Over the past 15 years, Grouper has amassed the material for »Shade«. You can hear that to a certain extent: The LP doesn’t exactly sound like it was created in one piece, but that’s fortunately one of the reasons that make the album so strong. Whether Liz Harris is heard quite indistinctly (»Followed The Ocean«), in the usual fuzzy-warm manner (»Unclean Mind«), or amazingly clearly (as on the epochal »Ode To The Blue«), each song, no matter how sparsely arranged, is adorned with a beauty that is almost impossible to grasp. And a refinement that gently pushes the competition in the cuddling area off the edge of the bed: As usual, Grouper subjects the individual tracks, including her flawless vocals, to an intensive post-processing, alienates, distorts, twists the pieces of her music to exactly that degree that the final result benefits from it. She also knows when to make cosmetic interventions: »Disordered Minds« suits its »Disintegration Loops« character excellently, the following »The Way Her Hair Falls« gets along wonderfully without sound-aesthetic patina, but with sketchy lo-fi costume. Whereby: Grouper’s tracks are not costumed at all; on »Shade« there is nothing that has to dress up to please. But the tattered tailor-made suit fits like a glove – and on top of that, it looks even better than all the glossy goods that are usually found on the shelves.