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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2001
it seems that some listeners can't quite comprehend the concept behind the avalanches' thrilling debut album, since i left you.
upon hearing a sample that (shock! horror!) they might have heard before, they immediately label the band lazy, for 'not digging deep enough' into the crates, or even more laughably, unoriginal, simply because sampling is used at all.
i dare them to listen to the 'gimix' bootleg tape that was circulating long before the album was ever released: not only does it contain the 'obvious' samples used in the album itself, but bob dylan, cyndi lauper, jimi hendrix, de la soul, the beatles, the smiths, deee-lite and a whole host of unbelievably big names make appearances... huge chunks of their biggest hit singles are audaciously and very deliberately included.
the point is, these songs, and the samples in 'since i left you' are not chosen in order to steal the original artists' thunder. on the contrary, the avalanches are paying homage to music that they love and revere. of course, in the end, it's not what they use, it's how they use it. be prepared to be blown away as jimi hendrix's 'crosstown traffic' is mixed with cyndi lauper's 'girls just wanna have fun' as though it were the most natural thing in the world. stand, mouth agape, as sgt. peppers, sped up, is played hand in hand with 'groove is in the heart', and jurassic 5's 'jayou'.
similarly, the well known (and some might say, tired old) tunes sampled on the album itself are treated in a fresh, refreshing, magical and totally inspired way. many are unrecognisable. for every well known pop tune sampled, ten equally obscure ones also appear - the instant-recognition tunes don't take precedence over the unknowns - all are included with the same reverence, and all flow beautifully together to create a unified, deeply soulful, infinitely detailed and textured whole. the avalanches aren't trying to trick us into thinking they played all the instruments on the album and wrote it from scratch. that's not what 'since i left you' is about at all. they are not divorcing the sampled sounds from their original context. using snippets from well known songs is not lazy - it's very brave, in this climate of zero-tolerance litigation.
why would madonna let her music be sampled for the very first time if the avalanches were simply going to use it in a derivative, vacuous, 'p-diddy' style? in fact, the 'holiday' sample serves almost as an atmospheric backdrop, just like the sampled seabird calls and cheers - it's as though there's a party happening somewhere on the 'since i left you' cruise liner, and you're invited.
accusations of 'bad mixing' and 'sounds terrible' are equally hollow. this album is mixed beautifully - not saccharinely and blandly, but piquantly, with just the right dissonant kick. it sounds terrific. if you haven't already, buy it.
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The Avalanches are a DJ's dream come true -- six Aussies who took hundreds of sound snatches, and wove together a wildly playful kind of electronica. Their first (and so far, only) album, "Since I Left You," is a tangle of the delicate, the weird, and the incredibly danceable.

It kicks off with the sparkling "Since I Left You," but the best is yet to come. The Avalanches manage to attain both a typical "sound" and plenty of originality in their songs, such as the bleeps-and-horns "Different Feeling," the knob-twiddling basslines of "Radio," the sputtery dance number "Live At Dominoes," and the interference-laden Rastafarian rock "Flight Tonight."

But with all the dance tracks, the Avalanches have their softer side: the delicately upbeat "Two Hearts in 3/4 Time," the swaying "Electricity," the brief and staticky "Pablo's Cruise," and the gauzy, multilayered "Etoh." It rounds off with the majestically languid "Extra Kings," which has a long sweep of distortion and chaos in the middle.

It's almost too easy to dance to the Avalanches. They take almost a thousand mismatched sounds and manage to cobble them into some really brilliant music. What's especially brilliant is the way these patchwork dance tracks manage to find solid, simple grooves, and stick to them right to the end.

"Since I Left You" isn't perfect -- at times the fragments don't quite mesh together. Some parts are pure chaos, but oddly they don't mar the overall sound; instead, they enhance it. Scattered in amongst the melody is the sound of video games, horses, discos, golf instructions, flutes, pianos, and seagulls -- it adds a strangely whimsical sound to the dance music.

The vocals tend to be samples repeated over and over, just under the surface of the music. Among the vocal snatches are the ethereal "Since I left you/I found the world so new!" or determined "Book of flight tonight." So the lyrics are often quite simple, except for the hysterically funny "Frontier Psychiatrist" ("Lie down on the couch, what does that mean?/You're a nut! You're crazy in the coconut!").

"Since I Left You" takes hundreds of random sound fragments, and turns them into a mosaic. Fun, playful, fast and hypnotically bizarre, this is a must have for fans of quirky music.
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on 11 February 2002
As a whole, "Since I Left You" is considerably more than just the sum of its parts. The album flows so well - it is almost as if track marks and names were included in order to conform as it would surely be sacrilege to not play this album from start to finish. All the samples are cleverly used to create a fantastic trifle of sound - only you may need a quality hifi to properly appreciate all the layers. I heartily recommend this album.
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on 11 November 2001
I think this album is just amazing, very cleverly done, and I truely hope there is definately more to come from these clever little Aussies!
I love the way the tracks are all kind of mixed in together, so all you have to do if hit PLAY and hit the dancefloor - or lay back and chill - either will do nicely.
You can definately tell that the album was made by a bunch of aussies as you immediately imagine sitting around a BBQ or hitting the beach to the laid back summery feel of some of the tracks.
Your'll soon recognise a few samples too along the way. Especially the "Holiday" sample from madonnas hit single, which just makes you want to pick up and drink and wiggle your way to the dancefloor! And then the following day, hum the tunes all day, much the annoyance of all your collegues.
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on 17 April 2001
What can I say? I heard the title track on radio 1 and had to discover the album. I`ve had it in my CD player all week now and think I am addicted. Its mixed seamlessly throughout, yet doesnt become dull or boring. There`s always something to listen out for, brilliant samples by the likes of Madonna and ever changing tempos. The first track makes you smile and the grin lasts for the whole album! Very uplifting, get it!
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on 26 December 2001
Only once in a while does an album so magical and bewitching come to your attention. 'Since I Left You' is 18 tracks of pure brilliance. Moving from upbeat disco ('Radio') to psychadelic pop ('Since I Left You') to scratchadelic hip hop ('Frontier Psychatrist'). Utilising samples to their full potential, an album of this scale and enjoyment hasn't been seen since DJ Shadow's seminal album 'Endtroducing...'. Apparantly a concept album about travel, this album twists, turns and always keeps your attention fully locked to the stereo, without being the least bit self-indulgent or pretentious. 'Since I Left You' is an album to be enjoyed on the whole, as most of the tracks are mixed together, to bring back that old style prog rock-esque feel to the record, but without incorporating a sort of Yes-style theatrics. Standout tracks have to be the title track, 'Etoh', 'Close To You' and the brilliant 'Frontier Psychatrist'. If there is only one album you need to hear this year, this is definatley it. Quality!
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on 2 February 2006
As with many here, I purchased this album purely for the Frontier Psychiatrist song, which in my impetuous youth I found engrossing and very funny. I wasn't sure what to expect from the the rest of the album, but as the title suggests, I put it on and didn't let it stop, this album is a work of epic chill out, and up tempo funk.
I gave the album a five star rating, purely for the fact of longevity, that I have listened to this day after day, week after week et al. The samples are cleverly positioned, and each track creates an oxymoron, as it's almost indistinguishable when the next song begins, but you somehow just know.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned my personal favourite track, "A Different Feeling". This is a song perfect, for getting ready to go out, or cruising on a crisp sunny spring day, and the way the song kicks into the synths during the chorus, I always find magical.
The album has plenty of other hidden gems, not least "Live at Dominoes", and the school time classic "Flight Tonight", but also "Radio" has the same connotations as A Different Feeling, in terms of song structure, and a lovely change of pace again during the chorus.
Suffice to say there's enough here for everyone to enjoy, and you'll be disappointed when the end of the album comes, because you won't even of realised it had taken you over an hour!
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on 15 December 2006
Found this cd one night after seeing the video for 'since I left you' at 4am on MTV. Saw the recomendations here and thought, what the heck, lets buy it. And from first play it's an amazing dance record that can be played over and over again with out getting boring. Ok, a few tracks could be better, but at the most, 2. The rest just all blend in to one great peice of music, great driving music. Stand out tracks include 'since I left you', but 'little journey' that blends into 'Live At Dominos' is just out of this world. Ok, it might be full of samples, but finding out how to turn Boney M into magic is a skill that impresses me. Buy, enjoy and tell others about this hidden masterpiece.
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on 21 January 2003
This collective of D.J.'s from Australia have created from the use of over 900 samples one of the most orginal sounding pieces of music I ever have heard.
Their live shows resemble a whole load of guys putting on some records, doesn't sound very interesting does it, but no these guys are master mixers. The album is the same, seamless mixing throughout.
The title track has one of the best videos that anyone has done in along time, surreal story with lots of fun, great ending.
This is a great album to put on with your mates round have a few "wet ones" and see who can spot the most samples, just like the music lots of fun, something a lot of music doesn't have is a sense of fun, this does in bucket loads.
The sigh of total genius to take old music cut it up and create something that sounds so fresh, great stuff for music fans both young and not so young, highly recommended...
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I have now owed this album for nearly 2 years and i still play it regularly.
I bought it upon hearing the perfection of the first single and title track Since I Left You, and the whole album is as good as the single.
This album must sample so many different styles of music, era's and madness, yet it all sound fresh and original.
The samples are great, especially Madonna's Holiday which fits in perfect.
This is a classic album that i will play for many years to come.
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