Jake’s Jams: Since I Left You

Every other Thursday check out Jake's Jams to see an album from any era, genre, or artist recommended by Jake Standerfer

Jake's Jams: Since I Left You

The album Since I Left You by the Australian plunderphonic collective, the Avalanches, contains about 3,500 samples. After months of collecting castaway records from various record stores and compiling them, numerous separate artists, records, and tracks were put into one multidimensional, awe inspiring work.

The beauty of Since I Left You is the ability of the Avalanches to take a simple track, pull the guts out of its music, and synthesize it with countless other songs, sounds and samples, breathing new life into the music. A goal the group sought after in their creation of the project was to find the most rejected, unwanted records from each store they visited, and to turn these isolated works into a blooming synthesis.

The composition of each track varies in method and practice. Some tracks, such as “A Different Feeling” rely on definite instrumental or even vocal hooks, such as “Avalanche Rock,” in order to create a danceable beat. Other songs experiment with several compositional elements from an assortment of records, spliced with oddly delightful sound bites, such as the title track, “Since I Left You.”

Small, looping, sweeping, and impossible to keep track of, the dense variety of sampled material makes up the core of Since I Left You. Obscure samples of monologues from unknown records, sweeping orchestral incorporations of long lost vinyls, and even vintage opera recordings are among the texture exhibited by the album. Songs like “Frontier Psychiatrist” hold such layered synthesis that they rarely stop short of enlightening the listener with intricate musical design.

Overall, Since I Left You dives into a plethora of varying genres. Song to song, funk is spliced with elevator music with the vocals of soul, gospel, and even r&b singers. Released in 2000, it reflects the attitude and aesthetic of millennial life. Through a voyage of swiftly drifting, decidedly groovy musical ambiance, the album strikes at the heart of the turn of the millennium.

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