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[Off The Record]
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The Avalanches
SINCE I LEFT YOU
(SIRE/MODULAR)

The Avalanches garnered much acclaim in their native Australia last year when this album debuted, and itís easy to hear why. Since I Left You is infectious and danceable, but labeling it a dance album is like calling Dark Side of the Moon just another rock album. It begins slowly with some Motown-esque soul before delivering a swirl of beats and samples. Pieced together from a vast pool that includes Madonna, Boney M, Donny Osmond, instructional recordings for sailing, and talking parrots, it comes across as an audio version of a Rauschenberg collage. The lads use a cut-and-paste style akin to that of the Propellerheads or Meat Beat Manifesto circa í92 to create an entrancing world of both original and borrowed sounds; the result is a fusion of sugary disco beats, kinetic hip-hop, pensive lounge, and swelling, orchestral pieces that are mixed, scratched, and cut up to produce a pop-culture slide show.

BY JOHN LEFLER

Issue Date: January 3 - 10, 2002

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