Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Axolotl/Yellow Swans/Gerritt

Root Strata RS-25


“Originally released in 2005 as a limited edition CD-R on Yellow Swans' JYRK label, this three-way collab now gets a proper run on wax. Recorded in Oakland at the Huffin House before the Swans made the retreat back to Portland. Despite the weight of these players when they rock alone, this jam really never gets into full on white out territory. Instead, it's loaded to the brim with wavy neon distortion and soothing low end that occasional drops out into huge washes of emptiness. The opening passage of GMS guitar flecks sympathizing with Karl's string wash is alone worth the price of admission. Red vinyl with lime green splatter.” – RS. Cover art by Liz Harris (Grouper)

Cover The Windows And The Walls

Yellow Electric RS47


Much in demand LP from Liz Harris, an album that feels like a further distillation of the inside-out gravities of her debut LP, Way Their Crept. Here the guitar is a little more to the fore, giving the whole album a weird kind of inverted NZ sound, as if she's broadcasting these choral songs from somewhere on the other side of the world. Some of the more formless gasps of gliding guitar and wordless vox approximate the kind of universe previously populated by Kevin Shields and Blinda Butcher but for the most part this is classic Grouper, with a feel like the sad afterimage of a long-dead dream. Edition of 500 copies on black vinyl.

A I A: Dream Loss

Yellow Electric GR-006A


2012 repress of two stunning new limited edition LPs, simultaneously released by Liz Harris of Grouper on her own private press imprint: We’ve been championing Liz’s work at VT since 2005, back when we made her first album, Way Their Crept, Tip Of The Tongue but in many ways these two new LPs represent the apex of her catalogue to date. The first, Dream Loss, consist of older songs written and recorded by Liz “before a hard time”. The second volume, Alien Observer, is made of recordings from after that time and she talks of both of them being “satellites in the same system” that “explore otherness. Being an other to one's own self, to other humans; ghosts and aliens, both literal and metaphorical; and other worlds to escape to (beneath the water, in the sky). Thinking about people who have died.” Dream Loss is absolutely gorgeous, with Liz’s voice carried away on endless waves of bubbling fuzz and reverb before disappearing in soft pink trails over the horizon. The guitar playing is still hugely NZ-reverent, conjuring the edge of the world sound of the first generation of New Zealand drone experimenters while cutting their austere planetary-scale explorations with choral female vocals and dissolving-in-space psych/folk melodies that could almost be Linda Perhacs. The effect is hugely narcotic, generating a feel of weightless reverie that is truly euphoric. Some of the guitar playing, the way the strings moves in arcs of barely-stated classical melody while retaining a primitive DIY garage edge, reminds me of nothings so much as the first Flying Saucer Attack recordings especially their classic “The Season Is Ours”. The second LP, Alien Observer, with its cover art featuring black and white galaxies spiralling into the void, is more classically psychedelic, with a muzzy dreamtone sound that combines the cosmo-liturgical appeal of Popol Vuh and Ash Ra Tempel with huge blooms of reverb that unfold from the tracks like mandalas in slow motion, vocals that blur into endless afterimages of themselves and an approach to the ritual use of F/X that is almost PSF in its exaggerated effect. You could live in these beautiful recordings forever, the perfect hallucinatory rendering of endless female vox, dissolving guitars and slowly rotating galaxies of sound. Space, as they say, is deep. Both albums are already completely out of print. Highly recommended!

Various Artists
Dead Silence

Room 40 RMBK-002

Art Book

Nicely presented/compiled art book, put together by Lawrence English with contributions from a head-spinning range of artists on the subject of ‘dead silence’: ranging across art, text, essays, letters and photography with contributions from musicians/artists/writers such as Keiji Haino (who discusses the meaning of ‘Seijaku’), Liz Harris aka Grouper, Alan Licht, Makino Takashi, Jamie Stewart, Marina Rosenfeld, James Webb, Benoit Pioulard, Steve Roden, Eugene Carchesio, Terre Thaemliz, Sandra Selig, Jack Sargeant, Philip Samartzis, Greg Hainge, Ross Manning (Sky Needle), David Toop and Heiko Muller.

Event Of Your Leaving

Glass, House #003


Beautiful new duo set from Liz Harris (Grouper) and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma in a white vinyl edition of 500 copies: described as “a loose set of memories, dreams and imagines interpreting the visual work of Latvian artist Vija Celmins for piano, guitar, keyboard, voice and tapes”, Event Of Your Leaving takes the fuzzy/distant rural psychedelia of Flying Saucer Attack circa In Search Of Spaces and dilates it to the point of embryonic interstellar bliss, with the duo floating out on waves of slow-glissing solar winds while celestial melodies cohere in chains of smeared single notes. Some of the more euphoric passages have that glorious backwards guitar/tremolo wormhole appeal of Isn’t Anything-era My Bloody Valentine but with a smudged tonal palette that goes even deeper into nowhere. Beautifully packaged in a three panel fold-out cover that is an offset print and letter-pressed edition of artwork by Liz Harris, this one won’t be around for long! Limited supply, very highly recommended.