D/B Recommended: Animal Collective @ Astra Berlin | Sunday, 18.11.2012

The strange, shimmering star at the center of the early 2000s psych-pop revival, Animal Collective garnered both critical plaudits and rabid, devoted acolytes.

AC blends Brian Wilson-esque vocal harmonies with spaced-out instrumentation, tribal percussion and odd ribbons of sound.

As their name implies, the group is more a loose aggregation of performers rather than a standard rock band.

Animal Collective | Crimson

Each of the members assumes a kind of nom de psych under which they record: David Portner is Avey Tare, Noah Lennox is Panda Bear, Josh Dibb is Deacon and Brian Weitz calls himself Geologist.

The names add an air of both mystery and personality to an already bizarre and singular group. It’s music is defined by a sonic restlessness, and an ability to change sounds and styles — sometimes radically — from album to album.

Animal Collective | Brothersport

With 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion / MPP, Animal Collective delivered on the seemingly unattainable level of promise that had grown with each release since their beginnings.

Ever-shifting, the woolly freak folk of 2003’s Sung Tongs gave way to subsequent albums Feels and Strawberry Jam, which were influenced in equal parts by minimal techno and Syd Barrett-esque psychedelic rock.

Animal Collective | In The Flowers

Big beats, pop hooks, heightened production, and Animal Collective’s patented freakiness combined into a perfect storm with MPP, and countless new fans were exposed to the band for the first time.

Expectations for a similarly brilliant follow-up were bound to be huge, but the band’s mercurial approach would never allow for any album to sound too much like the last. Ninth studio album Centipede Hz finds AC returning to a face-to-face writing style, rather than collaborating through file exchanging due to distance.

Animal Collective | Kids On Holiday

Centipede Hz is an album of numerous skittering layers, replacing the ambient pop elements of previous albums with slight Brazilian touches, fuzzy electronic bashing, and even more unrecognizable gurgling samples than usual.

In the context of their greater body of work, Centipede Hz is yet another strange and oozing collection of experiments. There’s a higher percentage of anxiety and queasiness mixed in amid the moments of pop bliss, and though fans of the glassy perfection of MPP may be initially disappointed, Centipede Hz sounds like another logical step in the band’s evolution.

Animal Collective  LIVE

Sunday, 18 November 2012 | 20:00 CET
Astra | Revaler Str. 99 | 10245 Berlin/Friedrichshain

myanimalhome.net | astra-berlin.de