August: 18 albums you need to hear this month - Albums - Mixmag

August: 18 albums you need to hear this month

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  • Mixmag staff
  • 4 August 2016

Album of the month

The Avalanches 'Flower Power' (XL Recordings)

“It’s sounding like everything we dared not hope for, and so much more. They’ve made the record of their lives.” That’s a statement from a Modular Recordings press release issued way back in August 2006, and the rumour mill surrounding a long-awaited new album from The Avalanches has been grinding for 10 solid years since. Such was the love for their millennial debut ‘Since I Left You’ that it’s no wonder both fans and label owners have eagerly lapped up any suggestion of a sequel (it became a running joke that staff would join and subsequently leave the XL office before it ever dropped). However, fans of audio plunder can now rejoice: ‘Wildflower’ is finally here, and it’s wonderful. Main-man Robbie Chater remains at the helm, melding another mixtape of an album that dials between radio stations, car horns, cartoons, laughing kids and the spraying of graffiti cans. It’s buoyed, too, by a treasure-trove of collaborations including Biz Markie, Father John Misty, Jennifer Herrema and Warren Ellis that are as rich and widespread as the samples that see ‘Wildflower’ grow more beautiful with every listen. One was even personally cleared by Sir Paul McCartney after he received a pleading email from the band explaining why it was so important to use a children’s choir singing ‘Come Together’ in ‘The Noisy Eater’, a song about breakfast cereal. Indeed, from Camp Lo’s opening block party invitation of ‘Because I’m Me’ to the fairground calypso of MF DOOM and Danny Brown’s ‘Frankie Sinatra’ and the sunshine house of ‘If I Was A Folkstar’ with Toro Y Moi, this is the sound of summertime. Robbie’s reluctance to discuss the past means we may never know which of these tracks were made when – but while ‘Wildflower’’s long gestation took ‘difficult second album’ syndrome to extremes, how he fitted 16 years of inspiration into this masterpiece is better understood with your ears.


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