A couple of very different new items have just come in from the venerable but ever-vital Kranky label in Chicago. One is the double-disc A I A, which makes Grouper’s pair of 2011 LPs, Dream Loss and Alien Observer, available digitally for the first time. On these albums Liz Harris, employing little more than a guitar, a Wurlitzer organ, and her own fragile, spectral voice, further perfects her singularly beautiful take on reverb-soaked, cosmically bleak drift and drone.
Deerhunter’s Lockett Pundt may not seem like an obvious fit for Kranky, but his second album recorded under the alias Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action at a Distance, is on its own terms an unqualified success. What is its remit? To expertly emulate without slavishly copying a handful of bands from the ’80s and early ’90s who specialized in a chastely psychedelic longing propelled by jangle, strum, prettily angst-ridden vocals and a murky low-end in which much of the more interesting melodic material can be found. So: The Church come to mind, and Echo & the Bunnymen, along with The Cure and early My Bloody Valentine. Fine company, and a good record.
As for the “and plus more,” well, the new Electric Guest album is here, and so is a new remaster reissuing two of Ike and Tina Turner’s last albums together, Sweet Rhode Island Red and The Gospel According to Ike and Tina, on one disc. Which may mean something to someone.