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Art Vandelay

The Avalanches - New Album

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I have Apple Music but it seems like this only works for American accounts? I just get previews. Annoyingly I'm in New York but my subscription is with the UK store.

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My CD of Wildflower has been dispatched :D I also have an autorip MP3 copy from Amazon but my ancient iPod doesn't support the app so I'll have to do that from the PC later. Anyway, I heard previews of the tracks recently and the album sounded pretty promising (Because I'm Me is an early favourite) so I imagine I'll be playing this a lot over the weekend...

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Getting some great reviews, surprised not more talk here. Haven't had the chance to listen myself yet.

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9 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Getting some great reviews, surprised not more talk here. Haven't had the chance to listen myself yet.

 

2/5 in NME* and I don't disagree with that. It's a bit too Gorillaz and a bit too twee, but in a likeable sort of way. A nice lazing around and listening to album, but not particularly interesting.

 

 

 

*It's free.

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I started listening and I was really bored. It's so unremarkable it almost doesn't exist. 

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15 minutes ago, englishbob said:

Sounds like the other album to me. Surely won't disappoint fans of the first album

 

I'm a massive fan of the original and yeah, I'm quite disappointed.

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22 minutes ago, Shoes said:

I started listening and I was really bored. It's so unremarkable it almost doesn't exist. 

 

19 minutes ago, Rev said:

 

I'm a massive fan of the original and yeah, I'm quite disappointed.

 

The original was 16 years ago, so maybe it was a different place and a different time for you both personally. 

 

I found the original lacking in the same way you find this one quite probably. It is just other artist's material mixed in. It hardly has any personality of it's own IMO. Sampling was about hyper-kinetic split-up beats and fragments of other work, "SILY" took that to extremes by taking large parts, if not the whole damm thing, and using it. Then everyone copied that style in pop.

 

If you are going to pay for samples, then you are going to use the whole song right? I think the last true sampling classic before the restrictive shackles of paying and getting sample clearance, was Paul's Boutique.

 

This "group" have always been about, I think, sounding like a mix tape. Job done here I would say. Whatever personality you where expecting of the Avalanches to break through, I don't think that will ever happen given the circumstances. 

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9 minutes ago, englishbob said:

"SILY" took that to extremes by taking large parts, if not the whole damm thing, and using it. Then everyone copied that style in pop.

 

This is the exact opposite of Since I Left You.

 

 

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I don't really have a reply to videos where someone has deconstructed the whole thing. 

 

Maybe when there are videos that deconstruct the new album you'll like it more? 

 

I don't know, they ain't my bag really. The first LP was overrated IMO, this new one to me sounds more of the same. Why people aren't connecting to the new record is beyond me, because I didn't get it in the first place. Its just a mixtape really. The fact it sounds like that shit band from Allbran is probably due to him ripping it off.

 

I wonder what new ears would make of the original album? would they think the same?

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I like the album, but it kind of feels like a mess of ideas and themes, with raps and rhyme one minute and more chilled melodies the next. There are 22 tracks on Wildflower and I feel like it could lose certain stuff and still be enjoyable. You could probably say the same thing about SILY to an extent, but that felt a lot more cohesive throughout.

 

Still, tracks like Subways and Because I'm Me and Colours are early favourites - easy to listen to and great hooks in some of them. :)

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22 hours ago, englishbob said:

I don't really have a reply to videos where someone has deconstructed the whole thing. 

 

It's not a deconstruction of the whole thing; it identifies a few of the samples in the title track, and how they were edited. You said SILY sampled songs in their entirety, which is baffling to me.

 

It's a sampling masterpiece.

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Yeah SILY is totally awesome. As a journey it's up there with Martin Gaye's What's Going On for me, in that it condenses a incredible amount in a short space of time.

 

So the new album. After one listen I like it. It immediately sounds like The Avalanches, which is a good thing, but also a little bit disconcerting. You know, after listening to the first one pretty much every year for 15 years, it's just, weird. But it's got that Avalanches feel which is pretty hard to describe. As with SILY I think it works best as a cohesive whole than individual songs - giving the effect of drifting in and out of consciousness. At first I thought it was going to be a hip hop album but like SILY it defies categorisation. It's a bit hip hop, a bit disco, a bit whimsical folk, a bit theatrical.

 

Looking forward to more listens.

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Think I'd heard the name but never listened to them, honestly I find their music so grating and bland and tedious and forgettable I can't say whether in the last 16 years I've caught bits of them. There's a guardian interview with them that I responded to with a probably aggressively negative comment. But the gist was that there is something I find offensive about the laziness of modern bands, and that a band consisting of 2-3 members whose debut contained 3,500 samples have managed to take 16 years to come out with an hour of music is pathetic procrastination (or would it be impressive ?) I don't think they deserve exposure. Is that even fair? Does that line of thinking seem bizarre ? Who decides who 'deserves' exposure ? What a silly thing to say ! Is there a particular relatively obscure band who you'd prefer to be given the same exposure and acclaim who perhaps in those years worked far harder crafting original music ? Not really.

 

There are other electronic artists who use samples as basically bits they would have created anyway and then twist the whole into something very much them, so the sampling becomes irrelevant, like Amon Tobin, and Boards of Canada. They have a sound that transcends their samples, no one can create an Amon Tobin track or Boards of Canada track quite like them. (not actually a fan of BOC and i have an irrational dislike for their procrastination too, i think if people can be annoyed by other people eating loudly and such things, this is on par)

 

Modern bands do seem lazy in comparison to bands in the 60s, 70s, 80s even when thinking of how much The Smiths created in so few years. Yes, illness, drug addiction, family, 'life' etc etc. But almost too an acceptance that unlike a band that is genuinely creating something new and wanting to get it all out there before the spark is gone and the moment passes, if they released an album of sampled music every year it'd seem too easy, too flippant, and the way modern music journalism works a band needs to release fewer albums so each one can be marketed to death to give it the exposure it needs so it doesn't just slip away*. Each album needs time to breathe as though it's the result of them fighting to try to keep control of their minds in this self destructive mythical process of music creation and not just some stuff they piled together over a few months.

 

I mean, how many albums has sampling fan Luke Vibert released in these last 16 years, where's his exposure and acclaim ?

 

(worth saying Luke Vibert has a lot more range to his catalogue and very much his own style, sort of leaning on samples occasionally to add flavour rather than relying on them)

 

(*And worth giving a good example of this, the Aphex Twin album Syro was just a collection of tracks no different in quality to a Jodey Kendrick release on Rephlex, but the reaction by media and fans was of the impression it was something rare, his first Aphex Twin release in over a decade. And something special because rarity mixed with his genius. But the actual tracks aren't worthy of that acclaim.)

 

I don't care really. I do. I admire composers who work relentlessly on various projects into their 70s, though on the flip side are those composers who have created so much they've run out of inspiration and have become a parody of themselves, unable to get a handle on their identity and integrity and have forever lost that burning desire to surprise themselves. But like how people when they're younger buy into not only a band but their image, style, politics, a band's or artist's work ethic is part of the package, kind of key to understanding the thing they're creating.

 

It's not about entitlement to want more, to expect more, but just wanting to enjoy their clear enthusiasm for creating, for them to not be, like a cliche, wrecked by self doubt and addiction issues, where creating an album is such a destructive awful experience, like buying into the cliche of an artist having to suffer for their art.

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The thing is there's a difference between a bit of sampling to make a record, where you just repeat one or two hooks to layer over some beats*, and The Avalanches, where you they took 10+ songs and construct one that sounds like none of its parts, and all of them, if that makes sense.  It's such a tapestry.

 

I think there's a sense of disappointment in Wildflower as it doesn't feel like each track has that many, they feel simpler when compared to SILY, but I still am really enjoying it.

 

Longer Version:

 

Part of the reason SILY got evangelised as nothing really had that sound, Stanley says they have, and we've been waiting 15 years to hear more of it.  As I said above, technically I don't think I have heard anything with quite the sense of discovery, they clearly spent a lot of time finding old records and clearly a lot of time experimenting to see if they'd layer up.  So I don't get the procrastination criticism, I'm not sure anyone is saying it's taken 15 years of making this album, it's just taken 15 years of waiting.  That's by the by.  I don't really get the thing about Luke Vibert.  I'd say he has plenty of fans?  The difference is we've never had to wait for Luke Vibert, like we did The Avalanches.  If you're forced to wait for such a long time you get excited about it.  There's nothing wrong with that.

 

I really like Wildflower. I can say it's not as good as SILY, but it's got a lovely vibe, it's a journey.  You can't really listen to each track apart from each other, and really that is true for most of SILY (apart from a couple of tracks).   I'm really happy with it.  I think it's a great record, it's still got the magic.  Some of the songs are a bit cleaner, a bit more minimal.  So again it feels a little bit like I wanted to feel like I was being flooded with samples.  There's no reason why that has to be true.

 

Nothing has matched SILY the song though in terms of depth and just plain loveliness, but nor did anything on SILY the album.  The other thing is Wildflower was kinda doomed.  With SILY I didn't just put the record on with baited breath excited about how amazing it was going to be, it crept up on me.  When I first heard SILY the song, I didn't really appreciate how clever it was because it was just a nice song in the background.  I heard the album because a friend played it at work.  You'd catch a song mid way through and think it was nice enough and just assume it was a DJ mix or something.  Only after a few more listens, and hearing it in its entirety, did the albums' brilliance really sink in.

 

So just putting Wildflower on and expecting to feel wowed by it - well, that's not how it worked with the last album.  I'm giving it some time.

 

I'm not saying anyone here has to do it, if you're not feeling it from the off there's no need to force it, it's fine.  But I feel quite sated now, that we finally heard something from them again, and that I got to see them DJ <3 <3

 

* I'm not saying Luke Vibert is simple or bad because he doesn't make entire songs out of samples.  I'm just saying I don't even know why we're comparing him right now, it's a totally different approach to making a track.

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15 hours ago, d ebolenk said:

Think I'd heard the name but never listened to them, honestly I find their music so grating and bland and tedious and forgettable I can't say whether in the last 16 years I've caught bits of them.

I'm confused here, have you listened to them?

Quote

There's a guardian interview with them that I responded to with a probably aggressively negative comment. But the gist was that there is something I find offensive about the laziness of modern bands, and that a band consisting of 2-3 members whose debut contained 3,500 samples have managed to take 16 years to come out with an hour of music is pathetic procrastination (or would it be impressive ?) I don't think they deserve exposure. Is that even fair?

They've earned the exposure because their debut was so highly regarded, not because of how long it took to make. Obviously it adds to the mystique but for many years no one even knew if it'd see the light of day. So earlier this year when it became apparent it was really happening, excitement grew.

Quote

Does that line of thinking seem bizarre ? Who decides who 'deserves' exposure ? What a silly thing to say ! Is there a particular relatively obscure band who you'd prefer to be given the same exposure and acclaim who perhaps in those years worked far harder crafting original music ? Not really.

The Avalanches pre Since I Left You were an obscure band. That album came out of nowhere despite how long it must have taken to create.

Quote

 


I mean, how many albums has sampling fan Luke Vibert released in these last 16 years, where's his exposure and acclaim ?

 

Luke Vibert is pretty well known and has received lots of acclaim/exposure over the years. Im fairly sure the Guardian must have covered him at some point!

 

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I quite liked SILY, but couldn't listen to it too often, a little gimicky and saccharine in places. Can't get into their latest at all. 

 

I worked on a commercial with Robbie Chater around 2008, he was living with his Mum at the time. We had to call her house to speak to him, every time we did she'd pick up and yell some variant of, "Robbie! Get up you lazy arse, some bloody poms wanna talk to you". Memorably, when the Israeli director called himself she shouted, "Robbie, now there's a weird German guy needs to speak to you!". We were told he was living with his Mum to help his booze and drug problem, turns out he also had a serious autoimmune condition, poor chap.

 

 

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If you are still struggling with this album, I'll recommend you listen to Gold Panda's "Good Luck and Do your best" instead

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http://fasterlouder.junkee.com/watch-this-mysterious-short-film-for-the-avalanches-wildflower-before-its-taken-down/864217

 



Purported to be a collaboration between The Avalanches and NYC-via-Sydney art collective SODA_JERK, the video surfaced on /r/theavalanches with the title The World Of Wildflower, with the video’s title card, and Vimeo user, reading as The Was. The video splices together classic films, using a visual sampling technique in line with The Avalanches’ musical production approach. Giving the scope of the production and the alternate mixes of Wildflower tracks, we’re guessing SODA_JERK have been working alongside The Avalanches to put the film together long before Wildflower‘s release.

 

The World Of Wildflower/The Was takes its visuals from a cross-section of filmic generations, ranging from  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to The Warriors to Beavis & Butthead and hundreds more.

 

It could be Wildflower‘s version of Since I Left You‘s ‘gimix’ – too complex to clear for official release due to samples.

 

Since been taken down from youtube although it is still out there.

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This has just grown and grown on me. Love it now.

 

I think they've weaved it together so tightly and that their sampling skills have become so practiced that I think I assumed that some of the pieces were just long samples. Instead they're just so well weaved that I couldn't hear the cracks.

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A vinyl reissue of SILY's now available on Bleep here:

 

https://bleep.com/release/10347-the-avalanches-since-i-left-you?utm_source=Bleep&utm_campaign=0e1131f11e-The_Avalanches_8_26_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_db8ca97389-0e1131f11e-2008177

 

Quote

Following their long-awaited second album, The Avalanches’ debut Since I Left You gets a vinyl reissue. Since the Melbourne group released their plunderphonics album in 2000, it has come to appear in many best-of-the-decade lists, and rightly so.

 

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Any idea if it's got the right samples on it? My CD copy has a weird version of Frontier Psychiatrist where a lot of the spoken samples sound wrong.

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I’ve been listening to Wildflower again a lot recently. Since I Left You may be perfect. It’s not going to be that way for everyone, but for me it probably is. On a technical level it’s unsurpassed – the level of skill and determination to make those soundscapes is mind boggling. Loads of other people have given it a bash, and at the time that plunderphonics style was the future of music that never happened, but they created something totally unique. Beyond being a production masterpiece, as a band they captured a vibe that can’t easily be described. Joyful, nostalgic, melancholic, euphoric. Sad bangers. 
 

Hoping they were going to create that again was optimistic. They didn’t really, and I’m glad they probably tried and started again. What they did do was create another world to wallow in. The first was island hopping across a series of eclectic paradises. The second is supposed to be a road trip down the Australian coast whilst slowly succumbing to hallucinogenics. I mean, what a starting point.

 

As pointed out already they’ve done some super clever stuff with the samples that don’t reveal themselves immediately. There’s so much more going on than I initially thought once I’ve tracked things down. If anything they’ve got too good. Some of the tracks felt like they were going to shudder apart in SILY near the end, which was amazing. This whole album has been tweaked and polished to a point I didn’t think possible. I absolutely love it and I bloody love these guys too.

 

Anyway, I think Cornelius is on their new album which will be cool.

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10 hours ago, Art Vandelay said:

I’ve been listening to Wildflower again a lot recently. Since I Left You may be perfect. It’s not going to be that way for everyone, but for me it probably is. On a technical level it’s unsurpassed – the level of skill and determination to make those soundscapes is mind boggling. Loads of other people have given it a bash, and at the time that plunderphonics style was the future of music that never happened, but they created something totally unique. Beyond being a production masterpiece, as a band they captured a vibe that can’t easily be described. Joyful, nostalgic, melancholic, euphoric. Sad bangers. 
 

Hoping they were going to create that again was optimistic. They didn’t really, and I’m glad they probably tried and started again. What they did do was create another world to wallow in. The first was island hopping across a series of eclectic paradises. The second is supposed to be a road trip down the Australian coast whilst slowly succumbing to hallucinogenics. I mean, what a starting point.

 

As pointed out already they’ve done some super clever stuff with the samples that don’t reveal themselves immediately. There’s so much more going on than I initially thought once I’ve tracked things down. If anything they’ve got too good. Some of the tracks felt like they were going to shudder apart in SILY near the end, which was amazing. This whole album has been tweaked and polished to a point I didn’t think possible. I absolutely love it and I bloody love these guys too.

 

Anyway, I think Cornelius is on their new album which will be cool.

 

Endtroducing is better.

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