Despite listening to the Animal Collective a fair bit at this time, I always felt their earliest work was the most interesting. Tracks like the superb Pride and Fight from the live album Hollinndagain were a million miles from the cluttered shiny avant pop they’d slowly moved towards.
Of course, the individual trajectories of the band members was also a bit of a mixed bag. However, Noah Lennox’s second solo album as Panda Bear – Person Pitch remains a superbly rich and fulfilling listen. Built from huge roughly sampled chunks and loops, electronic dusting, and Panda Bear’s cavernously treated vocals, it forms a beautiful sonic world. Even now, Person Pitch feels like The Beach Boys caught in a hall of mirrors in some heady pop ecstasy.
Snatches of Scott Walker, Hans Zimmer, Cat Stevens, Lee Perry and Kraftwerk appear like wallpaper throughout the album. But it’s The Tornadoes twinkling basis of the album’s centre piece Bros that things come together so absolutely beautifully. A hooting owl heralds a weird Christmas flavoured bubble and it just slowly grows messier and more insistent through its 12.30 minute duration. It’s impossible not be sucked in and the whole album proves much joyousness can come from seemingly so little.
Looking back, Person Pitch had way more in common with Lennox’s who other sample-laden side project with Scott Mou – Jane than the Animal Collective. Person Pitch still feels like an extraordinary amount of slow burning joy being extracted from seemingly so little.
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