US - New York - Full Moon 174 - 11/21/10
Avey Tare (a.k.a. David Portner) of Animal Collective has finally put out his debut album. While furry AnimColl partner Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) has got a head start,
with his 4th (if counting his lesser known late-90s, self-titled debut) solo effort due early (?) 2011, Avey Tare has only involved himself with some minor and low-flying
collaborations outside the collective: he's had (still having?) Terrestrial Tones along with Eric Copeland (of Black Dice) running. Then there's Pullhair Rubeye, which
is a project counting Portner and his wife Kría Brekkan (Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, formerly of Iceland's múm). Haven't checked out
these two projects, but I've got the split 12" he did with David Grubbs, which is quite far-out, experimental stuff.
Down There somewhat follows the (paw) tracks of Animal Collective, with a strong resemblance to the musical wildwoods of the mother group (throw "3 Umbrellas"
into any pop quiz, and I guess 99 out of 100 would answer AC). The record was even recorded by band mate Deaken (a.k.a. Josh Dibb), and the 9 songs included (recorded in
an old church in upstate New York) are playful experimentalism as done by the Collective. Add some twisted and bent electronica, plus some vintage pop music which has
been through the acid trip fields and a kaleidoscopic filter - where the colours sometimes are missing. The already mentioned "3 Umbrellas" is one of the most amusing
songs on Down There, along with "Oliver Twist". Other parts of the album are more scary, like Avey Tare being the wild wizard of the deep woods. "Cemeteries" is
one of the fascinating songs from the dark side. "Heads Hammock" is yet a song recalling the 'idianism' of Animal Collective. As the
9th and final track on a rather short and efficient album (clocking in at under 35 minutes) comes "Lucky 1". Another one of Tare's fantasy babies, and a different way
to end an album: with the record's first single choice. Avey Tare is something special, and so is his music. Sometimes it can be difficult to come through to his world,
but when you get there you'll be served some crazy mixtures on a plate for sure.
Avey Tare has with Down There exposed a creative mind the size (and colour) as his pal Panda Bear. Maybe even bigger,
working more dimensions.
Copyright © 2010 Håvard Oppøyen