Author Topic: The Avalanches - new tracks.  (Read 521 times)

The Avalanches - new tracks.
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:54:37 PM »
Any other fans here? I'd sort of zoned out of new music, albums especially, back in 2016, and I remember Wildflower (along with the last Tribe album) properly cutting through to me, span it endlessly with that adolescent enthusiasm I thought I'd lost.

So anyway, they dropped a couple of new tracks about a week ago :Wherever you Go, featuring the talents of Jamie XX and Neneh Cherry and  Reflecting Light with some people I'm not familiar with. The formers a trip to space (sampling that Voyager record Carl Sagan blasted into God himself) that alternates between the dreamily celestial and Big Bangin Beats, the latter a sort of busy cinematic gospel lament. Both dense bits of sample rich psychedelia like you'd expect.

There's also a couple of tracks they released earlier this year that totally passed me by. A bit of ecstatic psychedelic melancholy with Blood Orange and a track with Rivers Cuomo that I've only listened to the once but didn't immediately grab me. Cant be arsed to link to those as I'm on my phone and doing hyperlinks is a ballache.You know how to find them.

Anyway. I'm into these tracks and reckon they augur well for a third LP, which should hopefully take less than the 16 years it took to get Wildflower out to the public.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 03:06:04 PM by Bernice »

the

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 03:17:25 PM »
Still haven't listened to Wildflower, I should rectify that.

I came to Since I Left You very late (about 2011), I think I'd been turned off them a bit by all the attention that Frontier Psychiatrist got at the time. I'd failed to realise that, in their album, they were doing something different and very wholesome-yet-groovy with sample collage. Got SILY and felt like a bit of a tit for ignoring them for so long.

Later on I discovered their earlier EP El Producto, and was delighted to find that they used to be a sort of DIY Australian Beastie Boys. I love that EP, I think it's brilliant, you can really hear that enthusiasm you have when you start putting music together and realise that you can capture everything that excites you and make it into a song.

Actually I think I discovered El Producto through finding a vid of this ace performance on Australian TV.

And here's a nice little documentary from when they were making Since I Left You, showing them trawling for samples and their relationship with their label. They seem like a polite bunch.

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 03:43:08 PM »
Still don't think I've heard Wildflower all the way through. It felt like they were trying to hit the same beats they did on Since I Left You and felt like a massive letdown after a 16 year wait. Frankie Sinatra is basically a clone of Frontier Psychiatrist, Because I'm Me is Since I Left You, and so on.

Looking forward to hearing their new stuff, though, especially now the weight of trying to follow up a literally perfect album is off their backs and my expectations are now back in check.

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 03:46:26 PM »
I feel like The Avalanches are now some sort of legacy act who have lost a lot of the old spark but a lot of people still want to work with them because of their cult status with "Since I Left You". I thought that "Wildflower" was alright but far from any sort of return to form. I wasn't one of the people eagerly awaiting it for a decade and a half and I didn't care if they weren't going to retain the sample-heavy otherworldly party-in-heaven vibe, but ultimately the album didn't do a great deal for me, and I found it forgettable.

I don't get the hype with this sort of music unfortunately, the stuff they're doing here on these new tracks. A lot of it leaves me completely cold, especially the Jamie xx track. The basic-ass beats and phoned-in euphoria. Chart house, impeccably produced dribble. Caribou's great at it, and Four Tet's finally started doing good stuff with the sound as well, but otherwise I'm afraid it's just terribly boring to me.

Later on I discovered their earlier EP El Producto, and was delighted to find that they used to be a sort of DIY Australian Beastie Boys. I love that EP, I think it's brilliant, you can really hear that enthusiasm you have when you start putting music together and realise that you can capture everything that excites you and make it into a song.

Actually I think I discovered El Producto through finding a vid of this ace performance on Australian TV.

I fucking love that early stuff too. I knew it was gonna be the video of them leaping about smashing vinyl before I clicked the link. There's like, one member of the original lineup still in the group now isn't there?

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 06:26:55 PM »
The one released earlier this year that samples The Roches is great, but then the song it samples is ultra-great so that is to be expected. I have liked all their other new stuff as well, though it is pleasant more than mind-blowing

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2020, 08:00:14 AM »
I prefer Wildflower to the debut, because it's a little straighter and less gimmicky, but the new stuff isn't of any interest to me. It could be anyone. I wish them well.

The run of Subways, Going Home and If I Were A Folkstar from Wildflower is my favourite run in any of their stuff.

I'd recommend getting hold of their original vision of the debut album before they had to cull great chunks of samples they were never going to clear. I think they performed it on the Breezeblock or something like that back in the day.

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 08:37:27 AM »
For me, Wildflower was a bittersweet letdown after loving Since I Left You. There's some  brilliant stuff on there - the aforementioned run is great fun - but I couldn't get on with any of the guest rapper verses and there's a tendency for the beats to float in and out making large portions of the album sound like an interlude. The video made by Soda_Jerk condenses all of my favourite moments from the album and is fun to watch too.

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2020, 08:49:59 AM »
I somewhat enjoy Frank Sinatra because Danny Brown is a lot of fun but I agree that the rap spots don't really work. I also found the goofy stuff really tiresome this time around, the food themed track is particularly obnoxious. I didn't like Frontier Psychiatrist either, and spoken word samples sound exponentially more naff today. It reminds me of Lemon Jelly at their most formulaic. (I really enjoyed a lot of early LJ, for the record.)

In terms of the interlude quality, I agree with the description, but I enjoy that sketchy, patchwork, unrealised kernel of an idea approach. I've always enjoyed it in Burial's EPs, as well. Just keep the spark and move onto the next before it's exhausted. I get that it's not necessarily satisfying, though. I like that it leaves gaps for your imagination to fill in. Hard to describe perhaps but that's the quality I get from it.


Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2020, 09:15:57 AM »
the food themed track is particularly obnoxious

Oh yeah. That and Frankie Sinatra are the two tracks that make the album unlistenable to me.

I didn't like Frontier Psychiatrist either, and spoken word samples sound exponentially more naff today.

Yeah that hasn't aged very well at all. The parrot bit/outro still sounds fun to me though. And the Polyester sample!

In terms of the interlude quality, I agree with the description, but I enjoy that sketchy, patchwork, unrealised kernel of an idea approach. I've always enjoyed it in Burial's EPs, as well. Just keep the spark and move onto the next before it's exhausted. I get that it's not necessarily satisfying, though. I like that it leaves gaps for your imagination to fill in. Hard to describe perhaps but that's the quality I get from it.

I can enjoy such an approach. Donuts by J Dilla is one of my favourite albums so I'm not violently opposed to the loose, sketch style. I dunno. I think it really comes down to the rapping. Because I'm Me would be so fucking good with the chorus intact and a few added samples layered in there to replace the Camp Lo fella. See, they should have given me a call when they were working on it, I could have saved it :)


Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2020, 10:15:16 AM »
I'm sure I'd read or heard that they were doing some work with the Purple Mountains tracks. Not sure if the source I heard from was getting mixed up with that weird track they did with David Berman a few years back.

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2020, 02:15:46 PM »
spoken word samples sound exponentially more naff today.

Fact, they (spoken word samples) were sailing close to the wind in the 90's anyway - too close to questionable 80's era gear like LA Mix & Simon Harris.

I just know you're gonna dig this.

the

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2020, 04:55:36 PM »
spoken word samples sound exponentially more naff today.

Fact, they (spoken word samples) were sailing close to the wind in the 90's anyway - too close to questionable 80's era gear like LA Mix & Simon Harris.

I just know you're gonna dig this.

Sampling is about whether it works in the context of where you put it, and how you're using it. The idea that there was a point when 'spoken word samples' flat-out fell into negative equity solely for being spoken word samples is specious.

The spoken samples in Frontier Psychiatrist are very front-and-centre because they've taken out-of-context dialogue of a certain age and sort of constructed it into verse. It's little bit corny but it sounds like it's meant to be, I think they're just revelling in finding ways to fit it together. I seem to remember people finding the way they'd slotted it all together quite neat and amusing at the time.

I think it's the enactments in the video that magnify it and makes it seem more forced.

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2020, 06:28:31 PM »
there's a talking coconut in the video lads, come on

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2020, 07:02:49 PM »
I really enjoy Camp Lo's rapping on Because I'm Me, although that might be because I'm approaching it as a big fan o Uptown Saturday Night (which I imagine is what the Avalanches had in mind with that track anyway)


Wildflower's pretty great imo, listened to it loads on a hot as fuck summer travelling around North America. Probably prefer it to Since I Left You tbh... Frontier Psychiatrist annoys me more than anything on Wildflower.

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2020, 07:14:56 PM »
I really enjoy Camp Lo's rapping on Because I'm Me, although that might be because I'm approaching it as a big fan o Uptown Saturday Night (which I imagine is what the Avalanches had in mind with that track anyway)


Wildflower's pretty great imo, listened to it loads on a hot as fuck summer travelling around North America. Probably prefer it to Since I Left You tbh... Frontier Psychiatrist annoys me more than anything on Wildflower.

I'm with you on preferring Wildflower, there's much more variety to the sound, SILY is ace but arguably gets a bit samey at times.

Re: The Avalanches - new tracks.
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2020, 08:54:07 PM »
I also really like the rapping on Because It's Me, and I really love that song. Also defo prefer Wildflower to SILY which is too often novelty and when it's not it's too often cluttered.

Tags: