Music / / 08.04.15

Animal Collective and Vashti Bunyan’s top ten collaborations

Animal Collective and Vashti Bunyan pick their favourite collaborations

Ten years is a long time. We don’t care what anyone says. Ten years ago we were still bright eyed, still learning. Ten years ago we heard an EP by Animal Collective and Vashti Bunyan called Prospect Hummer. In it we heard harsh noise, bright pop and traditional folk colliding in a mess that sounded like nothing we’d ever heard before filtered through everything we’d heard before.

With the anniversary of the release looming and new reissue of the EP impending we asked Animal Collective and Vashti Bunyan to enter into the spirt of collaboration and tell us their top ten joint-efforts.

Jon Anderson & Vangelis (Jon And Vangelis) – I’ll Find My Way Home

Animal Collective: Vangelis has had an amazing career giving us such gems as “Aphrodite’s Child” to his vast soundtrack work (Blade Runner) to his many other sick solo records. Here, he is collaborating with the king of the prog falsetto, John Anderson.

While this isn’t their only collaboration, there’s something about the simplistic chord progression and cheesy sentiment that gets me with this one. We love all of those phasey synth bubbles. Part fantasy soundtrack part emotional ballad. This one’s an emerald.

Emma Smith and Vince Sipprell as Geese – Spool

Vashti: I worked with Emma Smith and Vince Sipprell on a tour called Zero Degrees of Separation in 2006. Both such wonderful musicians – I never saw them perform as Geese but watching this video I wish I had. Vince has since sadly passed and is sorely missed.

Eden Ahbez & Nat King Cole – Nature Boy

AC: Pop music has always involved collaborations it seems. This collaboration, in particular, somehow happens to spark one of our favorite songs of all time and perhaps what is considered one of the greatest songs of all time.  It was recorded in 1947. Everything about this song is magical.

Proto hippie lyrics written by a proto hippie who lived below the hollywood sign as the song took flight. And the perfect pillowy voice and orchestrations to help it find its way. Nat has one of our favorite voices of all time and here it glides and descends into the dream.

Traveling Wilburys – Runaway

V: This Del Shannon song from 1961 – a perfect classic – performed by the Traveling Wilburys whose story of how they got together is also classic. Being in the right place at the right time. . or as George Harrison says “maybe there was a full moon that night”.

Raymond Scott/Jim Henson – Limbo, The Organized Mind

AC: It’s no surprise that a voice can really make or break a song or music for us. Vashti has one of those voices that beckons you back again and again. Jim Henson has another great voice. It’s like aural play-dough transforming into a million different roles and things each second. Here, he takes us on a fantastical and scientific journey through the mind. Backed by one of our favorite electronic musicians, the bleeps and bloops of Raymond Scott become one of the best friends a person could ever have while traveling through the mind.

Gareth Dickson and Juana Molina – Two Trains

V: Gareth’s song Two Trains is the first song of his that I heard when the FatCat label introduced him to me in 2006. He has accompanied me with his amazing guitar playing ever since. I found this video of Gareth and Juana Molina from a few years ago – recording the song in Argentina. It made me smile – as they don’t stop smiling the whole way through.

Syd Barrett/Robert Wyatt – The Madcap Laughs

AC: One musical task we wish we could have been given or even to have witnessed would probably be that of a musician given the job of backing Syd Barrett in these recording sessions.  Robert Wyatt is the man.

Robbie Robertson and Paul Buchanan – Breaking The Rules

V: Where two worlds collide – Robbie Robertson of The Band and Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile. New Orleans USA and Glasgow UK. Both voices that can floor a person in such different ways – but so good together here.

Theorem – THX – Experiments In Synchronicity (Album)

AC: Technically a collaboration between Theorem, Sutekh, Swayzak, and Stewart Walker. This jam was an Animal Collective staple on tour in the early 2000s. Still holds up as far as minimal techno is concerned.

Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic – Carmenista

V: Good to see them taking time to perform as two. I first saw them playing as Vetiver in Glasgow where I asked them all in turn how they managed to make themselves get on the stage since I just couldn’t imagine ever being able to. Everyone had different advice but Devendra said “Oh just do it till it doesn’t scare you anymore.” He was right.

Animal Collective and Vashti Bunyan’s Prospect Hummer will be reissued by Fat Cat Records this year on 18 April for Record Store Day

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