Saturday, 15 May 2010

Animal Collective ODDSAC

Animal Collective and Danny Perez

After its premier at the Sundance Film Festival back in late January, ODDSAC, a visual

album created by Animal Collective and Danny Perez found its way to Manchester’s Mint

Lounge on a grey Friday afternoon. A thirty minute wait only added to the excitement and

anticipation for what was waiting inside. Many associate Animal Collective with their most recent and ‘successful’ album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, ignorant perhaps to the older material such as Strawberry Jam and Sung Tongs. Such naivety would not bode well for what ODDSAC had in store. The film begins with rapid flashes cutting between three distinct frames. Behind the images of tribal fires and a trapped girl in a house with black paint oozing out of the wallpaper is the familiar sounds of Baltimore’s finest. The music coincides the pace of the film, with a bouncing drum beat and rhythmic synthesisers paving the way for Perez’s off set style of cinematography. Contrasting tones and effects fill the screen with an array of colour, as the lacking narrative becomes insignificant behind the musical and cinematic genius of both Perez, Panda Bear, and Co. Speaking to Avey Tare (Dave Portner) from Animal Collective we discover the drive and inspiration behind ODDSAC: “We wanted to link our music with the medium of film, we have worked with Danny Perez before and it really works between us”. This becomes apparent as many Animal Collective themes are present throughout ODDSAC, from tribal dancing to animal masks, all establishing a fantastic sense of all things weird, brilliantly encompassed by Perez. An example of such ‘weirdness’ is shown with a canoeing vampire entering a woodland scene (stick with it), this somewhat surreal character then stumbles across a family camping in the woods and roasting marshmallows on an open fire. The irony as the vampire looks at the unified family is spectacular. However, when the roasted marshmallows splurge out of the families faces, the vampire pounces and feasts upon the panic stricken folk. ODD cannot describe the footage which followed as sunlight crept up on the gluttonous canoeing vampire. Paint erupts from the vampires head as his fate becomes apparent and fails to mount his canoe one last time, Perez revealing “old school pyrotechnics” to be behind such wizardry. Highlights include Noah Lennox (known amongst Collective fans as Panda Bear) banging a set of drums and cymbal in a long white wig in an environment which can only be described as a mass grave for boulders with the backdrop of magnificent woodland. As the film draws to a close, a gratuitous round of applause fills the Mint Lounge. A Q&A session now unfolds, but this journalist already has the information he came for. The quick interview with Avey Tare prior to the show unwrapped the saddening news that there will be no more Animal Collective material or shows for the duration of 2010: “Me and Josh (Deakin from Animal Collective) have been working on our own, and Noah has been busy with Panda Bear. We all want to go away but without any studio work to think about”. Not to worry, with ODDSAC out July 26th on DVD and ITunes and material from Panda Bear to look forward to, not to mention the Animal Collective discography (not just Merriweather Post Pavilion), I remain certain we can keep ourselves occupied until 2011.

Essential Collective:

Peacebone - Strawberry Jam

Fireworks - Strawberry Jam

Chores-Strawberry Jam

My Girls- Merriweather Post Pavilion

Summertime Clothes- Merriweather Post Pavilion

Brother Sport- Merriweather Post Pavilion

What would i want? Sky. - Fall Be Kind LP

Leaf house- Sung Tongs

The Purple Bottle - Feels

Water Curses - Water Curses LP