18

You'll know the way
fading from me

Amen Dunes
aoty2014.png
LP, Southern Lord
LP, Thrill Jockey
LP, Drag City

Favorite album of 2018

I have long admired Animal Collective for their ability to create impassioned music completely undeterred by trend or expectation. The music they have released to date over the Collective's 18+ years in existence has been made on their own terms. Theirs is a catalog of varied themes and forms, ranging from lo-fi field recordings (Campfire Songs, 2000) to freak-out delirium (Hollindagain, 2003) to ultra-hyper indie pop (Painting with..., 2016). Different though these efforts might be, they all derive from the same spirit. Animal Collective have never sounded like anyone else, and no music sounds quite like the music they make, despite continued attempts by foolhardy musicians to try. This is true no matter which of the four founding muscians happens to participate at a given time.

Tangerine Reef is a full-length audiovisual album by Animal Collective (here consisting of Avey Tare, Deakin, and Geologist - Panda Bear did not contribute), in collaboration with Coral Morphologic http://www.coralmorphologic.com/, an art-science duo and pioneers of avant-garde coral macro-videography. The project commemorates the 2018 International Year of the Reef. Here, as on every preceeding effort, Animal Collective continue to flex their creative inhibitions.

Contrasted with the ultra-hyper Painting With... - an offering I was never able to embrace, Tangerine Reef is a welcome return to the more languid and organic sound assemblages best exemplified by tracks like Must Be Treeman (Grass single, 2005) and Cobwebs (Water Curses EP, 2008), and on the Transverse Temporal Gyrus EP (2012), though less abstract. The music on Tangerine Reef fits a visual project with an oceanic bent well, because it itself reminds one of water. Sounds surface like things ascending for air and quickly fall away. Tracks flow into one another. Haunting, ethereal, impassioned, urgent, beautiful. Though Tangerine Reef, like many other efforts in the AC catalog, is heavy on electronics, synths, and treatments, it is still - like every Animal Collective offering - unflinchingly human and genuine. Listening to Animal Collective for nearly 20 years has given me an impression that, among other things, Avey, Panda, Deakin, and Geologist could never be anything but themselves, and would never make music that is not a true expression. For this I consider we, the listeners, lucky. Tangerine Reef is another such gift - another tribute to the Collective's essence, self awareness, and sonic individuality. And Reef is as strange and endearing as the rest.

As with every Animal Collective album, vocals are an integral component on Tangerine Reef, where Avey Tare's voice is again a highlight. It is due to this and other similarities that I hear a distinct ancestral tie to Avey's recent solo album, Eucalyptus (2017); one of my favorite Collective-related albums to date. At their best, they don't create music but rather conduct seances. A range of feeling from panic to delirium. Kaleidoscopic. Shares much with Oddsac, but Tangerine Reef is more approachable.

I have long admired Animal Collective for their ability to create impassioned music completely undeterred by trend or expectation. The music they have released to date over the Collective's 18+ years in existence has been made on their own terms. Theirs is a catalog of varied themes and forms, ranging from lo-fi field recordings (Campfire Songs, 2000) to freak-out delirium (Hollindagain, 2003) to ultra-hyper indie pop (Painting with..., 2016). Different though these efforts might be, they all derive from the same spirit. Animal Collective have never sounded like anyone else, and no music sounds quite like the music they make, despite continued attempts by foolhardy musicians to try. This is true no matter which of the four founding muscians happens to participate at a given time.

Tangerine Reef is a full-length audiovisual album by Animal Collective (here consisting of Avey Tare, Deakin, and Geologist - Panda Bear did not contribute), in collaboration with Coral Morphologic http://www.coralmorphologic.com/, an art-science duo and pioneers of avant-garde coral macro-videography. The project commemorates the 2018 International Year of the Reef. Here, as on every preceeding effort, Animal Collective continue to flex their creative inhibitions.

Contrasted with the ultra-hyper Painting With... - an offering I was never able to embrace, Tangerine Reef is a welcome return to the more languid and organic sound assemblages best exemplified by tracks like Must Be Treeman (Grass single, 2005) and Cobwebs (Water Curses EP, 2008), and on the Transverse Temporal Gyrus EP (2012), though less abstract. The music on Tangerine Reef fits a visual project with an oceanic bent well, because it itself reminds one of water. Sounds surface like things ascending for air and quickly fall away. Tracks flow into one another. Haunting, ethereal, impassioned, urgent, beautiful. Though Tangerine Reef, like many other efforts in the AC catalog, is heavy on electronics, synths, and treatments, it is still - like every Animal Collective offering - unflinchingly human and genuine. Listening to Animal Collective for nearly 20 years has given me an impression that, among other things, Avey, Panda, Deakin, and Geologist could never be anything but themselves, and would never make music that is not a true expression. For this I consider we, the listeners, lucky. Tangerine Reef is another such gift - another tribute to the Collective's essence, self awareness, and sonic individuality. And Reef is as strange and endearing as the rest.

As with every Animal Collective album, vocals are an integral component on Tangerine Reef, where Avey Tare's voice is again a highlight. It is due to this and other similarities that I hear a distinct ancestral tie to Avey's recent solo album, Eucalyptus (2017); one of my favorite Collective-related albums to date. At their best, they don't create music but rather conduct seances. A range of feeling from panic to delirium. Kaleidoscopic. Shares much with Oddsac, but Tangerine Reef is more approachable.