Why We Love: The Avalanches

It’s rare to find a band who you can say do things truly differently, who create new tracks from chopped up old ones and who utilise comedy throughout their music, but what’s even rarer is finding a band who do that all as superb as The Avalanches – a band who come out with great tune after great tune, even some that are purely hysterical.

The Avalanches have been releasing music since the early 2000s, and their music videos online have drawn in millions of views for their sheer class and creativity.

The Australian electronic music group first became known for their highly creative use of sampling (using snippets of other records), something which was popularised in 80’s hip-hop music.

In recent years, sampling has perhaps been given a bad rep, mainly due to artists blatantly ripping off other songs and claiming it was ‘sampled’ (*cough* Drake *cough* Rizzle Kicks).

Avalanches, on the other hand, have truly brought this type of music back to what it was supposed to be, a band who truly use their brains to create new original songs out of the bits and bobs of other records.

Their debut album Since I Left You is considered by the wider music industry to be one of the best albums of the early 2000s – Robbie Chater, one of the founding members of the band, estimated in an interview with Sound On Sound magazine that the entire album contained around 3,500 samples, all of which were ripped from vinyl records using equipment at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne.

The Avalanches are truly a band that offers something for everyone. Each of their songs seems almost worlds apart from the next, but each still retains that same playfulness we’ve come to love.

Their ever-changing lineup of multi-instrumentalists has changed frequently throughout the years and ensures their music never sounds the same.

Since the rise of YouTube, their viral music videos have seemed to play a more major role in people finding their music. Their mind-boggling video for ‘Frontier Psychiatrist,’ the band’s second-ever release, was the video that first caught my attention. Robbie Chater’s background as a film student at the time of the band’s formation may have been one of the biggest contributing factors to the creation of their now-famous videos. Since then, the band have won many film awards for their humorous, creative and at times positively bewildering concepts.

We’ve seen many bands ‘get big quick’ by releasing music videos which go viral. Today, for a lot of bands, this seems to be an attractive way to getting yourself noticed (if your video concept is good enough that is). Bands like PSY and OKGO are a prime example of artists whose music you probably wouldn’t have heard if it weren’t for their online presence.

Although The Avalanches videos are just as brilliant, they’ve proven that unlike other bands, people come for the videos but stay for the music.

Since the release of their second album in 2016, which followed a long hiatus since the band’s debut in 2001, we’ve seen them to be incredibly active this year; releasing single after single and collaborating with various artists including Denzel Curry.

The Avalanches have often relied on playing with the sounds of other artists, but this is the first time we’ve seen them extensively collaborate with established acts.

We’re very excited to see what lies in wait for this awesome band and hope that their next album lives up to their previous 18-22 track LP’s. The Avalanches music is quite simply a treat, from their lyrics to their videos, their creative, playful personas shine through in almost every aspect of the band, and we’re glad to have them back!

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