Since I Left You

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Since I Left You
An aquatic scene depicts three rubber rafts with about ten people in each. The water has white crested waves. The left raft is separated from the leading two by a chest high wave. A person stands in the right raft and is facing back to the last one with an arm raised. The band's name is written in white letters near the bottom with the album's title below it; both use the same block capital script.
Studio album by The Avalanches
Released 27 November 2000 (2000-11-27)
Recorded 1999–2000
Genre Plunderphonics, disco-pop
Length 60:39
Label Modular
Producer Robbie Chater, Darren Seltmann
Singles from Since I Left You
  1. "Electricity"
    Released: 13 September 1999
  2. "Frontier Psychiatrist"
    Released: 21 August 2000
  3. "Since I Left You"
    Released: 5 February 2001
  4. "Radio"
    Released: 23 July 2001
  5. "A Different Feeling"
    Released: 23 September 2002

Since I Left You is the debut studio album by Australian electronic music group The Avalanches, released on 27 November 2000. It was issued on Modular Recordings and produced by The Avalanches' members Robbie Chater and Darren Seltmann (under the pseudonym Bobbydazzler). The album is known for its extensive use of sampling, containing an estimated 3,500 vinyl samples from various genres of music.[1] The album was created in two separate near-identical studios by Chater and Seltmann, exchanging audio mixes of records they sampled.[1]

After the album's positive reception in Australia, the duo considered an international release – its date was held back until 2001 in both the United Kingdom and North America and appeared in slightly altered forms. The delay and changes occurred so that the group could obtain permission to use the samples or use replacements. Five singles were released on the album, "Electricity", "Frontier Psychiatrist", "Since I Left You", "Radio" and "A Different Feeling". The group promoted the album by organizing headlining tours in Australia, Europe and the United States.

Since I Left You was issued to favourable reception, it peaked in the top 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart, number 12 in Norway, number eight on the UK Album Charts and, in the United States, at number ten on the Top Electronic Albums chart and in the top 40 on the Top Heatseekers chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001 it won in three categories: Breakthrough Artist – Album and Best Dance Release, Producer of the Year for Bobbydazzler. The Avalanches won a fourth award, Breakthrough Artist – Single for "Frontier Psychiatrist". Since I Left You became one of the best reviewed albums of the 2000s. In October 2010, it was listed at No. 10 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.

Production[edit]

Since I Left You is the debut studio album by The Avalanches. They started recording in 1999 and had used the working title of Pablo's Cruise. The duo primarily worked with a Yamaha Promix 01 and Akai S2000 samplers.[1][2] The band's members, Darren Seltmann and Robbie Chater, spent hours sampling music from vinyl records to create the songs on the album: Chater estimates that there are over 3,500 samples. After sampling and arranging, the pair would swap their tapes, listen to each other's ideas and expand on whatever they had heard. Despite working separately, both Chater and Seltmann had nearly identical studio set-ups.[1]

Initially, Seltmann and Chater were not planning for an international release. They were not concerned with copyright restrictions and so did not keep a list of which tracks were being sampled. According to Chater they "were really unorganised and were just sampling on the fly as tracks progressed ... We had no idea the record would get such a wide-scale release so we saw no need to keep track of what we were using – we were definitely guilty of harbouring a 'No-one's going to listen to it anyway' sort of attitude."[1] The sources spanned many different styles of music and sampled artists include: Françoise Hardy, Blowfly, Sérgio Mendes, Raekwon, Wayne and Shuster and Madonna.[3] Seltmann felt that "[t]he more rejected and unwanted the record that a sample comes from, the more appealing it is, I guess it's almost a reaction to rare record finding, but occasionally things like 'Holiday' come up".[1] He described how making sample tapes for each other created some samples which were intended as "funny samples" that they had no original intention to get clearance for. In particular, Madonna's song "'Holiday' was one of those where we put something together, ended it with 'Holiday' and all had a big laugh. It ended up where we couldn't live without it so I guess we just had to make that one work".[1] Later, Seltmann and Chater had a few problems when trying to clear all the samples. One sample that had to be removed was from Rodgers and Hammerstein in the intro that featured harps and girls singing.[1][4] After checking clearances, "[t]he album is slightly different to its original form in that it had a whole new introduction, which apparently was really recognisable, so we had to take that off straight away".[1] The group played their songs to flatmates to get input on which tracks were worth including on the album.[5] "Electricity" was the first song the group felt that worked; it was a last-minute addition to the album as The Avalanches felt the song "still sounds good".[5] In early 2000, Seltmann (as Dazzler) and Chater (as Bobby C) finished production on the album, using the pseudonym Bobbydazzler. It had received the official title, Since I Left You in March 2000.[2]

Style and themes[edit]

Since I Left You was originally developed to be a concept album. Chater described its initial theme as a love story, "an international search for love from country to country. The idea of a guy following a girl around the world and always being one port behind. And that was just because we had all these records from all over the world, and we'd like to use all that stuff."[6] The concept album idea was abandoned when the group felt they should not make their themes too obvious.[6] The album's sound was in response to dance music at that time, that Chater felt was "about big drums, big production: think of a record like the Chemical Brothers "Block Rockin' Beats", with those amazing drums, and how huge those records sounded".[5] The Avalanches felt their early music could not compare to that sound and desired a recording with less bass that was influenced by 1960s music such as The Beach Boys and Phil Spector.[5]

Release[edit]

As Since I Left You was being recorded, The Avalanches had trouble choosing songs to be released as singles, finding them not sounding as good outside the context of the album.[6] On 13 September 1999 they issued "Electricity" as a four-track 12" vinyl single in Australia (on Modular Recordings) and as a two-track 7" vinyl single in the United Kingdom (on Rex Records).[7][2][8][9] Chater felt that Modular was very patient with the group releasing the record.[5] On 21 August 2000, the next single for the album was "Frontier Psychiatrist" which was issued by Modular in Australia in both a four-track and two-track version.[7] The initial release date for Since I Left You was going to be 11 September, however it was delayed due to issues with sample clearance. On 27 November the album was issued in Australia with plans to have a world release in early 2001.[7][2] The later release date outside Australia was due to additional sample clearances needed for international markets.[10] To celebrate the album's release in Melbourne, the group had a boat cruise party through Port Phillip Bay. In February 2001 they released the album's title track in Australia and followed in July 2001 with "Radio".[7][2]

In April Since I Left You was released in the UK through XL Records with the album selling far more copies than the label's original target amount.[10] On 28 April, it entered the UK Album Charts, which peaked at number eight and remained in the chart for 25 weeks.[2][11] In late March, the single "Since I Left You" was issued in the UK and entered the charts at number 16 on 7 April 2001.[7][2][11] On 6 November, Since I Left You was released in the United States by Sire Records.[12] The album charted on the US Top Electronic Albums, peaking at number ten, and on the Top Heatseekers chart, peaking at number 31.[13]

In July 2011, a deluxe re-issue of Since I Left You was announced that would include the original album as well as a bonus disc containing b-sides, demo tracks and remixes of songs from the original album by artists including El Guincho, MF Doom, Black Dice and The Avalanches themselves.[14]

Tour[edit]

To promote Since I Left You The Avalanches organised their first Australian head-lining tour in October 2000 planning to head to all the capital cities. All dates on the tour were sold out. In their Brisbane show, Seltmann broke his leg in an on-stage collision with bass guitarist and singer, Tony DiBlasi. In January–February 2001, The Avalanches toured with the Big Day Out festival in Australia, visiting four capital cities. While on tour in Europe, Seltmann broke his other leg, thereafter the rest of the tour's shows were DJ sets.[2] The British dance music magazine Muzik awarded The Avalanches as best live act.[10]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[15]
Alternative Press 8/10[16]
The Austin Chronicle 4/5 stars[17]
Drowned in Sound 10/10[18]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[19]
NME 9/10[20]
Pitchfork Media 9.5/10[21]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[22]
Spin 9/10[23]
Stylus Magazine B−[24]

Since I Left You was issued to favourable reception, peaking in the top 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart and number 12 in Norway on the VG-lista Top 40 Albums Chart.[25][26] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001, The Avalanches won four awards from nine nominations, including Breakthrough Artist – Album, Best Dance Release and Producer of the Year (for Chater and Seltmann aka Bobbydazzler) for Since I Left You.[27] The fourth award win was for the related single, "Frontier Psychiatrist" as Breakthrough Artist – Single.[27]

Seltmann and Chater did not initially think that Since I Left You would receive much attention.[1] However, it garnered widespread critical acclaim from the music industry. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, it received an average score of 89, based on 21 reviews.[28] It became one of the best reviewed albums of 2001,[29] as well as being the highest rated dance album on that site.[30] Andy Kellman of Allmusic called it one of the most intimate and emotional dance records that is not vocal-based.[15] Christian Ward of NME hailed it as "a joyous, kaleidoscopic masterpiece of sun-kissed disco-pop".[20] Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle found the album as surprising as "Primal Scream's life-changing Screamadelica was a decade ago. It's downright shocking how fun this is".[17] Pitchfork Media's Matt LeMay credited the Avalanches for developing a "unique context" for the songs without compromising their original "distinct flavor" and said that the album "sounds like nothing else" because of how the samples are employed rather than their quality or volume.[21] Q magazine's Gareth Grundy remarked that its clever music is delivered as engagingly as "more conventional dance sounds" and that the album "finally fulfils sampling's original promise" of producing new, extraordinary sounds from artfully appropriated pieces of existing songs.[31] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice was less enthusiastic and said that the Avalanches deliver "the long-promised new-songs-from-old-songs trick, in which untrackable samples are stitched together until they mesh into compelling music that never existed before. Unfortunately, the music in question is string-section disco."[32] Stylus Magazine's Tyler Martin felt that the tracks lack innovation, nuance, and rhythmic complexity, but that several of them are exceptional.[24] The website later placed the album at number 16 on their list of top 50 albums from 2000 to 2005.[33]

Since I Left You was placed in some year-end polls. Pitchfork Media placed Since I Left You at number three in their top twenty albums of 2001 poll and number 10 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s, declaring the album "a masterpiece of mood-setting that riffs off an ideal where getting on an airplane and landing in another corner of the world was the most exotic thing a person could do."[34][35] Q listed it as one of the best 50 albums of 2001.[36] The album was voted the 11th best album of the year in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll for 2001.[37] In 2008, the Australian newspaper The Age assembled a panel of experts ranging from its own critics and music journalists to musicians, broadcasters, record shop owners and band managers to pick a list of definitive fifty Australian albums. Since I Left You was included on this list with Chris Johnston declaring the album to be "a beautiful piece of musical art made entirely from samples."[38] Since I Left You was placed at number six on The Daily Telegraph's list of "50 most influential Australian albums ever".[39] Resident Advisor declared it to be the seventh best album of the decade.[40]

On Slant Magazine's "Best of the Aughts" list, the album was placed at number six out of one-hundred.[41] Reflecting on the album's reception, Chater felt it was well received because "It's light-hearted and fun to listen to and there is depth there as well. There are some sadder moments that I think has made it resonate and made it last. It does sound like a 23 year old kid in his bedroom making a record to me, but you can hear that innocence and joy in the discovery of finding all those sounds. So that was kind of infectious for people."[42] In October 2010, it was listed at No. 10 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[43] Philip Sherburne, writing for Rhapsody, said that "along with DJ Shadow's Endtroducing, this is one of plunderphonic music's greatest LPs."[44]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Since I Left You"   Edward Drennen, Jeanne Schauer, Jimmy Webb[45] 4:22
2. "Stay Another Season"   Robbie Chater, Darren Seltmann, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Tony DiBlasi, Curtis Hudson, Lisa Hudson, John Mandel, Gordon McQuilten[46] 2:18
3. "Radio"   Chater, Seltmann, Claude Cave[47] 4:22
4. "Two Hearts in 3/4 Time"   Marlena Shaw, John Cale[48] 3:23
5. "Avalanche Rock"   Chater, Seltmann[49] 0:22
6. "Flight Tonight"   Chater, Seltmann, DiBlasi, Paul Huston, Freddy Stone, Henry Lawes, Billy Rowe[50] 3:53
7. "Close to You"   Chater, Seltmann, Ernest Isley, Marvin Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, Christopher Jasper[51] 3:54
8. "Diners Only"   Chater, Seltmann, David Willis, Saladine Wallace, Salahadeen Wilds[52] 1:35
9. "A Different Feeling"   Jay Livingston, Raymond Evans[53] 4:22
10. "Electricity"   Chater, Seltmann, Clarence Reid, Willie Clarke[54] 3:29
11. "Tonight"   Chater, Seltmann, Johnny Mercer, Donald Borzage[55] 2:20
12. "Pablo's Cruise"   Chater, Seltmann[56] 0:52
13. "Frontier Psychiatrist"   Chater, Seltmann, Dexter Fabay, Bert Kaempfert, Herbert Rehbein[57] 4:47
14. "Etoh"   Chater, Seltmann[58] 5:02
15. "Summer Crane"   Chater, Seltmann, Bobby Trammell[59] 4:39
16. "Little Journey"   Chater, Seltmann, Lisa Stevens, Curtis Hudson, John Phillips[60] 1:35
17. "Live at Dominoes"   Chater, Seltmann, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, George Reyam[61] 5:39
18. "Extra Kings"   Chater, Seltmann, Bobby Trammell, Alan Osmond, Merrill Osmond, Wayne Osmond[62] 3:46

Personnel[edit]

Credits according to album notes and Allmusic.[3][63]

Charts[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pytlik, Mark (November 2002). "The Avalanches: The Avalanches Darren Seltmann & Robbie Chater". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Artist Profile – Avalanches". EMI. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Since I Left You (Digipak inside sleeve). The Avalanches. Sire / Modular. 2001. 31177-2. 
  4. ^ "Avalanches Interview". Tiscali (Vittorio Serafino). 2002. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Clode, Samantha. "The Avalanches Extended Interview". Triple J Magazine (Triple J (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC))) (53). Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c LeMay, Matt (1 November 2001). "Interview:The Avalanches". Pitchfork Media (Ryan Schreiber). Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Discography". The Avalanches Official Website. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Electricity [Australia]: Overview". Allmusic. (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Electricity [UK 7"]: Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Brandle, Lars; Eliezer, Christie (24 November 2001). "Dance Surges Down Under". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media): 1, 90. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c Warwick, 2004. p.89
  12. ^ Hsieh, Christine (5 November 2001). "The Avalanches: Since I Left You < Music". PopMatters (Sarah Zupko). Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c "Since I Left You: Charts & Awards: Billboard albums". Allmusic. (Rovi Corporation). 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "Avalanches Since I Left You gets deluxe re-issue". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 8 July 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Since I Left You – The Avalanches – Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Alternative Press (Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. (Mike Shea)): 74. February 2002. "8 out of 10 – "...A kaleidoscopically surreal groove machine with a heart..."" 
  17. ^ a b Savlov, Marc (2 November 2001). "Music: Review – The Avalanches". The Austin Chronicle (Austin Chronicle Corp. (Nick Barbaro)). Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  18. ^ Bell, Amy. "Drowned in Sound – Reviews – Album – The Avalanches". Drowned in Sound. (Silentway). Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  19. ^ Petridis, Alexis et al. (12 April 2001). "Sunshine swagger". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Ward, Christian (16 April 2001). "Avalanches – Avalanches : Since I Left You – Album Reviews". NME. IPC Media (Time Inc.). Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008. 
  21. ^ a b LeMay, Matt (31 December 1999). "Avalanches > Since I Left You". Pitchfork Media (Ryan Schreiber). Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Bozza, Anthony (30 October 2001). "The Avalanches: Since I Left You : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  23. ^ Reynolds, Simon (October 2001). "Reviews". Spin (Spin Media LLC) 17 (10): 126–127. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  24. ^ a b Martin, Tyler (1 September 2003). "The Avalanches – Since I Left You – Review". Stylus Magazine (Todd Burns). Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  25. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "The Avalanches – Since I Left You". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "The Avalanches – Since I Left You". VG-lista – Top 40 Albums. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "ARIA Awards 2011: History: Winners by Year". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  28. ^ Since I Left You at Metacritic Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  29. ^ "Metacritic: Best Albums of 2001". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Metacritic: Best Dance Albums". Metacritic. 
  31. ^ "Review: Since I Left You". Q (London). May 2001. 
  32. ^ Christgau, Robert (12 February 2002). "Pazz & Jop 2001: Not Just Your Old Man's Takeover". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  33. ^ Pemberton, Rollie (18 January 2005). "The Top 50 Albums: 2000–2005 – Article". Stylus (Todd Burns). Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  34. ^ Pitchfork Staff (2 October 2009). "Staff Lists: The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 20–1". Pitchfork Media (Ryan Schreiber). Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  35. ^ LeMay, Matt (1 January 2002). "Top 20 Albums of 2001". Pitchfork Media (Ryan Schreiber). Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  36. ^ "The Best 50 Albums of 2001". Q. December 2001. pp. 60–65. 
  37. ^ Christgau, Robert (12 February 2002). "Pazz & Jop 2001". The Village Voice. Village Voice Media (Michael Cohen). Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  38. ^ Johnston, Chris (27 June 2009). "Best of the Best – Music – Entertainment". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  39. ^ "GQ: 50 most influential Australian albums ever". The Daily Telegraph. News Corporation. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  40. ^ "Top 100 albums of the '00s". Resident Advisor (Paul Clement, Nick Sabine). 25 January 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  41. ^ Slant Staff (1 February 2010). "Best of the Aughts: Albums". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  42. ^ "Countdown #9 : Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  43. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  44. ^ Sherburne, Philip. "Since I Left You : The Avalanches". Rhapsody. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  45. ^ "'Since I Left You' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  46. ^ "'Stay Another Season' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  47. ^ "'Radio' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  48. ^ "'Two Hearts in 3/4 Time' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  49. ^ "'Avalanche Rock' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  50. ^ "'Flight Tonight' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  51. ^ "'Close to You' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  52. ^ "'Diners Only' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  53. ^ "'A Different Feeling' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  54. ^ "'Electricity' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  55. ^ "'Tonight' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  56. ^ "'Pablo's Cruise' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  57. ^ "'Frontier Psychiatrist' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  58. ^ "'Etoh' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  59. ^ "'Summer Crane' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  60. ^ "'Little Journey' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  61. ^ "'Live at Dominoes' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  62. ^ "'Extra Kings' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  63. ^ "Since I Left You – The Avalanches – Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  64. ^ Hung, Steffen. "The Avalanches – Since I Left You" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique – Portail des Charts Français (French Charts Portal) – Top 200 Albums. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  65. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Albums 2001". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]