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 collaboration album with Xiu Xiu entitled Creepshow.
In addition to releasing work on Free Porcupine and Collective Jyrk, Grouper also saw releases on Type Records, which was responsible for the re-release of her groundbreaking Way Their Crept in 2007, as well as her 2008 work, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. The expansive double album AIA followed in 2011.
Harris also collaborated with Tiny Vipers’ Jesy Fortino as Mirrorring, who released their debut album, Foreign Body, in 2012. The Man Who Died in His Boat, a collection of songs Harris recorded at the same time as Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, arrived in early 2013. The following year saw the release of the relatively stripped-down, piano-driven Ruins, which Harris recorded during a trip to southwest Portugal in 2011.
Mixing hallucinatory sonics, field recordings, and songs that touch upon indie pop, Portico was born in 2014 when members Duncan Bellamy, Milo Fitzpatrick, and Jack Wyllie dissolved their previous group, the Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet. The London-based band became a trio after the departure of Keir Vine, who played the distinct Hang drum and had replaced original member Nick Mulvey.
They signed with the Ninja Tune label in 2014, and in 2015, made their debut with the full-length Living Fields. The album marked a new sound for the group with more rock and ambient influences than jazz, and featured guests like Jono McCleery, Jamie Woon, and alt-J’s Joe Newman.
Singer-songwriter James Kelly is until recently best known as the sole permanent member and writer behind black metal outfit Altar Of Plagues, who has released three critically acclaimed albums on the labels Profound Lore and Candlelight.
Using found sounds, home made instruments and field recordings as a base, Altar Of Plagues creates music “Full of radical tangents and alien-to-black metal elements, more focused on frailty and struggle than majesty and grandeur” (Pitchfork). These ideas transfer to James’ solo recordings as WIFE, which also reveal his long-standing interest in electronic music.
Orson Hentschel is a German composer and producer based in Düsseldorf. Having started to play classical piano at an early age, he now mainly composes electronic, experimental and film music. His debut “Feed The Tape” is strongly influenced by Classical Minimal Music.
Especially the compository methods of Steve Reich such as phase variations, looping and imitation enter Hentschel’s work. However, these methods serve as characteristic compository elements rather than being in the focus of the pieces. The loop, which often is the starting point of one of Hentschels works, usually plays the role of a constant sound substrate on which harmonic-melodic elements can thrive.
Ricardo Donoso has composed a new paradigm of ambient music, in which concrete textures and digital synthesis expand on an abstract world in constant movement & mutation. Under a chain of progressive rhythm’s, cinematic textures and elegant melodicism, Donoso’s work pushes through with piercing strength, manipulating a sonic wave through space with nothing but pulse and mind blowing intensity.
Although Donoso’s work has coalesced into a much broader and dynamic beast, his early work continues to be a source of inspiration. ‘Symmetry’ now compiles Donoso’s first three albums, lovingly referred to as the “Digitalis Trilogy” which includes Progress Chance, Assimilating the Shadow and As Iron Sharpens Iron, One Verse Sharpens Another in a deluxe 4LP boxset & 3CD edition.
This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Denovali Festival 2016 Day 2 w/ Grouper, Portico, Wife, Orson Hentschel, Ricardo Donoso
Saturday, 02nd April 2016 | 16:00 CET
Heimathafen | Karl-Marx-Straße 141 | 12043 Berlin/Neukölln