13 October 2009

This video won the 2001 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video.



And this video was the first runner-up at the Soho Shorts Film Festival in the UK.



Both of these songs are off of the album, Since I Left You, by The Avalanches. 

For the sake of full disclosure, this album was purchased because it was listed as the 10th best album of the decade by Pitchfork Media. While perusing that list, and having a working familiarity with most of the records on there, this one is particular stood out. And while this has nothing to do with anything, "Avalanche" is this writer's favorite word to be shown in print. This word in Helvetica typeface would be a dream come true.
Based on absolutely nothing, production is probably the single most important aspect of any good record. Especially, if the album in question is hip hop or electronic. Since I Left You is one of the smoothest, grooviest albums in existence. Again, this is based on absolutely nothing other than my general ignorance. 
Everyone has their weaknesses. For example, this writer is susceptible to electro music. Last year, Cut Copy's In Ghost Colours got major spin in the jukebox for quite some time, and would have lasted longer until this writer played the album for some friends and they told him that the disc was no good and "kind of weird/lame". They were wrong, and if anything this writer listens to Cut Copy even more because there is a perverse satisfaction that comes from digging something that the masses hate. Coincidentally, The Avalanches and Cut Copy are both from Australia , and both are signed to the record label, Modular Recordings.
The internets report that Since I Left You contains roughly 3,500 vinyl samples on it, but that number may suffer from hyperbole and chances are the real number is probably closer to 1,000. When this album was released, it received critical love by the truck load. Alternative Press gave it an 8 out of 10, while NME gave it a 9 out of 10, and Pitchfork gave it a 9.5 out 10. To drum up buzz for the album, The Avalanches hit the road and ended up opening for acts such as the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, and Beck. This eventually led to headlining tours all over the globe, and somewhere along the way one of the members of the band broke both of his legs in two separate incidents. The remaining shows became DJ sets, and presumably were really dope.
Apparently, this album was almost never released because the band members were concerned that with so many samples it would never be cleared and approved. Artists sampled on Since I Left You, range from Raekwon to Madonna. John Cale, a former member of the Velvet Underground, also has his work sampled on the record, and this is being mentioned because he used to be in the Velvet Underground.
In an interview, it is stated that this album was originally supposed to be some sort of concept album about chasing love all around the world. "The idea of a guy following a girl around the world, and always being one port behind. And that was just because we had all these records from all over the world, we'd like to use all that stuff," said Ronnie Chater, founding member of The Avalanches and producer on Since I Left You.
Without beating the drum for too long, this album is completely different from anything else ever put on wax. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this album is definitely one of the most original things to come out in the last ten years. It jumps all over the place, yet it stays on course the whole time. So fresh, that it is actually refreshing. 

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