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Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

Wednesday 7th November / presented by Ed Williams

Domino

Animal Collective’s latest and 9th studio album sees a deviation from the more accessible work of Merriweather Post Pavillion and a return to the complicated and harsher soundscapes of their earlier work. It demands active listening; distortion, sweeping synth, white noise, clicks, lasers and space age sounds fill the gaps left by the distinctive vocals and beat heavy rhythms.
In a word – dense.

There’s a lot going on here. It’s like pop melodies have been jammed through a black hole, crushed, and then sprinkled with layer upon layer of cosmic miscellany that sinks into the core to produce a layered offering that represents rich background noise with hard hitting peaks at regular intervals.

The surprising part is that the final product, while being composed of jagged and conflicting elements; is still very smooth, and still carries a familiar structure that provides a listener at least some comfort. Brief interludes of cosmic chatter top and tailing the tracks fill up any silence, and provide a continuity that helps blend the discord together.

The album is consistent in it’s inconsistency, and spans moods within it: the beachside cocktail of ‘Father Time’ drifting into the melodramatic baroque chords of ‘New Town Burnout’.

A difficult and easy listen at the same time, those willing to tune in to these less-than-accessible elements of Centipede Hz, and fans of Animal Collective’s earlier work in general, will likely find themselves appropriately satisfied.

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All live musical performances are included in our podcasts with the express permission of artists, who reserve all other rights in their music. All music used in our podcasts is licensed under an APRA Community Broadcasting license agreement.

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