In his globe-spanning, Animal Collective day job, Dave Portner (aka Avey Tare) plays a part in the psychedelic,
spaced-out swirls of kaleidoscopic melodies that can never be understated,
but when left to his own devices, he sucks out the colour and delves into the
murk.His first proper solo effort, ‘Down There’
retains the insistent ambient buzz you’d expect but it creeps and creaks with a drone and groan.
Perhaps inspired by the old church the album was recorded in, Avey Tare there’s a weight and atmosphere that hangs heavy,
gliding between the spooky dramatics of Fever Ray to understated industrial beats.
It even feels as though the album’s title is conveying a sense of apprehension; a warning of what lurks beyond,
and while it never really delivers on the dark insinuation, like turning over a mossy stone, it’s a tentative, unexpected surprise.
By the end of these Olivia Neutron Bomb/Rumplestiltskin/Kiss Akabusi days,
Derwin still had his Tu Pac bandana but his rap dream was over.
In pursuing sampling since first hearing ‘Big Loada’, though, he’d
unwittingly laid the foundations for Gold Panda and the ambient, looping techno he produces today.
The thing is, he then didn’t care too much for a career in music – not
until the death of a close friend made him reconsider it.
“I think that’s why the album is so personal,” he says “because I lost a close
friend who was doing techno under the name Subhead and he was always telling me to do music, and I was like, ‘Naaah’, and then he died.
He had a stroke and that was it, he was gone. So I was thinking of dedicating a song to him… but he’s dead – he’s not going to know.
So I thought how about making songs about people while they’re alive so I
have something to show them that I care, and family has been the one constant thing in my life that’s quite stable.
I’m very lucky in that sense. We all get drunk a couple of times a year where everyone will turn up and there’ll be dancing, a lot of drinking,
maybe some drugs,” he whispers.
“We’re all very close. But I dunno, with electronic music how much of that emotion can you put in there without lyrics, apart from naming the tracks?”
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