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Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished / Danse Manatee
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Description du produit
Ce double album paru en 2003 regroupe les deux premiers albums d'Animal Collective ; Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished sorti en 2000 et Danse Manatee sorti en 2001. Quelque part entre le psychédélisme de Can, les textures de bruit numérique du label Mego, le minimalisme post-techno de Kompakt, les délires 90s west coast à la Sun City Girls et des improvisations de musiques ethniques.
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Now to prove my point-
WEEN is my all-time favorite band, and to this, comparatively, their very first albums (cassettes, actually) kind of suck- or aren't as developed, i should say. Now this is before the Pod, i'm talkin like the crucial squeegie lip, etc. Now i love me some ween with every fiber of my being, even the early "Axis: Bold as Boognish", so that is as painfull for me to say as it is to listen to this album. It's very hard to explain, these albums are just one of those things that has to be experienced.
SHHHHHH! Wanna hear a secret? I know one..... ;)
"Danse Manitee" starts off with a strange whining sound, sort of like an electronic disturbance, in the oddly named "A Manatee Dance." That whining continues throughout the song, interrupted by sudden bursts of video-game blips. But the tone changes with the electro-thrash of "Penguin Penguin," an abstract collection of calls and drums, and ambient fuzzpop.
They continue to vary wildly in style throughout the album, noodling through hallucinatory pop, thumping rock interspersed with cries, muted acoustics, and the rippling distortion music, which is likely to give listeners a splitting headache. But there are some solid songs in the second half, like the murky "Throwin' the Round Ball" and folky "Ahhhh Good Country."
"Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished" also opens with high-pitched distortion, which continues in a few songs after that, but it's a much easier album to embrace. After the intro, they launch into a screaming fuzz-rock beginning, which switches into the melodic pop of "April and the Phantom," complete with chirping birds and fast guitar.
From there on, the band tries out a variety of pop styles, all with the background noise and fuzzy edges that Animal Collective fans will expect. There's the gentle piano leading up to a dreamy "Penny Dreadfuls," the creepy Halloweeny "Chocolate Girl," the electro-cricket "Everyone Whistling," and finally finishing up with the twelve-minute pop melody of "Alvin Row," which seamlessly switches from pop to rock to experimental soundscapes.
Like many a double album, these two suffer from a simple problem: One is brilliant, and the other is... well, not. "Danse Manitee" is a fairly good experimental album, with some good electronics and vocals, but there's always the feeling of talented, inexperienced musicians who are just sort of noodling around, and not playing to their strengths. With most songs, there's the feeling that it could have been so much more.
"Spirit They're Gone..." is the reverse. Here, the now-Animal Collective is playing to their strengths -- catchy pop melodies, marinated in experimental sounds and pastoral noises. Basic guitars, drums and pianos are immersed in electronic noise and distortion, bell-like synth, and samples of crickets, birds and other things. And soft, crooning vocals are laid over the whole thing, making the softer songs seem almost lulling.
"Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished" and "Danse Manitee" are worth checking out, whether it's for the experimental pop or for the die-hard Animal Collective fan, wanting to see the band's early days. One is great, while the other merely mediocre.
That being said, any recommendation of this album needs to come with a caveat: this is hardly easy listening. It may immediately grab you (as it did me), take a while to settle into, or quite possibly alienate you from the beginning and never reconcile the differences that have separated the two of you. The very first track blasts right out of the gate with incessant high pitched squeals and seemingly random noise bursts, but the track isn't an aggressive onslaught in the vein of Merzbow despite the initial appearance, instead there is a gentle pop song hidden beneath the ostensibly aggressive onslaught. Lyrics of childhood and innocence permeate the noise here and throughout the entire album. This incongruity is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the release. Had Avey Tare and Panda Bear simply picked twee pop or punk noise the album would be much more accessible, but instead they synthesize both genres despite the obvious inherent difficulties in such an undertaking.
The first track's high pitched squeal doesn't last through the whole album and some of the later tracks could probably even be inviting to the most casual listener, but there is always an underlying theme of darkness and noisy abandon, which is certainly intentional as the record's lyrics center around innocence lost... from an almost innocent perspective.
Complicated and beautiful, this is one of the most intricate and interesting albums in recent years and to let it slip into obscurity would be a horribly unfortunate crime. Though it may not be for everyone, the adventurous, and those willing to give an album some time to grow on them, should certainly give this a try.
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