Let's talk about Avalon Emerson

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Beloved of ILM for years but there's no thread for her. She's done the latest DJ-Kicks, full of new material, and while I'm only half way through it is so good, exactly what I wanted an Avalon Emerson mix album to sound like.

Anyway, talk amongst yourselves.

Matt DC, Friday, 18 September 2020 11:32 (nine months ago) link

I think this is still my favourite thing of hers I've heard. So deep -


chap, Friday, 18 September 2020 11:43 (nine months ago) link

The cover of Long-Forgotten Fairytale is unexpected!

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Friday, 18 September 2020 11:45 (nine months ago) link

Agree w/ Chap that the Octo Octa remix is up there w/ the best. Looking forward to hearing the DJ Kicks, is it out yet?

Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 18 September 2020 11:56 (nine months ago) link

Aw, yeah, I was really hoping someone was going to start a thread for her, because she's amazing.

Second - third - her Octo Octa remix, also her Slowdive remix is one of the most swoonsome things I have ever heard!

Grebo Jones (Branwell with an N), Friday, 18 September 2020 12:06 (nine months ago) link

The cover of Long-Forgotten Fairytale is unexpected!

It's really sweet, and I don't even like the Magnetic Fields.

The mix itself is a pretty good reflection of what it's like when you see her DJ, in that she goes hard from pretty early on but she isn't afraid to throw as much melody and colour and as many arpeggiated bleeping noises in as she wants. The cover has her wearing some kind of sci-fi racing helmet and it's that kind of mix. 'Poodle Power' is probably the best of the new material but apparently she's been playing it out for two years.

Matt DC, Friday, 18 September 2020 14:22 (nine months ago) link

good article


the late great, Friday, 18 September 2020 14:24 (nine months ago) link

good picture


decent producer, not really my style per se compared to, idk, springier vancouver or australian sounds or whatever

the octa octa remix for example is nice but the breaks are kinda clunky and the arpeggios kinda grinding in the way post-weatherall producers like daniel avery often are, which is a style, just not entirely my thing

the late great, Friday, 18 September 2020 14:30 (nine months ago) link

Yeah I'm not crazy about the Octo Octa remix either, I prefer her when she's in widescreen mode - 'One More Fluorescent Rush', 'The Frontier', 'Natural Impasse' etc, or where she's making lazer-tunnel bangers like 'Constantly My Cure'. Daniel Avery isn't in the same league even on the rare occasions when he's good.

Matt DC, Friday, 18 September 2020 14:36 (nine months ago) link

"poodle power" reminds me of old stuff from creme or bunker, like early legowelt or bangkok impact (it's that arpeggiated italo thing) and again while i think a lot of ppl would see that as a great compliment for me i always preferred maybe funkier, more swinging and jacking stuff with a lighter touch

the late great, Friday, 18 September 2020 14:38 (nine months ago) link

ok i hadn't heard "constantly my cure" or "natural impasse", these are pretty excellent especially the former

still not convinced about the widescreen way out west italo arpeggiations but just a matter of taste i suppose

the late great, Friday, 18 September 2020 14:41 (nine months ago) link

a lot of her textures remind me of Nathan Fake and that mid-00s Border Community sound, but her sense of melody and groove is a lot more muscular. I think she's really good at avoiding the trap of the four-bar loop that a lot of melodic techno falls into - her lead lines sound improvised and loose.

boxedjoy, Friday, 18 September 2020 20:04 (nine months ago) link

Her RA Art of DJing is so good,


it's just such a good read and watch that I couldn't wait to hear her mix sets and discovered that I don't actually like them much! I do like most of her tracks though and really love 'One More Fluorescent Rush'.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Friday, 18 September 2020 21:32 (nine months ago) link

'One More Fluorescent Rush', 'The Frontier'

I like both of these a lot but I don't know much else of her stuff

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Friday, 18 September 2020 21:46 (nine months ago) link

she had a dedicated site cybernedits (cybernetic edits) where she'd post free edit ep's from herself, Nathan Micay and a few others whose names escape me but the site seems to have gone. Her edit of Pump Up The Jam from those is great.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Friday, 18 September 2020 21:53 (nine months ago) link

I put her DJ Kicks on and it had the same weakness as her Essential Mix - lots of really great music but no sense of pace. That Oklou track should be a climax, but it feels like the energy is gone straight after it's done

boxedjoy, Saturday, 19 September 2020 08:45 (nine months ago) link

I felt that specific moment as well and I think it's a deliberate turning down of the heat, I dunno, having seen her live she definitely has a grasp of dancefloor dynamics.

Matt DC, Saturday, 19 September 2020 09:46 (nine months ago) link

need to listen to it again - I put it on earlier and found it really enjoyable but I was doing work and not really paying attention.

anyway, between the LFF cover and Kelly Lee Owens covering Arpeggi, it’s been a good year for women in techno improving upon indie songs I loved in college.

Roz, Saturday, 19 September 2020 17:19 (nine months ago) link

eight months pass...

avalon emerson has a supernatural gift for sound design. i thought i'd already posted "Finally Some Common Ground". it's one of my all-time favorite techno tracks.


i stayed up late last night trying to reverse engineer just the first four bars of the percussion, got nowhere close. i couldn't come up with congas (sampled or synthesized) that have that kind of tone and sustain. there's also some very tricky, subtly executed automation on the reverb and slap-back delay effects. i'm gonna keep at it today cuz it's fun, but man, what i've spent hours trying to replicate is just a small piece of a track full of mind-bending sonics. how the hell does she do it, and hold a day-job as a software engineer?

davey, Friday, 4 June 2021 21:26 (two weeks ago) link

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