Album review: After its own death/Walking in a spiral towards a house by NIVHEK
After its own death/Walking in a spiral towards a house
In terms of contemporary experimental output, Grouper’s Liz Harris is virtually unmatched.
Reaping the acclaim from a slew of stunning records — 2013’s The Man Who Died in His Boat, 2014’s Ruins and last year’s Grid of Points — the choice to release now under a different name, Nivhek, is both surprising and, in a way, reaffirming.
This four-part ambient epic — heavy on clicks and reverberating electronics — does not disappoint, but for those expecting the quasi-indie affectations of Grouper-proper may feel that way.
It’s an album meant to play across a brutalist dystopia. It’s cold and echoing — like fog emanating from the mouth of a cave. For those that are patient, it’s worth the listen — 59 minutes spaced out in the ether — but don’t expect too many surprises in the mist.
– Alec Warkentin