Centipede Hz is the tenth full length Animal Collective album following the widely celebrated Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009) and also the first since Strawberry Jam (2007) to feature all four original band members: Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist and Deakin. As the album's opening bars of drum crashes and radio interference on 'Moonjock' immediately make clear, having returned as a four piece, Animal Collective have made their most widescreen and fully realized music to date.
Once touring for Merriweather Post Pavilion was concluded at the end of 2009, Animal Collective released their visual album Oddsac on DVD. The film was also screened internationally at theatres and film festivals. The band created Transverse Temporal Gyrus, an installation for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and subsequently released a 12" single of the performance and launched a website to distribute music from the event. The period between Merriweather Post Pavilion and Centipede Hz also saw the release of two solo albums: Avey Tare's Down There (2010) and Panda Bear's Tomboy (2011).
Regrouping as a four piece with original member Deakin once more in the band, Animal Collective reconvened in their native Baltimore in January-March 2011 to write material for Centipede Hz with a further session later in the year. Rather than swapping ideas over the internet and file-sharing Animal Collective were, for the first time in many years, exchanging ideas in the same room by playing live instruments. As a result Panda Bear returned to playing a sit-down drum kit for the first time since Here Comes The Indian (2003) and Geologist began playing live keyboards again. Along with using some of the samplers and sequencers with which they had previously been writing, the sound of Centipede Hz draws on the dynamics and energy of Animal Collective playing together as a band. The return of Deakin is at its most marked in 'Wide Eyed', a song that he wrote, featuring his first ever lead-vocal performance and whose title captures the mood of Centipede Hz perfectly.
Part of the inspiration for Centipede Hz included the band's memories of growing up listening to station announcements and commercials on the radio and imagining the after life of radio signals from the past, forgotten transmissions that are now lost in space and broadcasting music from other planets for other life forms. This is reflected in the sound of Centipede Hz, which features the white noise of radio interference and buried frequencies overlaid with the band's peerless melodic sensibilities and compositional methods. The result is a panoramic set of songs that shimmer with the confidence and wonder of Animal Collective's unique inner logic and the luminous warmth of their sound world.
Centipede Hz line-up & recording information
Animal Collective: Avey Tare (vocals, synthesizers, piano, guitar, sampler, sequencer, percussion); Panda Bear (vocals, drums, sampler, percussion); Deakin (vocals, baritone guitar, sampler, percussion); Geologist (sampler, synthesizers, piano, percussion)
with: Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks, All Night Radio) lap steel guitar on 'Today's Supernatural', 'New Town Burnout', 'Pulleys', and 'Gotham', and melodica on 'Rosie Oh' & Riverside Middle School Choir, which sings on 'Father Time' and 'New Town Burnout'.
Centipede Hz was co-produced by Animal Collective and Ben H. Allen III and recorded at Sonic Ranch studios in Tornillo TX (outside of El Paso) in Jan-Feb 2012 by Ben H. Allen III and mixed at Maze Studios in Atlanta, GA by Ben H. Allen III
Animal Collective biographical details
Animal Collective are: Avey Tare (David Portner b.1979, currently resides Los Angeles, CA); Panda Bear (Noah Lennox b.1978, currently resides Lisbon, Portugal); Geologist (Brian Weitz b.1979, currently resides Washington, DC); Deakin (Joshua Dibb b.1978, currently resides Baltimore, MD).
The band members met during childhood and have known each other in some form or another for twenty – twenty-five years. Panda Bear and Deakin have been friends since third grade in the mid-80s and began playing music together in the early 90s in a band called The Cartels. Avey Tare and Geologist have been friends since 1993 when Geologist moved to Baltimore from Philadelphia before ninth grade, and they started playing music together in 1994 in a band called Auto Mine. Avey Tare, Geologist, and Deakin all attended high school at the Park School in Baltimore and met through mutual friends. Deakin joined Auto Mine in 1996 and soon introduced the others to Panda Bear who was going to high school in Pennsylvania. Having spent their formative years playing and discovering music together Deakin and Panda Bear released what is considered the first Animal Collective-related release, Panda Bear's debut self-titled album (1998) on their own Soccer Star Records. In 2000, Soccer Star became Animal and released Avey Tare and Panda Bear's Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished.
Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished is considered the first Animal Collective record as it features more than one band member. The album was the beginning of a discography comprised of any combination of two to four Animal Collective members – the ongoing definition of an Animal Collective release which continues up to the present day.
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