The first album from the experimental neo-psychedelic electronica group Animal Collective, though it was not originally released under that name. The group is a collaboration between four experimental artists; Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Geologist (Brian Weitz), and Deakin (Josh Dibb). The original name associated with this album was "Avey Tare and Panda Bear."

Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished is somewhat of a tie-in with the band's early roots. When Weitz and Portner, already musical collaborators from age 15, met Josh Dibb in high school, they created an indie rock band called Automine (sometime between 1993 and 1995) with another friend, Brendan Fowler. Shortly after, they discovered psychedelic drugs and began experimenting with improvised music. A song written by David Portner entitled “Penny Dreadfuls” was performed by Automine, but can be found on this first album from Animal Collective.

Dibb introduced Noah Lennox, a childhood friend, to the group. The four spent many years playing music both together and independently. In 1999, Portner and Weitz, at the time college students in New York City, were visiting Lennox and Dibb over the summer. Portner had been working on a record that would later become Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished. The group collaborated on the project and it was released the next year.


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