It’s funny going back to your place of birth, secretly hoping that it still looks like the place you left behind, and your house hasn’t been replaced by a Tesco or Starbucks. I was relieved to see that nothing much had changed when I returned to Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire after more than thirty years. Give or take the odd PVC window frame, and a rash of Ground Forced gardens, it was exactly how I remembered it. I have a lot of happy, hazy memories of growing up here, and we moved away ‘up north’ when I was eight. Relocating to Cheshire was like a cold shower compared to this sleepy, sunny market town in the Home Counties. We went from Cider With Rosie to Wuthering Heights on a one-way ticket. This short film is a tour of my childhood…
Press Quality for HD and watch in fullscreen.
The video features the track Since I left You by The Avalanches, my all time favourite song, which samples old soul band The Main Attraction and Rose Royce, amongst others. It’s a burst of sunshine, and makes me happy every time I hear it.
It’s official! To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the iconic 2000 album Since I Left You, The Avalanches are reissuing their seminal work on blue vinyl.
Two years late.
This has been taken as a sign from on high that long-awaited album number two has wrapped and is waiting in the wings. Tweets from guest vocalists confirm the rumours and a picture of a stack of vinyl is believed to have been actually taken inside a studio! To play nicely, here, SILY was a masterpiece of cut and paste sampling, a crazy collage of musical madness which just glowed with good vibes. It also took a set of unique circumstances to produce, being a private project which was never meant to be released.
The clearance of over 3000 music samples took a long time, picking up kudos from Madonna on the way and permission to sample Holiday. Mixing took even longer as Robbie Chater and Darren Seltmann perfected their vintage vinyl sound, a bizarre but beautiful mix of old soul records and modern hip-hop, much imitated but never bettered. It follows that creating a record even half as good would take a great deal of time and effort.
Like tuning between radio stations, the album is a timeless mixture of heart-felt nostalgia and pumping party spirit. Originally described by Chater as ‘an international search for love from country to country’ the initial concept was ‘the idea of a guy following a girl around the world and always being one port behind. And that was just because we had all these records from all over the world, and we’d like to use all that stuff.’ But party beats won the day, leaving just the ghost of a broken heart on the dance floor. Since I Left You has achieved classic status, probably due to the fact that it’s such rewarding music which appreciates with time.
This is my slightly random video chart of great tunes and freaky videos. See Grace Jones stretched into something very alien or just groove with Blondie. From Lemon Jelly’s demonic kaleidoscope to Goldfrapp’s bizarre animations, it’s a trip.
Picture it: the Norfolk coast 1967, sitting round a fire on the beach at dusk, warm sand beneath your feet. The ebb and flow of the tide, restless mixed feelings at the end of the season. It’s the happy/sad feeling The Beach Boys did so well, honed to perfection by The Avalanches…
Originally this track was made very quickly to a tight deadline for work. The brief was to create a laid-back soundtrack to relax students and induce a creative atmosphere, and this sparse little folk number emerged with a beach theme. It consisted of Apple Loops layered together in GarageBand, but I always felt something was missing and decided to add some depth, spicing up the sixties flavour. There’s even a few bars of Sgt. Pepper’s-style backwards tape for the sake of pure nostalgia. Goldfrapp did retro psychedelics so well on Seventh Tree, so I guess you could say I was under the influence!
Since I Left You, the iconic album by The Avalanches is about to get the ‘Deluxe Reissue’ treatment this year, setting the stage for the release of the mythical second Avalanches album which is rumoured to drop in 2012. This is my compilation of the very best bits of the many Avalanches DJ sets which have emerged over the years. I’ve gone for all the ‘up’ stuff and cut most of the shouty rap. Continue reading →