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Since I Left You

by The Avalanches

Released November 27, 2000 via Modular Records

Originally reviewed on January 19, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Since I Left You (46%), Frontier Psychiatrist (24%), Electricity (17%)

An exemplary model of a plunderphonics record, Since I Left You takes the art of sampling to unprecedented heights. Rather than clusters of sampled material, Since I Left You consists of lush soundscapes that result from perfectly interwoven bits and pieces. It’s groovy, it’s funky, and it’s nonstop fun. There’s a very summer-y feel to nearly every section of this album, and to say it’s danceable might be the biggest understatement of all. Primarily a dance/disco record, this free-flowing musical mosaic is a timeless piece of art. – Dominick (10/10)

It is crazy to think that the entirety of Since I Left You could be summed up in one phrase from its title track: “Since I left you, I found the world so new.” It’s a family scrapbook, and every song is about one hundred shimmering pictures of the past you long to return to. Sandy beaches with sand so soft that it doesn’t even matter if it gets stuck in between your toes. Wind brushing against your face on a road that’s too long in a car that’s too hot. Plane rides to places you’ve never been to before, over clouds and oceans that don’t look real from this high up. They’re new discoveries and new memories that shape your life for the years to come, which let you know when times are at their best. The vivid, layered instrumentation creates a euphoric atmosphere. It’s a grand experience, with boisterous highs and serene lows that never manage to feel out of place. Of course, a world can’t always make you dance, and it can’t always be a peaceful night’s sleep; there’s a lot of gray area in between, all of which this record manages to express. – Ben (Synth) (10/10)

In simple terms, the construction of this album is equivalent to taking one piece from 1,000 different puzzles and somehow fitting them together to form an entirely new and perfectly cohesive image. Without a second of original input, The Avalanches chop, blend, and layer source material to form a mesmerizing journey that musickind had never seen prior. Since I Left You is a monument to the art of sampling and remains unrivaled 20 years later. – Enth (9.5/10)

Who would have thought? Australia serves up a sample based hip-hop record of extraordinary quality and maybe the only one of its kind to truly match Endtroducing and Donuts on the straight up magic front. With such a ridiculous sample count, you would expect an album of this stature to be all over the place. Instead, you will find yourself in a state of disbelief as every piece fits—a near impossible feat executed without the slightest care in the world. Effervescent and free-flowing. Eternal in spirit. Press play and try and figure out the samples and their origins. It is a great way to pass time and truly appreciate the depth and field of vision that the Avalanches crew have. Every corner of the world is covered here. Tracks are teased long before they come to fruition. Since I Left You is one of the only albums that genuinely feels like an off-the-cuff live set. It has that “you had to be there” type of feel, a rare sentiment in the history of recorded music. – Peter (9.5/10)

On Since I Left You, The Avalanches mix all types of music from all over the globe to make something that can only be called their own. With over 3,500 samples (primarily from media in the ‘60s-’90s), each more genius than the next, this album manages to sound both timeless and nostalgia-inducing. The samples are so different in nature, but they come together to create something so happy, summery, and fun. It’s incredible. Since I Left You hasn’t aged a bit in the 20 years since it dropped, and it remains not only an innovative and genre-defining piece of work, but everything that sampling is intended to be. – Alan (9.3/10)

Ben (Synth): 10/10 | Dominick: 10/10 | Hadley: 10/10 | Cam: 9.8/10 | Enth: 9.5/10
Pax: 9.5/10 | Peter: 9.5/10 | Alan: 9.3/10 | DeVán: 8.5/10


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