Avalanches’ Music Makes Me High

Releasing a single or two in advance of a record is the equivalent of a movie trailer. It’s whetting our appetite for what’s to come; it lets us begin to see what the potential theme or sound of an album might be. A strategic release makes us excited for the release of the record.

Melbourne’s The Avalanches are serious crate diggers. Excavating archaeologists of the finest degree. Their ability to find the obscure is uncanny, their ability to miraculously piece sounds together to form new songs is unworldly. The sample-heavy masterpiece Since I Left You from 2000 is living proof of their abilities. A record rumored to have up to 3,500 song fragments and sounds pulled from a dizzying array of genre resources to form a seamless body moving mix from front to back.

The production duo-extraordinaires are releasing We Will Always Love You on 12/11, the follow-up to 2016’s Wildflower. Their previous output leaned heavily on guest collaborators and original production. We Will Always Love You is founded on cosmic love and inspired by Carl Sagan’s Voyager Golden Record Project. On “Music Makes Me High”, the disco- house dial has been cranked, the fragments of others’s art are pieced together to make you bounce, perhaps grace a floor and become funkdafied.

NME’s wide-ranging interview with Robbie and Tony of The Avalanches where they speak of their found inspiration. It only takes one sample to spark new art:

Robbie: “It was almost like a throwback to the music we grew up and were listening to before we made ‘Since I Left You’ – that classic house feel of the Crydamoure label and the first Basement Jaxx album [‘Remedy’, 1999]. When we found the Salty Miller sample, ‘Music Makes Me High’, it reminded me of ‘Red Alert’ by Basement Jaxx and ‘The music keeps on playing on and on’. We thought, ‘Can we turn into that kind of thing?’ It took a while actually, but then we found the Devoted Soul sample and it just started to click. We’ve got better at making sample-based music. We would have tried to make this song way back when and it probably wouldn’t have banged as hard.

Tony: “We don’t want to be too retro. It’s a nice little throwback to that era.”

Three records from The Avalanches in 20 years is respectable given the time frame between their debut and Wildflower. Thanks to high art, 2020 won’t go down in vain.

1 Response to “Avalanches’ Music Makes Me High”

  1. September 15, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    3,500 samples on that track!? Whoa!

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