The Avalanches

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So who else is falling in love with them?

Tim is welcome to euologise again, because he is an incredibly evocative writer and because he's ace all round, but has anyone else discovered their glories?

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 30 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes. Since I Left You is fantastic. I don't know what else to say, because in many ways the album's experience defies attempts to put it into words, such is the staggering range of emotions and moods it takes me through.

I did put up a review of "Frontier Psychiatrist" on my blog, but it doesn't fully do justice to the song, and certainly not to the album.

Ian White, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Why thank you, Robin. I hope this enthusiasm spills over into updates of your site. ;-)

I don't have much to add that wasn't in my review, but what is interesting is how amazingly popular the album is here in Australia. Topping all the critics' lists, number six on the official national "alternative chart" (whatever that means), "Frontier Psychiatrist" voted 6th best song of the year by listeners of Triple J, the very popular national youth radio network. And of course the album plays everywhere, especially in music stores.

Sometimes this turns me against an album (the overkill effect), but instead all I can feel is a strange excitement - there are obviously a lot of people out there who are listening to really good music! The world can't be all bad.

Not surprising though, I guess. A great deal of the album's magic stems from the fact that as strange and wonderful it is, it's also a very accessable album. It's a party record as well as a sonic treasure chest, and its strict sampling aesthetic is leavened by the overwhelming presence of great toonz. There's something quite heartening about a record that can cross so many boundaries like that. Maybe it's the Dubya of pop?

Hopefully I'll get to see them live in two weeks. Already excited.

Tim, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have heard some tracks which I downloaded with Napster, they sound allright esp. the one with the MBV whoosh. 2 tracks have a bit of sunny Daft Punk feel which is just okay with me. Think I'll have to hear the cd as a whole for a true enlightenment. XL Recordings were plugging them in an ad together with upcoming releases by Basement Jaxx and The Prodigy. But yeah I see the potential for crossover a la Basement Jaxx/Daft Punk.

Omar, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm cross cause I first heard them last autumn after a recommendation from a guest on Robert Elms's BBC London Live of all places. He was going on about this amazing segued album like nothing else from Australia that everyone should hear (but hadn't got it with him). It sounded intriguing enough for me to look on Napster for stuff by them, and found 'Frontier Psychiatrist' . I thought it was a gas (although I wondered about its novelty wearing off) but hadn't got around to hunting out the album. I will, though. I suppose the only point of this message is to register my feeling that I ought to have told you all about it back then. It's rare that I discover things before you lot!

N. xx

Nick, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Don't feel too bad Nick, although it was locked in record company limbo for ages, it only came out in Australia on November 27th, and it's not coming out in Europe till April. As for the US, who knows?

Tim, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Everybody's a bastard son of a whore if this doesn't get US release. I'm sure 12 minutes after I buy the Aussie version, it'll get domestic release and taunt me with its $10.99 price tag. This already happened with the last Boredoms proper album. Fuckit, I get a good exchange rate from you blokes. Or hey, fuckit, the CD I burned sounds pretty good too.

Otis Wheeler, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The Avalanches are great. I bought the album as soon as it came out, being from Melbourne it is always a good thing to support local music, especially if it is really good music for a change. At first though, I have to say that the mix on the album was a bit muddled to listen to. The layered tracks becoming too textured by various beeping and electronic sound effects, not as defined as a strictly dance release (ie the Basement Jaxx/Daft Punk comparison). Consequently, it was difficult to get my head around for a while. However, on much repeated listening, especially on headphones, the complexity breaks down and each recognized 'moment' on the album becomes strangely enduring. The repeated screams and horse neighs, for example, tie the continuous flow of sounds together nicely, though how this might contribute to the 'theme' of an ill-fated voyage is still a mystery to me. In any case, it makes me proud to come from Melbourne, a city with a healthy music scene, apparently.

Michael Dieter, Thursday, 1 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Unfortunately I missed the album lauch for 'Since I left You,' and considering the last time I saw them was over a year ago, seeing them last weekend at the Big Day Out (Australia's travelling hullapalooza) was a joyous experience. Their time is certainly now, with a magic stage presence complete with instrument swapping, some kick-ass wrestling moves and of course the brilliant tunes. An entire crowd and the rest of the band pointing at Dexter singing 'that boy needs therapy' and a lounged up version of 'like a rolling stone' were one of the many highlights ...catch them live soon.

Jeremy Shiell, Sunday, 4 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

One Melbourne Street-Press

www.beat.com.au

said that the BDO performance was boring (more or less), did you go the Melbourne concert?

Michael, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful..........

sisoje, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Being an Australian, the Avalanches are the only local band that I've really felt excited about in, well, YEARS. It seems to totally go against the whiney pseudo-grunge bands or insipid limp bizkit rip- offs that having been blighting the Australian music scene throughout the nineties and into the noughties.

I'm seeing them next week! :)

-Mike

michael stuchbery, Wednesday, 7 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two months pass...
What I've heard so far - and that's a handful of tracks, not the album (which is why I'm flying this kite here not on the site) - has been disappointing, especially given the number of people whose tastes I greatly admire (Tim, Otis, Simon Reynolds) who have been raving about it.

What seems to be the problem, listening to the single, is that the band - like most crate-digging outfits - are too tasteful in their bliss. It's a single that does for breezy, uplifting pop what mid-90s trip-hop did for funk and old skool rap: fusses over it and squashes it a little.

Chatting on IM I compared it to GYBE!, too - the problem with that band being that they take a set of sounds which they know and we know stand for certain emotional things (seriousness, high emotion, existential pain) and they work them and work them and yes, we do feel that stuff, and they're a likeable and effective band for me but impossible to love. And I'm concerned that the Avalanches might have a similar effect - house beasts, lounge sounds, fluttery vocals, goofy samples, ah right I need to be joyful now, ta muchly.

Or maybe I'm overanalysing and I just don't like the band because the tunes are a bit sickly.

Tom, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i'm a little disappointed really.

i think sukia, east of suez and tipsy have all done better with this template (although, having said that, the new tipsy album is a little disappointing too)

some of 'since i left you' is pretty good, its just nowhere near as good as everyone says.

oh, and does anyone remember that song 'slow walking' that the avalanches did a couple years ago? now, that was superb (although the rest of that ep was deadly dull)

gareth, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have heard nothing from them yet, but I'm intrigued. Reynold's review in Uncut didn't really reveal why they're so good, but instead makes me expect "upbeat wackiness" of some kind.

On previous experience, DJ Shadow excepted, records with hundreds of samples stuck together can irritate. I guess it takes a real talent to "hear" how to integrate lots of disparate components to make something that is more than the sum of the pieces. In some ways I'd rather not know that the Avalanches record was a patchwork of samples. I'd rather see what I think, and find out later.

Are there any albums to which "Since I..." can be compared in MOOD, regardless of whether they were recorded conventionally or are sample- heavy?

Dr. C, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

anyone here familiar with alpha?

fred solinger, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Since I started the ball rolling, I thought I'd weigh in here...

I can almost understand why those discovering The Avalanches now might find them disappointing. Firstly, "Since I Left You" is a brilliant opener but an awful awful single. Standing alone it sounds pat, smug and ineffectual whereas on the album it strikes me as glorious and wondrous.

It's obviously been given the big push in the UK because the band now have a celebrated aesthetic and that song serves as a talking point for it in a way that "Frontier Psychiatrist" certainly didn't. And that's what was nice about the album when it came out here: that "what the fuck?" element when the expected indie-punk-hop moves were unexpectedly jettisoned in favour of such sweeping beauty. But now beauty is the band's schtick, so nothing shocks.

And obviously a couple of us did the naughty thing of building up this album to impossibly high expectations, and again the consequence is that the band acquire an uncomfortable sense of auteur-ship. Like, I find it interesting that Tom would use GYBE! as a comparison. I totally understand his point, but I reckon The Avalanches are a lot less deliberate or thought-out than GYBE! (or any of the current post-rock bands for that matter). I mean these guys are basically a group of larrakins who jump around on stage, and if anything the album's (relative) professionalism is a happy accident.

Obviously I can't just wave my hands and make everyone like it. I've been avoiding listening to it since my good headphones broke, but I know that my ardour hasn't faded.

Tim, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

So maybe I'm the one in the corner now, standing solo?

I can see what Tom means about their sound being too predictably tasteful, but the single is unrepresentative. It's pretty much an introduction; when you get further into the album tracks like "A Different Feeling", "Two Hearts In 3-4 Time" and "Close to You" do the euphoric bliss thing far better and far less formulaically.

I don't think they're anything like as "wacky" as Dr C suspects; "Frontier Psychiatrist" is a red herring. "Etoh" and "Summer Crane" are where they really shine, after we're over that aberration; the latter has a rebirth of 70s radio pop cliche to at least equal Daft Punk's "Digital Love".

I think I may have overrated it slightly on Elidor, but only slightly. If you don't feel about halfway through "Electricity" that the rest of the world is suddenly far uglier and far more backward than it was yesterday, and it is now your duty to walk through each moment with a new zest, a new fervour, then I'm not sure whether you should be here.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

is being given to hyperbole a prerequisite for being an avalanches fans? ;)

but seriously, yes, as tim brings up, i blame the lot of you -- tim, robin, otis, ian -- for building expectations up to olympian heights. i *like* the avalanches, but i get the feeling from some that that's not enough; that anything less than devoting your life to them amounts to effrontery of the highest order. i can take some tracks, but i'd end up leaving more. it's a great -- bear with the use of the word here -- "gimmick," but the tunes don't stand up for me. perhaps this will be different by the next album, perhaps this is merely a warm-up. as always, time will tell.

the feeling i'm left with is that an album that alters one's world view should be a bit more convincing. to my ears, since i left you seems content to be breezy and pleasant, but i need more than that. the album, and i almost feel like i can't say this enough, *for me*, lacks a core, it lacks heart. it seems less like music made with genuine joy and love (cf. discovery) than like music crafted with...no, it sounds crafted, period. allow me to pigeonhole it as dance so that i may wrap this up: i believe that dance music is an appeal to your heart and soul from the beyond, which is why i'm not feeling since i left you: it comes across as dance music for your head.

fred solinger, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Fred:

"is being given to hyperbole a prerequisite for being an avalanches fans :)."

Well, maybe :). I do see what you mean that perhaps it doesn't necessarily utterly alter your view of the world in the way that such rapturous praise as thrown forward by myself and Tim, and that, by those criteria, it is a disappointment. I don't have any problem with others like yourself setting up their own, less ambitious criteria, and judging "Since I Left You" to be a success on those terms.

However, when the word "crafted" is used as a pejorative term, I do sometimes start worrying whether outmoded ideas about "meaning it" are being brought into the debate. I don't think *you* are, Fred, but I think you're stepping onto slightly dodgy ground. "Discovery" sounds to me at least as crafted as "Since I Left You"; obviously it's not based around sample collages, but the pomo craft mentality is still there, just less blatant.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Fred:

"is being given to hyperbole a prerequisite for being an avalanches fans :)."

Well, maybe :). I do see what you mean that perhaps it doesn't necessarily utterly alter your view of the world in the way that such rapturous praise as thrown forward by myself and Tim, and that, by those criteria, it is a disappointment. I don't have any problem with others like yourself setting up their own, less ambitious criteria, and judging "Since I Left You" to be a success on those terms.

However, when the word "crafted" is used as a pejorative term, I do sometimes start worrying whether outmoded ideas about "meaning it" are being brought into the debate. I don't think *you* are, Fred, but I think you're stepping onto slightly dodgy ground. "Discovery" sounds to me at least as crafted as "Since I Left You"; obviously it's not based around sample collages, but the pomo craft mentality is still there, just less obvious.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Sorry for the above - I slightly altered it to make the last word seem less of a (possible) diss of the Avalanches, and it comes in twice. Heigh-ho :).

Robin Carmody, Monday, 9 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

robin:

i highly agree with you that discovery is a crafted album: of this there can be no doubt. however, the point i was trying to make, though i think i failed, was that since i left you sounds crafted. period. like a chemistry experiment. whereas, yes, discovery is crafted, but it goes on from there. and of course this is all highly subjective. ;)

fred solinger, Tuesday, 10 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Fred, it's a sample-based album. Of course it feels "crafted". Robin's right as well in that _Discovery_ is equally crafted, but - importantly - that's *why* it's good. And even if, as I imagine you do, you mean by "crafted" that it's a cynical deployment of readily available themes and ideas, can I just say, eh, U2? "Since I Left You" (the song) strikes me as a lot more effective than "Beautiful Day".

I listened to the album again on good headphones on the way to university today, and yes it is still marvelous marvelous marvelous and I wouldn't change a word of my review. As much as I tend to be on the side of pop when it comes to double-standards, the deliberacy with which The Avalanches stake out their emotional targets doesn't strike me as a problem any more than it does with Destiny's Child or Britney. When I listen to "Born To Make You Happy" I recognise its manipulativeness (albeit not with such an English inflection) but I still *do* feel sad. So is the difference with, let us say, *alternative* music that there's a presumed smugness and/or claim to authenticity that irritates, or is it that we do in fact demand this authenticity in a way we have long ceased to in pop? Is the distinction with Daft Punk that they've so consistently played the artificiality card that the only recourse left to the thinking listener is to perversely perceive an *enhanced* authenticity or sense of meaning?

Ultimately Fred, as I noted before, I can't make you enjoy the album (and indeed you seem to take pleasure in that fact; how very Ned-like of you) but the implication of the "avalanches backlash" is that _Since I Left You_ is an album that dupes people, which hurts me in my heart.

Tim, Tuesday, 10 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

PS. the "English inflection" bit was supposed to be a reference to Tom's "ta muchly" line but its parent sentence got gutted.

Tim, Tuesday, 10 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Possible difference - Britney and especially DC present us with pop scenarios (though lyrics and subject) which cant help but shape the emotional response to the song, so the manipulation becomes less abstracted and less of an issue.

The authenticity thing is a bit of a red herring. I dont think manipulation has anything to do with the realness or not of pop music. The annoying dialogue around sample-based records tends to be one of look-how-eclectic-rare-etc.-these-sounds-are: you're invited to admire the artist's tastes. But that's not happened with the Avalanches so far.

I dont know though, I've just not liked what I've heard much and thought I'd better grope around for a reason. Basically it catapults yours and Robin's soul into an ocean of joy and it leaves me thinking hold on, this is a bit cloying and annoying. And it's always easier to explain why you like something than why you don't. I've got other criticisms but I want to listen to the album and decide whether I'm right about them or not.

Tom, Tuesday, 10 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i guess, to set the record straight, i should put forth a definition of "crafted." when i use crafted above, i mean that the record sounds like a math equation and is just as rigid, i.e. since i left you doesn't strike me as a "loose" record; there seems to be a place for everything and everything is in its place. u2 is a very fine comparison point, i think. let's talk about "walk on" because i'd cede that "since i left you" (the song) is better than "beautiful day." is it crafted? yesssss, and i think i said as much in my review many moons ago, but what it comes down to is the quality of the parts, in which case i'd come down on the side of u2. the heart and soul i speak of with regards to daft punk no longer seems present in current-day u2, but the music is still agreeable to my ears and i readily admit that i have different expectations when it comes to different genres of music.

daft punk! they could be very well duping me into thinking that they mean all of what they're recording and it's really all just a big joke; i probably buy their simplicity of lyric and emotion because they're foreign and i potentially don't give them enough credit, etc. without getting further mired in theory, discovery hits the bullseye on my heart whereas since i left you merely grazes the ear. meanwhile, there is much hurt in that very same heart by your assertion that i take pleasure in disliking the album in ned- like fashion! ned-like! rarely have i been so insulted. but, yeah, i really wish that i loved since i left you as some of you do; i'm consistently looking out for new music to catapult my heart to the stars and based on all i heard i'm rather disappointed that it wasn't to be with me and the avalanches, though i shall continue to lend it my ear. most troubling, though, is that while i've not taken to the avalanches, radiohead's amnesiac, based on what i've listened to, is quickly becoming something i'm looking forward to. shocker!

fred solinger, Tuesday, 10 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Must apologise for the implication in one of my earlier posts that "Discovery" and "Since I Left You" were pretty much the same thing. Having listened to both albums virtually all yesterday, the difference became very clear; "Discovery" is far *smoother*, for want of a better term, and because it's based around a comparatively streamlined, clean, direct sound rather than the Avalanches' hysterical sampladelia, I can see why it would seem more "meaningful" and "Since I Left You" seem more "contrived". I can see where you're coming from, Fred, and in many similar cases I'd agree with you.

Tom - I'd be *very* interested in your response to the album. I still think you'd realise after a while that it isn't that cloying and it *isn't* one of those emptily "smart", "superior" pomo projects, and in fact the most immediately striking thing about it is that it isn't like that. You were slightly disadvantaged by hearing "Frontier Psychiatrist" first - admittedly so did I, but I'd heard the whole album very soon and realised how (happily) untypical a novelty dud it is.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 12 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, I bought the album last night because I needed cheering up. And it cheered me up. Can't say fairer than that.

Yes, it works better as an album. It reminds me of a blither version of Hal Willner's Whoops, I'm An Indian - much more technically and sonically tingly but lacking the witty and beguiling mystery that album had for me. It's a good record, it'll soundtrack a Summer well and it deserves the praise it's getting if not the *degree* of praise.

Tom, Friday, 20 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Finally got the album...nice! Somehow very light on first listen. Even 'Frontier Psychiatrist' isn't that irritating anymore in the overall context.

But to finally anwser Dr.C's query: it's very hard to find a record to compare it with. Certainly not 'Discovery' (impossible). It just reminds me a bit of DJ Food's 'Recipe for Disaster'. I would think a rock-crit description could be along the lines of Mantronix doing a megamix with Art of Noise.

Omar, Thursday, 26 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Avalances is, as Tim says, the result of happy accident, those original combinations are still evident, but then the raw inspiration has been sugar coated, or sun kissed, (depending on how you take it.) In particular I'm impressed what appears to be 'a love of their own sound', almost as if this album is a celebration of the initial mix, and although I agree with the critisism that it lacks 'heart' (since when did party soundtracks need a heart) their passion is expressed in the unremitting enthusiasm. On first listen, I found myself trying to turn it off after the a couple tracks, just for being too damn perky, but it was impossible, like making you way back to the shore when the waves keep crashing over and dragging you back out. Despite my initial problems the shameless effervescance rises above the eclectic self-congratulation that limits so many other bargain bin excursions, and the sequence of 'A Different Feeling' and 'Electricity' are evidence that there's more to them than mere play.
It's a milestone on the dull route from Cold-cut's Journeys By DJs, which shares the same broad scope, but lacks the lazer sighted attention to detail, that comes as the result of studio post- production. I'm surprised they pulled it off as access to a vinyl stackola and a DMX champion DJ is no guarantee of success. Still sublime, still ridiculous.
By the way, what's the Ehot sample, the vocoded mantra, something circa 96/97, Up Bustle and Out perhaps? Please, it's driving me mad.

K-reg, Thursday, 17 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Avalances vs Daft Punk? Similar in that they are both complete albums, work from what has already come before, and share a sense of humour, but DP are taking a different position to the Avalances. I find that whereas A seem to be revelling in what they have found, making jokes, DP don't make the distinction between themselves and the music, the humour is dead-pan, suggesting that they themselves are the source of the music (this backed up by the robot gag)

K-reg, Thursday, 17 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Have no idea what the vocoder vocals from "Etoh" are from originally, but it's probably my favourite moment on the album - funny that Daft Punk and The Avalanches both hit upon the idea of robots scatting at the same time. Admittedly the processes and results are both quite different. I think the vocal says "Did me wrong" before it launches off into cut up mayhem, if that helps at all.

Tim, Friday, 18 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Trawling through the net to see if anybody had i.d'd the dexter sample (i heard it was from the same old film that might have inspired the cartoon). Anyhow just thought id contribute my view, I found the single Since I Left You exceedingly annoying, I dont know if it would sound better in context with the rest of the album but somehow i doubt it. The only other track i have heard is Frontier Psychiatry which was in a cold cut set i have on bootleg, i have to admit that I really like the cold-cut like crasy sampling of the tune, but from what people have posted here I somehow doubt that theres anything else on the album like it.

Nick Davidson, Wednesday, 20 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Decided not to wait for the American release, and I don't regret it. This is an excellent album, no question, but from what people were saying I expected it to be a little more, er, revolutionary or something. Like a new direction in music. Not that good music need take a new direction. It kind of reminds me of The Clientele, in that The Avalanches work within an established form and do it very, very well, instead of trying something new.

The way each song flows into the next (what brilliant editing!), I'm sure it works much better as a whole. This is not a record for the Napster freaks, I don't think. So anyone who has heard a track or two and is on the fence should take the plunge.

Mark, Wednesday, 20 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Catching Dexter, the Avalanches DJ, in a few weeks, he's supposed to cut it up real well live and has received huge props from Public Enemy's Chuck D. Grandmaster Flash called him the most creative and original DJ in the world. Oh and he's Australian

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 01:10 (sixteen years ago) link

your point?

cinniblount (James Blount), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 01:17 (sixteen years ago) link

the most creative and original DJ in the world is Australian!

s1utsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 01:20 (sixteen years ago) link

What is that beautiful image, Spencer?

Sonny A. (Keiko), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 01:35 (sixteen years ago) link

My point about what?

That luminarioes say he's great? well that just shows I'm a shallow person influenced by what other people say rather than what I hear.

That he's Australian? that my shallowness extends to the lowest most destructive emotion, patriotism,

That I am seeing him live in few weeks? that my general shallowness inevitably leads to the conclusion that I will have to see him live in the next few weeks (along with the Mad Professor).

Bring it on

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 02:00 (sixteen years ago) link

where did grandmaster flash call him the most original and creative dj in the world?

cinniblount (James Blount), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 02:16 (sixteen years ago) link

I've seen it quoted many places around the web. Try a search in google ["grandmaster flash" dexter avalanches] and you'll find many references to what Grandmaster Flash (and Chuck D) have said about him.

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 03:03 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah, I'm finding alot of references to him saying it but I haven't actually found the place (or context) he said it. has anyone under 40 said it?

cinniblount (James Blount), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 03:32 (sixteen years ago) link

I just did :)

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 04:10 (sixteen years ago) link

What is that beautiful image, Spencer?

That's from a t-shirt they sell on their website.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 04:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I love that white Stepford-Cat!

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 07:13 (sixteen years ago) link

What's the deal with the Avalanches these days? So much love back in early 2001, then they seemed to disappear without trace almost as quickly as they appeared.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 08:15 (sixteen years ago) link

i'm under 40, and i'll say it too.

their supposed to be working on the new record now. who knows when it'll see the light of day. i doubt it would be before late 2004.

glenny g2003 (glenny g2003), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 10:10 (sixteen years ago) link

people over 40 = not allowed to like or talk about good music, donchaknow...

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Tuesday, 30 September 2003 10:42 (sixteen years ago) link

I do too, it was way underrated

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 27 February 2020 16:18 (seven months ago) link

Frankie Sinatra ruins the flow of Wildflower a lot for me, take that off the album and now you have something, but Since I Left You is kinda up there at "album perfection" levels for me. They'll never top it because they'll always be hamstrung with the BS sampling limitations

octobeard, Thursday, 27 February 2020 20:28 (seven months ago) link

New single is pretty, but understated. Look forward to hearing whatever they put out because even with the more limited palette and frequent use of guest vocalists (something I am not a fan of with them), there's a joie de vivre to their music that is truly magical.

octobeard, Thursday, 27 February 2020 20:31 (seven months ago) link

three weeks pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjQ3Gblzys

this one is kinda baffling, rivers does not work with the backing at all

ufo, Thursday, 19 March 2020 00:21 (six months ago) link

Really? His performance was so sincere to my ears that I briefly forgot this was the guy most recently on the charts for covering “Africa” on a dare

Yikes, I hated this even more than I expected to.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 19 March 2020 04:00 (six months ago) link

rivers in this sort of mode is one of the least sincere-sounding singers there is

ufo, Thursday, 19 March 2020 04:11 (six months ago) link

I have a new appreciation for Frankie Sinatra after watching that

octobeard, Thursday, 19 March 2020 08:10 (six months ago) link

It's better than I expected. A Rivers Cuomo feature (guest spots in general) is not what I need from Avalanches.

cooldix, Thursday, 19 March 2020 08:27 (six months ago) link

Aah, so this is clearly the one with the David Berman writing credit that was foretold elsewhere!

Have they actually sampled anything here though? Not sure I have much use for an Avalanches without a conspicuous plunderphonic element.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 19 March 2020 08:54 (six months ago) link

It's nice!

lukas, Thursday, 19 March 2020 17:24 (six months ago) link

Stumbled on the answer to my own question re the principal sample.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 27 March 2020 09:22 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

California life is alright with me !

calstars, Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:25 (five months ago) link

I've been hearing "We Will Always Love You" on the radio a lot. Every time I do I think "another great song... ruined by bozos who can't write their own".

a slice of greater pastry (ledge), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 17:57 (five months ago) link

the avalanches debut alongside the go! teams debut are up on tim burgess's listening party on saturday april 25th.
i totally get the pairing as both were sample heavy, feel good albums.
perfect for a saturday night.

mark e, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 18:18 (five months ago) link

SILY one starts in just over half hour

groovypanda, Saturday, 25 April 2020 20:23 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

We're very happy to share with
you the cover for our new album, "We Will Always Love You".

Designed by our dear friend Jonathan Zawada, the sleeve features Ann Druyan, (Creative Director of the Voyager Golden Record Project) , who’s cosmic love story inspired this music.

— The Avalanches (@TheAvalanches) September 9, 2020

nashwan, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 22:59 (two weeks ago) link

i don't even remember their follow up at all

(•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 9 September 2020 23:01 (two weeks ago) link

Not a fan of the concept and definitely not a fan of the aesthetic.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 9 September 2020 23:11 (two weeks ago) link

I haven't heard any of the new songs yet but that cover art has me curious. like there's no way I'd hit play on that thing and hear something like Frankie Sinatra, right?

josh az (2011nostalgia), Wednesday, 9 September 2020 23:14 (two weeks ago) link

gee, tough crowd.
running red lights is excellent, and wildflower exceeded expectations set by frankie sinatra / colors / subways (which i also love).

SILY was lovingly looking at a postcard from a trip.
wildflower was lovingly looking at a bunch of hazy summer photos from your childhood, BoC without creepiness.
i’m afraid this album will be lovingly looking at a photograph of somebody who’s gone, and i hope i’m wrong.

scanner darkly, Thursday, 10 September 2020 01:29 (two weeks ago) link

I remember when I first heard SILY, I was so bowled over by the sheer quantity of awesome samples/hooks/breakbeats... just being relentlessly slammed with killer cut after killer cut, good times. Minus frontier psychiatrist, fuck that shit

brimstead, Thursday, 10 September 2020 03:09 (two weeks ago) link

I’m not speaking about the music, just the album cover which looks unpleasant to me. I lliked the previous album covers a lot, it seems like they’re not interested in having a visual aesthetic of their own, and that’s fine, but this one is a downgrade for me. I guess the spectograph thing is cool if a bit of an outdated novelty but I find it ugly as the main album cover. Maybe the back-cover or a single release idk.

I didn’t care much for Red Lights but I like it miles better than Frankie Sinatra which is the only song I despised from Wildflower. I actually think the album will be good,

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 10 September 2020 03:29 (two weeks ago) link

Wildflower sucked. Everything since then has also sucked.

I like this cover and concept, but I expect it to also suck.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 10 September 2020 04:06 (two weeks ago) link

I did like Wildflower. Well, most of it... probably a 3/5 for me. There’s probably a better album somewhere in there if they edit themselves and focus some of their ideas better but I think the lack of focus is sort of the appeal with them.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 10 September 2020 04:41 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah it was OK, agree with 3/5. Never feel an urge to listen to it.
Just realizing the "hit" singles from both it and SILY are horrendous.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Thursday, 10 September 2020 04:44 (two weeks ago) link

yeah not feeling the cover (and the concept is a bit too whimsical but not in a good way, and already used by richard d james). even the initial art for "we will always love you" would've been better.

still going to reserve judgement on the new album though, they do have a tendency to release singles not indicative of the album. i would most definitely not recommend judging SILY by SILY and frontier psychiatrist. same for wildflower, frankie sinatra and colours don't really represent it. because i'm me / if i was a folkstar would've been more obvious choices.

frankie is fine, a concept track that works, unlike noisy eater, which is too much, and completely breaks the flow.

scanner darkly, Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:14 (two weeks ago) link

I really like Wildflower and "Noisy Eater" is one of my favorite tracks from it

frogbs, Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:20 (two weeks ago) link

Cover is lovely

calstars, Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:24 (two weeks ago) link

Agree that because I’m me/folkstar would’ve been more adequate as singles.

Not sure what I’d choose for SILY singles instead. Maybe Electricity or Two Hearts. Tbh Frontier Psychiatrist works as a single if only for the music video. The song itself is not good, but when paired with the video it’s great. If Frontier Psychiatrist wasn’t a single with a music video I’d rather it was removed from the album.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:25 (two weeks ago) link

I like the cover but I'm not expecting much from the album

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:27 (two weeks ago) link

"We Will Always Love You" really just makes me want to turn it off a minute in and throw on "Hammond Song" instead

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:28 (two weeks ago) link

Ann Druyan was Sagan's wife when he passed. Been rewatching Cosmos in lockdown and she and Sagan have been sources of positivity and inspiration.

Re: the new album, the singles have done absolutely nothing for me here and I'm actually not looking forward to it. Running Red Lights was by far and away the worst thing they've done, and makes Frankie Sinatra sound nostalgic and amazing. If the rest of the album is as generic, boring and annoying as that song, I'm writing these guys off.

Ultimately, I feel they're a sample driven band, and the fewer they use the more they lose the excitement and atmosphere that made them unique.

Copyright and the modern expense of sample clearing has seriously ruined wholesale subgenres of music.

octobeard, Thursday, 10 September 2020 17:41 (two weeks ago) link

* runs usual macro that posts "except they were better before they became a sample driven band" *

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Thursday, 10 September 2020 18:28 (two weeks ago) link

i donno, avalanches work best for me when i’m not listening to individual samples and thinking how well they used them. that’s why frontier and noise eater are more obvious concept tracks, and i can appreciate them as such, but i just don’t like them as tracks proper. i’m sure frontier was a “lol a dexter sample” taken to conclusion. frankie works because it works as an actual track.

scanner darkly, Thursday, 10 September 2020 18:58 (two weeks ago) link

surprised by such a strong reaction to running red lights tbh. it’s a nice track even if it doesn’t touch you. too constructed? seems showin? or something else?

scanner darkly, Thursday, 10 September 2020 19:00 (two weeks ago) link

It doesn't sound like Avalanches. It sounds like generic indie pop. The chorus is grating. It has no personality? The band has always had an amazing blissed out nostalgic vibe that simultaneously sounded fresh, present and energetic. Obviously the sampling is a source of this nostalgia.

Yes, it's nice but I don't listen to this band for nice. At their peak they are emotionally transcendent. I can listen to nice in an elevator.

octobeard, Thursday, 10 September 2020 19:18 (two weeks ago) link

all very fair points! i'd just sooner apply them to something like harmony.

i don't think the sampling is the only source for the nostalgic vibe (and i don't think you're saying it?). some of their best tracks transcend that too, or maybe just make samples part of the whole better. take away samples that aren't part of the arrangement itself, and frontier will sound silly. do it to stepkids and it'll still sound great. (and i keep thinking about how BoC use samples for that hazy childhood memories vibe vs how the avalanches do it).

scanner darkly, Thursday, 10 September 2020 19:41 (two weeks ago) link

The band has always had an amazing blissed out nostalgic vibe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY3Mfbwupvg

erratic wolf angular guitarist (sic), Thursday, 10 September 2020 20:27 (two weeks ago) link

Running Red Lights isn't that bad, surely. Way better than the execrable Frankie Sinatra.

Having said that, I'm not expecting another Since I Left You or anything remotely comparable to it from these guys. Subways was by far the best thing on the last album.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Thursday, 10 September 2020 21:34 (two weeks ago) link

Wildflower was fucking great, so I’m stoked for the new album. “Subways,” “If I Was a Folkstar,” “Harmony,” all great druggy trippy out-there stuff.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 11 September 2020 11:28 (two weeks ago) link

They put this up a couple of days ago. I think the operative word is . . . pleasant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdvxzc7FLow&ab_channel=TheAvalanches

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 18:37 (one week ago) link

yeah, not feeling either of the new tracks (music makes me high / take care in your dreaming) right now. autotune!? really?

on the positive side, discovered they remixed chemical brothers out of control last year and it’s pretty great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DYL2pQX2rk

scanner darkly, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 19:23 (one week ago) link

Complaining about auto-tune? really?

MarkoP, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 19:50 (one week ago) link

it didn't magically become good over the year yanno

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 21:45 (one week ago) link

you're right. i should've been more specific: a generic use of autotune in an avalanches track? really?

donno if this is autotune but i love this track and how it's used in this track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XmHET3U2Ug

scanner darkly, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 22:55 (one week ago) link

I quite like Music Makes Me High - has a bit of a SILY era vibe about it

groovypanda, Thursday, 17 September 2020 08:41 (one week ago) link

It's not bad, and I suspect we'd like it a bit more if it was by some new act we'd never heard of – but let's face it, anything the Avalanches do from here on in will always be in the vast shadow of Since I Left You.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Thursday, 17 September 2020 12:00 (one week ago) link

I *really* like the music of "Take Care in Your Dreaming" and a lot of the textures and samples from the other tracks ("Wherever You May Go" is great too), but there's too much deference to their increasingly recognizable guests - it's better when they rely more on just their own sounds and use the contributions sample grist. I loved 'Wildflower' (except for Frankie Sinatra), but I listened to their '16 Essential mix more at the time (and I'm hoping for another to go along with this). I love all the art for the single covers. Unfortunately the album cover has an 80s horror vibe that the reasoning for it can't get beyond.

Spencer Chow, Friday, 18 September 2020 04:53 (one week ago) link

..'as' sample grist..

Spencer Chow, Friday, 18 September 2020 04:54 (one week ago) link


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