Continuing on from my discussion of space and music, I am always apprehensive about playing new music out loud. I feel there is a strange assumption that when you play something out loud you know what is coming. For example, I recently played The Avalanches’ We Will Always Love You and I was asked about the bleeps at the end:

The last song, “Weightless”, contains the sound of morse code, the original 1974 broadcasted message beamed into space, written by Frank Drake with assistance from Carl Sagan among others. It included encoded information about human DNA and other indications of intelligent life to anyone in the cosmic vastness who might be listening.

Although I had an inkling what it was, I was a little lost for words.

I often have the same issue when putting on playlists too.

Listened album by the Avalanches from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
This album has been on the periphery for a while, with various teasers, it was not until the album dropped that everything seemed to fall into place. There are some great tracks, with my favourite being Wherever You Go, however the strength is listening as a whole.

Place between Oneohtrix Point Never and FourTet

Marginalia

But if that album [Wildflower] felt like the world’s most jumbled playlist, We Will Always Love You has, as they say, a better algorithm. Now reduced to a duo of Robert Chater and Anthony Diblasi, the Avalanches are still dedicated crate-diggers, unearthing obscure oldies at every turn. But this time, they go lighter on the samples and heavier on post-trip hop soundscapes and contemporary singers, making for recombinant pop that feels joyfully seamless and organic.

The record begins with a farewell voicemail—a final communication, we are led to believe, from a young woman who has passed away—and it ends with the Morse code-like bleeping of the Arecibo Message, an interstellar transmission carrying information on the human species into the infinite beyond. In between those poles, the Australian group continues doing what it has always done: spinning the sounds of disco, soul, easy listening, and other nostalgic staples into luminous, ludic shapes, turning musical collage into a sparkling, four-dimensional fantasyland.

Like the other two Avalanches albums, We Will Always Love You is an odyssey. Each track feels like an encounter with some new character or a scenic passageway in between outposts.

A sense of interconnectedness flows through “We Will Always Love You,” and Chater said the process of working with live singers isn’t that different from selecting found sounds. “It’s almost like sampling,” he said, “in trying to find the right vocalist, to match the music with someone who seems like they’ve got a certain spirit.”

That so many disparate talents have been corralled into such a cohesive whole is testament to Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi’s vision, with samples meticulously stitched together from a mass of voices and an underlying concept of remembering those singers no longer with us.

As they’ve grown older, they crave transcendence over hedonism; it’s why the album is slower, warmer, more contemplative and mellow overall.

In many ways, We Will Always Love You is The Avalanches’ own Golden Record, tracking their sonic DNA through an epic list of collaborators who have influenced their sound in some shape or form over the years while exploring love, human connection and our place in the universe.

Liked How The Avalanches went from hip hop brats to world-conquering stars (Double J)

The band’s justification for using samples was simple: they couldn’t afford the real thing.

“None of us had much money so it was just a very cheap sampler, a cheap computer and lots of time going through Melbourne’s op shops,” Chater told triple j.

“Trying to find weird and wonderful sounds to make a record that sounded kinda fancy without actually having access to orchestras or amazing sound.”

“If we want an original ’60s pipe organ sound, we can’t afford to go and hire a studio,” Seltmann said in 1999. “We can just get one off a record. You can create the kind of sounds that sound authentic and beautiful to us.”

It’s an exceedingly smart idea, but one that looked as if it might backfire when it came time to release Since I Left You. With something in the vicinity of 3,500 samples to clear – many of which the band couldn’t identify – the record hit a serious snag before its release.

Listened BBC Radio 1 – Radio 1’s Essential Mix, The Avalanches from BBC

The Avalanches take control of the Essential Mix decks.

This is a fantastic mix. I got lost in the range of genres. I found myself tapping away without realising. There is something unique about The Avalanches.

Tracklist:
Emahoy Tsegué & Maryam Guèbrou – The Jordan River Song
Unknown – Hello
Dion McGregor – Snowflakes
Dion McGregor – Midget City
Ratatat – Black Heroes
Wild Man Fischer – The Leaves Are Falling
Sun Ra – Enlightenment
Nancy Dupree – James Brown
The Joubert Singers – Stand On The Word
Cindy & The Playmates – Now That School Is Through
Grateful Dead – Shakedown Street
Edan The Humble Magnificent – Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme
Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No, I Got Life (Live)
Betty Everett – 1900 Yesterday
Moondog – Fog On The Hudson (425 W 57th Street)
Wild Man Fischer – Wild Man On The Strip Again
The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – Stayin’ Alive
Krak Attack CX Kidtronik & Tchaka Diallo – Fame Rapp
Moondog – Up Broadway
The Parliaments – What You Been Growing
Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney – Monkberry Moon Delight
Africa – Light My Fire
Clarence Reid – Miss Hot Stuff
Edan The Humble Magnificent – Funky Voltron (feat. Insight)
Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop – Dreams
Madlib – Rock Konducta Vol 1
Unknown – The Snake
Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble – Psych City
Blair – Life
Nancy Dupree – What Do I Have
Donald Byrd And The Blackbirds – Jazz Alphabet (Live)
Play Along At Home Rhythm Band – Pease Porridge Hot
Dick Rosmini & Hello People – Experiments (Teac Home Recording)
The Broads – Sing Sing Sing
Shooby Taylor – The Human Horn
Don Armando’s 2nd Ave. Rhumba Band – I’m An Indian Too
The John Cacavas Golden Space Orchestra – Hydrogen and Helium
Bruce Haack – Lie Back
Bruce Haack – Sing
Frank Zappa – Oh No
Hermeto Pascoal – Som da Barba (Music From the Beard) (Live)
Blair – Virgo Princess
William Onyeabor – Better Change Your Mind
Thurston Moore & Lee Ranaldo – The Year Punk Broke
Thurston Moore – Thurston @ 13
Jack Fascinato – Music From A Surplus Store
Clara Mondshine – Die Drachentrommler (Dragon Drummers)
Frank Zappa – Excentrifugal Forz
Bruce Haack – Rubberbands
The Stooges – L.A. Blues
Bad Brains – Big Take Over
J-Jems – Dance
Bruce Haack – Motorcycle Ride
Chandra – Kate
Tony Schwartz – Music In The Streets
Ata Kak – Daa Nyinaa
Yoko Ono – Walking On Thin Ice
The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
William Onyeabor – Let’s Fall In Love
Black Dice – Glazin’
Univ. of Ghana Postal Works – Cancelling Stamps At The University Of Ghana Post Office
Joe Moks – Boys And Girls
The Pointer Sisters – Don’t It Drive You Crazy
David Essex – Rock On
Paul McCartney – Check My Machine
Jimmy Van M & Richard Hieronymous – I Weigh With Kilos
Hanny Nahmias – Hanna’s Sabbath Dress
Sinkane – How We Be
Mort Garson – The Wozard of Iz
Uriah Heep – Wake Up
Black Milk – Wake Up
Mort Garson – Prologue
Frank Zappa – Mom and Dad
The Zombies – Hung Up On A Dream
Tony Schwartz – Music In The Streets

via Kicks Condor