Months ago, I was listening to a piece on NPR about an artist who had taken Beethoven symphonies and slowed the tempo down far enough to stretch the piece into a 24-hour experience of listening and relaxation. Listeners were invited to bring blankets and pillows to the premiere and immerse themselves in the slow-churning epic for as long as they so desired.
Violet Replacement, an hour-and-a-half, two-song tour CD-R set, follows the same idea. But just as a simple violin stroke can be rendered unrecognizable when stretched to fit a new timeline, the Wurlitzer warbles, guitar strums, and field recordings — made familiar over the span of four Grouper albums and a number of splits and collaborations — are pulled nearly to their limits over a deserted, auditorium-style emptiness. It provides the breathing room to separate the tidal waves of drone from the singer-songwriter tendencies done to perfection on last year’s double album, A I A (TMT Review).
Watch an excerpt from the recent Torino, Italy performance of Violet Replacement above.
• Grouper: http://www.myspace.com/grouperrepuorg