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avey tare - Down There
The first official solo full-length from Animal Collective's Avey Tare (aka Dave Portner) arrives in the midst of a singles series from bandmate Panda Bear. To be very general it would seem that on recent evidence Panda Bear is the confirmed pop architect of the group - entrenching his music in lavish whirlpools of Brian Wilson vocal tracking - while Avey Tare leans more heavily in the direction of experimentation. You can hear some of Merriweather Post Pavilion's more sonically adventurous elements being given a chance to play out in full here, with plenty of squished, watery rhythms and field recorded weirdness running through the record's rough-cut narrative. Down There remains a vibrantly involving, tuneful treat however, it's just that the colourful melodies and danceable beats tend to be warped and pitchshifted to surreal extremes. The thudding kicks and Fever Ray-style detuned vocals of 'Oliver Twist' provide a confusing, yet oddly euphoric mutant disco highlight, whilst the rolling cyborg beats on 'Ghost Of Books' and 'Heather In The Hospital' might bring to mind High Places' weirder moments as much as that queasily biomechanical, Animal Collective patented brand of psychedelia. Recommended.