Looks like Mushroom were being a little cheeky when they announced details today of a new compilation that was set to feature “new music” from long-dormant mash-up maestros The Avalanches.
The Mushroom Group first rung the alarm on new material from the group in a press release announcing “this is not a drill,” in details for an “extraordinary album” to feature music from The Avalanches alongside Mushroom’s own stable of artists – including Cloud Control, The Rubens, and Matt Corby & Missy Higgins – cropping up on a new teaser website touting a compilation record.
The Avalanches were tantalisingly placed as ‘Track 15′ on the new record, with full details to be unveiled at 11pm on 8th August, but it seems that the Avalanches’ record label, Modular, may have blown the lid on Mushroom’s plans in clearing up confusion over whether the cult Aussie group were still signed to Modular or had in fact jumped ship to Mushroom.
A representative from Modular issued a statement this afternoon that notes “to confirm they are 100% still signed to Modular,” while adding:
Further to an announcement from the Mushroom Group earlier today, The Avalanches have done a remix of ‘Talking To A Stranger’ (not a new track) for an upcoming tribute album.
The remix is cut up with an old disco sample, and is not new music from The Avalanches.
The Avalanches are currently still in the studio, putting the finishing touches on the follow up to 2000’s internationally acclaimed Since I Left You.
‘Talking To A Stranger’ is in fact a song originally written and performed by Hunters & Collectors, which gives the game away on Mushroom’s ‘secret’ compilation record as being a tribute album to the Australian rock band, compiled as part of Mushroom’s 40th Anniversary celebrations.
This new information means that the Hunters & Collectors tribute album is set to feature The Avalanches remix alongside covers recorded by Cloud Control, The Rubens, and a duet between Matt Corby & Missy Higgins, with the other artists of the tracklisting to be unveiled.
As TheMusic point out, the tribute album will also feature Something For Kate’s recorded take on the Hunters classic ‘When The River Runs Dry’, with frontman Paul Dempsey revealing on stage at a Sydney gig earlier this year that the Melbourne trio had completed recording the cover for an upcoming release.
Led by Mark Seymour, Hunters & Collectors first formed in 1981 in suburban Melbourne before becoming one of the country’s most beloved bands, with a song catalogue that boasts cuts like ‘Holy Grail’, ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ and ‘Where Do You Go’. The band formed a close bond with Mushroom over the course of their 17-year career, which concluded in 1998, though the band reformed for the 2009 Sound Relief concert, where Mushroom mogul Gudinski managed to rally bands together to perform at the MCG to raise funds in aid of Vicotrian Bushfire victims.
While the news of a Hunters & Collectors remix may disappoint fans of The Avalanches, the Modular press statement does confirm what many have been hanging their hopes on for nearly 15 years, a long-awaited follow-up to Since I Left You.
As if you needed any proof of the group’s cultural currency, Since I Left You not only polled in year-end lists from tastemakers such as Pitchfork and Slant Magazine, but remains a beloved record to Australian audiences; charting in the top ten of both the industry ranked publication, The 100 Best Australian Albums and Triple J’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time
A Modular insider first confirmed that a “New Avalanches album out in February 2014. 30 songs done and mixed,” earlier this year, with a Guardian reported claiming they’d heard the new material noting “they sound exactly the same… but in a really GOOD way,” in a series of tweets.