Grouper, Diamond Catalog, Swllws review 30.3.12

A Fierce Festival and Capsule combined effort, all three performances explored the mind frames and effects of sound and vision, pushing their audience to experience soothing, harsh and vision-inducing sonics.

Solo project SWLLWS from Sian Mcfarlane faded into the scene with past-fixated visuals, eerily combining romance with the illusory elegance of a bygone era.
Sian’s Victorian essence flickered through echoing ghostly vocals, breathing life into a cult-tinged ambience which frosted the air. As coven-themed concepts heightened, glowing candle light grasped energies, transmitting those forgotten histories of spirituality, delicately brought forward out of a soothing, ethereal exhalation.

Diamond Catalog awakened the audience from the affluence with their hypnotic off-wall beats. Littered with estranged sounds and odd rhythms, the two piece formed unpredictable patterns to keep listeners induced in their hallucinatory concepts. Flashing multi-coloured light bulbs deepened the perplexing electronics, carrying muffled visions and sounds through flamboyant dazes and blurred dizziness, never losing their audience’s mind set, in which they’d been so keen to warp.

Grouper/Liz Harris would soon settle the atmosphere once more, with her engulfing Violent Replacement set. Liz’s unnerving unearthly presence perpetuated sounds of tape loops and field recordings, humming around VIVID in mass consumption to minimal resonant. Ghostly wails and rumbles highlighted organic tendencies within the synthetic set-up, surrounding listeners with deepening reverberations.

Words: Ross Cotton

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