice - Twin Neck Double Kick Bum Chin.mp3


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