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The Avalanches – Since I Left You

21 04 2011

Listened: Thursday March 10

In 2001, I waited patiently for the domestic release of Since I Left You for two reasons. Firstly, Frontier Psychiatrist was part of that magical soundtrack on my trip to Wales, with Desmond Dekker, Gorillaz, SFA, and Basement Jaxx.

Secondly, it was a conversation piece and artifact from the time when building an entire album with extreme sampling was unusual and pretty difficult. I’ve just learned from Wikipedia that it was constructed from 3500 vinyl samples. Dear lord, that must have taken forever.

Further, unlike unashamed crowd-pleaser Girl Talk, the samples are for the most part unrecognizable to all except the most studious music fan. Awesome music is created from songs the listener probably hasn’t heard before.

I’m not sure an album like this will ever be created again. Well, certainly not from a fully vinyl library, but also I think we’re moving towards the Girl Talk style of sampling versus the Avalanches style of sampling these days. Which I’m not sure is a bad thing. Extreme sampling is becoming a lot more mainstream these days, and the artists will give the masses what they want to hear, which seems to be crazy combinations of recognizable songs.

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