Animal Collective


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Originally issued as a limited-edition LP, Hollinndagain is a live album recorded during American performances in 2001. Seven tracks and just over 40 minutes in length, it stands as one of the earliest recordings by Animal Collective. Their transcultural technological brand of post-postmodern tribalism is already in play here. Static opens the set for the first four-and-a-half minutes of "I See You Pan," only to be added to by solo voice, a simple childlike keyboard line, and harsh white noise that dissolves by the end of the cut's nearly 11-and-a-half minute length, only to be segued into the glorious "Pride and Fight," a transmutational campfire song if there ever was one. Using an organic Native American rhythmic approach -- via the sound of bare feet on a floor and a Björk-like sung line in the lyric, where high moaning chant is atmospherically treated with another voice, lapping over, slipping, and sparsely circling around, one can hear the skeletal formation of the sonics that went into creating Here Comes the Indian issued nearly two years later. It's quite beautiful; it feels natural and relaxed and is just out of its head, off its nod creative. By the time you get to the percussion orgy that is "Forest Gospel," you're ready for anything as listeners. One can only speculate as to what it might have been like to witness this performance. This is the terrain that the Virgin Prunes were trying to mine in their brief but entirely adventurous run. "Tell It to the Mountain," is another, briefer such exercise, full of off-the-rail drums and chanted vocals. The remaining three tracks are studies -- if you will generously allow them to be called that -- in free-form electronic and vocal freakout, and they simply don't work because the playfulness and musicality at the heart of Animal Collective is missing and the direction is far from focused. That said, Hollinndagain is worth the purchase price for the first two cuts -- "I See You Pan" and "Pride and Fight" alone, which will claim nearly half-an-hour of your day, or night, should you choose to allow them to transform you into a pre-verbal child again. This is an indulgence that's warranted, and among the first recorded attempts by this wild and wonderful group to go past the norms of all things in "alterative culture" in order to create an adjoining, but wholly different sonic universe.

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