In his globe-spanning, Animal Collective day job, Dave Portner (aka Avey Tare) plays a part in the psychedelic, spaced-out swirls of kaleidoscopic melodies that can never be understated, but when left to his own devices, he sucks out the colour and delves into the murk.His first proper solo effort, ‘Down There’ retains the insistent ambient buzz you’d expect but it creeps and creaks with a drone and groan. Perhaps inspired by the old church the album was recorded in, there’s a weight and atmosphere that hangs heavy, gliding between the spooky dramatics of Fever Ray to understated industrial beats. It even feels as though the album’s title is conveying a sense of apprehension; a warning of what lurks beyond, and while it never really delivers on the dark insinuation, like turning over a mossy stone, it’s a tentative, unexpected surprise.

By Reef Younis

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