The Avalanches were regulars on the Melbourne gig scene in the late 90s and early 00s, playing mashed-up electro and DJ sets. For a while it seemed you couldn’t escape them at a festival. They had a unique sound in the local context – basically they created a party on stage and invited everyone along. They are renowned for having an enormous collection of old vinyl and samples from the most obscure sources.
This debut album showcases all of this and more. It is an enormous patchwork of beats and samples (suppposedly more the 4500 or the latter) which does, indeed sound like a big party. It all comes together extremely effectively. They maintain a consistent sound, i.e. like a real band, yet don’t repeat themselves. There are only two songs with a traditional chorus-and-melody structure, but the album is better thought of as a singular soundscape that captures your attention and keeps you hooked.
This works well as a party player or as something to take you away on your iPod.
The album came out way back in 2000. We still await their second album, which rumours tell me will be titled Chinese Democracy…
File under: Sonic smorgasboard