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The Avalanches – Since I Left You (2001)

July 29, 2008

UPDATE: Polaroids of Androids here talk of some major developments on the 2nd album front. Go to their myspace and check the status – only updated yesterday apparantly!

I was trying to fix my iPod the other day and after an amount of time trying to figure out why I was getting a “hardware error”, I figured out the reason to the whole problem in the first place. The thing wasn’t charged! An idiot oversight like that kind of makes me try and forget about it by putting a record on (weird, I know) and for some odd piece of randomness I chose Since I Left You from The Avalanches.

You know that feeling when you have an album sitting on your shelf, you listened to it endlessly when it came out and annoyed everyone by gasbaging about it all, and then after a long period of keeping that release on the shelf after it all died down, you listen to it again and think “This can just fit in today’s world of music if released today”? There are a few bands which fit into that mould for me and are really still dear to my heart (you all will know who they are over time). The Avalanches’ 2001 release Since I Left You can be thrown into that kind of analogy.

So it was interesting to note that after that first nostalgic listen. I listened again. And again. And then again… (you get the picture). Seriously, the members of this band probably had no idea what this album was going to do for them back in the earlier part of this decade, like garnering worldwide acclaim and having heaps of praise placed upon them from the likes of NME. In the scheme of things Since… shouldn’t have done that well critically and within the cruel music industry, really. I mean, it’s an album with no gaps between tracks, full of obscure samples and there are no real “familiar faces” of the band so to speak.

It’s here though where this album’s beauty lies. It was so fresh, so unique to listeners that it evoked a new way to sample. The album for me created that idea of a concept album, where many references to cruise ships and tropical cocktails patter throughout. But tracks like “Radio” and “Frontier Psychiatrist” deviate so much away from that idea that you can’t really define it as concept. Of course these things make them all-time-list-making (scroll to no 5) material. And not only at that sometimes pretentous site, but also more recently, with Since… achieving number 23 on The Age’s Top 50 Australian Albums Of All Time Poll.

I always wonder what ever happened to this outfit, and a few years ago I learnt they started their own club night called Brainz out the back of St Jerome’s in Melbourne. This could be a filller for those craving new Avalanches stuff (apparently they “test” new tracks to audiences there), or maybe an excuse to just whittle away time while they overcome writers block for the supposed next album.

By the way you’re a bit overdue boys – 7 years is too long for impatient music fans!

The Avalanches – Since I Left You

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alexandra permalink
    July 29, 2008 11:14 am

    Oh man! I loooooove this album.
    Crazy, crazy stuff.

  2. Nick permalink
    July 29, 2008 11:47 am

    2001 triple post (sort of)! Saw these guys do a DJ set at Meredith last year (I think) and they were pretty awesome. Have never actually listened to this though; checking it out now.

  3. Philippe permalink
    July 30, 2008 10:19 am

    Ya just realised – three reviews of albums in a row from 2001. weird

  4. Anonymous permalink
    August 3, 2008 1:10 pm

    I heard that they made a new album but Modular was like ‘nup, not good enough, try again’. So, maybe, its one of a kind…
    Also, Philippe, i hope you appreciated the album artwork- very cool. And the album credits! Go on forever… Sampletastic.
    I love cds.
    (Sarah c)

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