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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
The Avalanches: Press reviews
The Avalanches
The Avalanches take sampling to a new level
The national press review Since I Left You, the debut album from The Avalanches.

The Daily Telegraph

The list of great Australian pop groups is a short one, but a six-piece band from Melbourne are about to prove themselves worthy additions to it.

The Avalanches' debut album, Since I Left You, is released on April 16 through the XL label, and you are unlikely to hear a better hour of good-time pop music from anyone in the world this year.

Using sampling technology, the Avalanches have taken snippets from hundreds of different songs and slapped them together with gleeful abandon.

Two Hearts in 3/4 Time is a twinkling waltz featuring organ solos and backwards singing, while Frontier Psychiatrist is a dramatic hip hop Western theme tune, complete with hilarious speech samples and thunderous trumpets. The sound is wholly original and completely infectious.

The Guardian

Now it's Australia's turn: the debut of Melbourne sextet the Avalanches is the freshest dance album in years.

Despite a painstaking construction process - it's essentially hundreds of samples stitched together, the crackle of ancient records audible throughout - Since I Left You's breakbeat funk sounds deliciously breezy and sunkissed.

Tracks come laden with pop hooks, dancefloor nous and a cheery disinterest in borrowing from fashionable sources.

Stay Another Season pinches its bassline from Madonna's Holiday, but Close to You is powered by steals from 1980s monstrosities Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Both work perfectly, as does the rest of this glorious, varied album. British producers should take notes.

The Independent

Since I Left You offers the most riotous, free-wheeling - and beautiful - sample-collages in years, The Avalanches clearly being the true heirs to such innovative sampler adepts as Fatboy, The Chemical Brothers, PM Dawn, The Dust Brothers in their Paul's Boutique heyday, and going further back, unsung heroes like Renegade Soundwave and Hoodlum Priest.

There's plenty of humour in The Avalanches' work, too, particularly in the fusillade of jokey vocal fragments painstakingly stitched together over the widescreen movie-theme samples of Frontier Psychiatrist - though sometimes the fun is entirely instrumental, as with the pianos colliding woozily in Tonight.

What's especially unusual about Since I Left You, though, is that it's a dance album which you can actually listen to, with a subtlety of texture and dexterity of production rarely encountered in the utilitarian world of club music - as much Mercury Rev as Basement Jaxx.

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