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Alternatif et Indé - Released September 9, 2007 | Domino Recording Co

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
The Baltimore-bred, Brooklyn-based Animal Collective have made a name for themselves by being something wholly other. Their music is convoluted, ecstatic, cluttered, noisy, scratchy, itchy and downright fun. Their last two full-length albums, 2003's Sung Tongs and 2005's Feels, create an acid campfire sing out -- with everyone singing a different blissed-out tune in as obnoxious and wildly creative a manner as possible. Sounds are layered on sounds are layered on sounds and are then separated seemingly at random. But Avey Tare and Panda Bear know exactly what they are doing. There isn't anything remotely excessive about AC's excess. They have, until now, presented a holistic view of the individual through the guise of consensus-building pop noiseadelia. With Strawberry Jam, the orgiastic aural carnival sideshow begins to change a bit. There is a growing tension at work here in the music. There is Panda Bear's warm, bubbling sunshine pop that's as childlike as Brian Wilson's or Bobby Callendar's. He's got the cosmic vibe that expresses itself as goodwill toward everything. It's full of padded moments and long, shimmering, blanketing heat. Check his wonderfully accessible hippie blurt in "Chores" when he exclaims: "...Now I got these chores./I'm never gonna hurt no one...I only want the time/to do one thing that I like/To take a walk in the light drizzle/At the end of the day/When there's no one watching." Who knows who's stoned on what? Acid is too easy for this kind of happiness. On the other hand, there is Tare's utter sense of alienation, his strangeness -- and estrangement -- from the limits and inconveniences of the human body and its politics, and his questioning of his own place in human relationships and interactions. It too can express itself as a kind of manic glee, but it's far more brittle. That said, it makes for an utterly compelling, even obsessive listen. The single "Peacebone" that opens the album in a blur of synth and electronic noise breaks loose into a whirring, beat-driven pop song with a messiness in the mix and hallucination-inducing lyrics: "A peacebone got found in the dinosaur wing/Well I was jumping all over while the fuse was slowly shrinking/There was a jugular vein in the jugular's girl/was supposed to be leaking into interesting colors..." On "Unsolved Mysteries" with its sampled strings and pump organ, he begins to engage: "...Why must we move on/From such happy lawns/Into nostalgia's pond/And only be traces..." and then begins to grate with his questions, observations, and neurosis. Thank goodness: these two and their partners in crime are human after all! David Bowie, Philip Glass and Brian Eno can only dream about having been creative enough to come up with "Fireworks #1." Sure, their collective influence (Terry Riley's too, but he's on another plane altogether -- he's not predisposed to such abject "seriousness") may indeed have inspired the song's hypnotic glam ambiences, but they could never have glued it all together so loosely or gleefully. "Winter Wonderland" by Tare is another adrenaline infused orgy of manic musical happiness, even if the lyrics state otherwise. It's got that AC thing where overdrive into infinity is not just a choice but an M.O. The set closes with Panda's "Derek." It's among the most beautiful and tender songs he's written. Mid-tempo and relatively stripped down for AC, the vocal is a Beach Boys styled melody but more complex. Sounds cross the aural landscape on top of, underneath, and next to the melody until about the track's mid-point when all hell breaks loose. Joe Meek and Phil Spector might have bee able to manage a sheer wall of uber-echo this deep in the percussion and keyboards and have the vocals come right out of the middle, floating above and around the mix. So this tension and sharp, edgy contrast is felt now more than ever before on AC's records, but it's a great thing. It doesn't feel or sound personal, and it doesn't sound as if anybody is interested in closing the gap. Which is wonderful, because what literally bleeds out of the speakers is the most primal yet most sophisticated record AC have done to date. Children could sing these melodies -- and that's the point -- but it took cleverness, a collective sense of humor, and faith in one another to put Strawberry Jam into such a seamless, delicious whole. ~ Thom Jurek
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Alternatif et Indé - Released August 17, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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If there ever was a band committed to the environmental cause, that would be Animal Collective. Together or separated, Avey Tare (Dave Portner), Geologist (Brian Weitz), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), and Deakin (Josh Dibb) are all engaged. Geologist: “It’s pretty clear that coral reefs are in trouble. We’re hoping that Animal Collective fans and beyond will see this footage and be inspired to care about the ocean do what they can.” After their hypnotic EP Meeting Of The Waters, recorded in the heart of the Amazon rainforest by Avey Tare and Geologist in 2017, followed by humid experimentations on Avey Tare’s Essence Of Eucalyptus, here comes Tangerine Reef. Focused on the year of reefs, this submarine requiem was made without Panda Bear but with Coral Morphologic, a Miami-based duo made up of biologist Colin Foord and musician J.D. McKay. The result is a widely vivid, organic and watery, modular and multi-coloured visual matter, textured by long patches of synthesizers. A monotonous and monochromic trip for some, boring for others. No doubt about it. The world of silence is a psychedelic trip in its own right. A fourth dimension where echolocations, reverbs and space waves fly around. Those still seeking the mad and decadent jerks of their pop patchwork Merriweather Post Pavillion (2009) will be disappointed, but those who enjoyed ODDSAC − the avant-garde film album that the almost-forty-somethings from Baltimore created with David Perez – will go along in the deep dive. Blissful. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternatif et Indé - Released November 22, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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While almost every album they made took a wildly different approach, all of Animal Collective's strengths congealed on their 2009 watershed album Meriwether Post Pavilion. Early albums hinted at a core of melody but buried it so deeply beneath noisy experimentation or abstract folkiness, it often got lost. A perfect synthesis of electronic production, big beats, and Animal Collective's uniquely friendly weirdness, Meriwether Post Pavillion finally delivered a more accessible articulation of the band's fractured pop vision. Ballet Slippers collects select live performances from the tour the band did in the summer of 2009 in support of what became many fans' favorite album of theirs. The group had long been prone to playing out new material months or years before it was recorded, giving fans a sneak preview of works in progress rather than playing familiar hits. Ballet Slippers finds the band in a slightly different mode of this uncommon live approach. The track listing includes versions of nine of Meriwether Post Pavilion's 11 songs and a few radically revised versions of songs from other albums. Where the studio album's direct stabs of pop and electronica cut through the band's often murky sonic walls, live they stretch out and explore the murk. Extensive, meandering intros on otherwise poppy jams like "Summertime Clothes" and "In the Flowers" seem to want to stall and dally as long as possible before getting around to the song as the audience knows it. "Brothersport" lingers in a minimal rhythmic introduction, slowly introducing samples from the song before blasting off when the beat drops. The band play in the spaces that bridge their songs, often improvising wordless vocals or diving deep into harsher noise textures. When revisiting material from their 2005 album Feels, they go even further off the map. "Banshee Beat" floats suspended in midair for over ten minutes, and the usually upbeat, jittery acoustic song "Who Could Win a Rabbit" becomes manic and disconnected. As a document of a band that's always changing, Ballet Slippers excels at capturing the conflict that must have existed for Animal Collective after turning in their most successful and adored work. It might be too challenging for the casual listener, but that particular challenge is intrinsic to most of Animal Collective's work. ~ Fred Thomas

Alternatif et Indé - Released January 20, 2009 | Domino Recording Co

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Animal Collective have brought the celestial down to earth with each record, but they've never sounded simultaneously otherworldly and approachable quite like they do on Merriweather Post Pavilion. Their eighth studio LP, it finds them at their best -- straining farther away from conventional song structure and accompaniment, even while doubling back to reach lyrical themes and modes of singing at their most basic or child-like. Where before AC expertly inserted experimental snippets into relatively straight-ahead songs, Merriweather Post Pavilion sees them reach some kind of denouement where pop music ends and pure sonic experience begins -- the sound is the only structure. Dismantling the framework of a pop song almost entirely (but using recurring passages in a very poppy way), the group offer a series of overlapping circular elements, all of which occasionally come together for a chorus but then break apart just as quickly. The music itself, at least what's describable about it, consists of deep bass pulses and art-damaged guitars with overlapping vocal harmonies that rise in a holy chorus. This may sound much like previous Animal Collective highlights, but where those records seemed like a series of accidental masterpieces -- the type of work that sounds brilliant only because it's been culled from hundreds of hours of tape -- Merriweather Post Pavilion is a perfectly organized record, not a note out of place, not a second wasted. It has the excitement and energy of Sung Tongs, the ragged sonic glory of Feels, and Strawberry Jam's ability to make separate parts come together in a glorious whole. Like the best experimental rockers surging toward nirvana -- from the Beach Boys to Mercury Rev -- Animal Collective have not only created a private soundworld like none other, they've also made it an inviting place to visit. ~ John Bush
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Alternatif et Indé - Released February 19, 2016 | Domino Recording Co

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All kinds of excess: Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Geologist (Brian Weitz) combine to take charge. Painting With is packed to the rafters! Experts in unlikely patchworks and musical collages, our hypsters from Baltimore succeed once more in assembling seemingly disparate musical elements. Think the Beach Boys meet amphetamines (a lot of amphetamines), Animal Collective prove here to be masters of the fusion between pop and electro, with clear tones and textures contrasting against confusing musical backdrop. The participation of John Cale and Colin Stetson is also notable. © MD/Qobuz

Alternatif et Indé - Released June 1, 2004 | My Animal Home

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On Sung Tongs, their first record distributed by FatCat, the two-man Animal Collective come on like sun-scorched acid eaters gathered around the campfire, strumming and grinning while they weave their material out of cyclical singalongs and tight harmonies. Surprisingly, both for fans as well as new additions, that marks a much more accessible sound for a group that had previously probed the outer limits of prog and psychedelia. (Still, back to basics is the right place for a collective that released three albums in 2003.) Immediately called to mind here are the Holy Modal Rounders and, to a lesser extent, the Incredible String Band. While Animal Collective certainly don't share the intimate knowledge of folk music or the expert musicianship of the Holy Modals or the ISB, they do understand the importance of repetition in reaching altered states, and they indulge in many naturalistic post-production enhancements to get there. "Leaf House" and "Who Could Win a Rabbit" open the record with a cozy atmosphere created from soaring harmonies and Beach Boys-type bungalow percussion. From there, with only a few exceptions, Sung Tongs devolves into the loosest of jam sessions, a midsummer night's dream of pixilated picking in similar company with the lengthy mid-album interlude ("Green Typewriters") during the Olivia Tremor Control's Dusk at Cubist Castle. Although the duo didn't record nearly enough material to justify checking out quite so soon, Sung Tongs is a striking record, a breath of fresh air within experimentalist indie rock. ~ John Bush

Alternatif et Indé - Released October 17, 2005 | My Animal Home

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Alternatif et Indé - Released | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released September 9, 2007 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released July 20, 2001 | My Animal Home

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Alternatif et Indé - Released May 5, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released July 17, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released October 16, 2005 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released February 17, 2017 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released December 1, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released September 4, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternatif et Indé - Released July 31, 2000 | Domino Recording Co

Alternatif et Indé - Released August 25, 2000 | My Animal Home

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Alternatif et Indé - Released March 1, 2003 | My Animal Home

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Originally recorded in 2001 and released in 2003 under the name Campfire Songs, this eponymously titled album serves as a record of the early experiments in melodic atmospherics by members of what would eventually become the Animal Collective (featuring Panda Bear, Avey Tare, and Deakin). Recorded on a screened-in porch in one take on a brisk November day, the album is like the psychedelic folk soundtrack to a camping trip that never happened. With its sparse combination of nature sounds, meandering acoustic guitars, and ethereal vocal harmonies, Campfire Songs contains ambient landscapes that start out feeling inscrutable before eventually becoming strangely warm and inviting. The lyrics, barely discernible, give the feeling of an eavesdropped conversation, requiring the listener to saddle themselves up to their campfire and listen intently to find their hidden meaning. Despite the wandering nature of the songs, nothing feels accidental or improvised. The airy beauty of the vocal harmonies and the flowing transitions between songs show a real sense of purpose and vision, creating a series of tracks that are more musical than soundscapes, but not quite songs in the traditional sense. While Campfire Songs isn’t nearly as dense or kinetic as Animal Collective’s later work would be, it shows off their penchant for layered harmony and experimental song structures, which makes for a fine piece of atmospheric headphone listening. ~ Gregory Heaney
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Alternatif et Indé - Released May 31, 2004 | Domino Recording Co

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Animal Collective in the magazine