IN 1977 NASA space probes Voyager 1 and 2 were launched, beginning an ongoing 43-year journey as the most distant man-made object from Earth.
On board the spaceships is the Golden Record, containing 116 images and sounds from Earth, ranging from Bach to Chuck Berry to Aboriginal music. It's a mixed tape, of sorts, of Earth and humanity for intelligent alien life to stumble across.
The less tangible item on the Golden Record is the bond formed by late astronomer Carl Sagan and his future wife, communication of science specialist Anne Druyan, who fell in love working on the project.
It's a love story that resonated deeply with Robbie Chater when he and his bandmate Tony Di Blasi were piercing together The Avalanches' third album We Will Always Love You.
"I was really blown away by their own personal story that they fell in love while they were making this mixed tape of planet Earth," Chater says over Zoom from Melbourne. "That was a really beautiful story to me."
For Chater there are parallels between the Golden Record and The Avalanches' music. Both aim to transport old sounds across space and time for a new audience.
In 2000 Chater, Di Blasi and ex-bandmate Darren Seltmann released their seminal debut Since I Left You which popularised sampling and The Avalanches as musical magpies.
It's estimated more than 3000 samples were stitched together on Since I Left You, ranging from Madonna's Holiday to obscure '40s jazz records.
"We might sample a singer from the 1940s, and that person has long since passed away, but their voice or spirit lives on through the music," Chater says.
"I love thinking about that and the people who might have owned that piece of vinyl in the 50 or 60 years before it comes to me and they've added crackles when they've been listening to it.
"So there's all this history in a piece of music and then we sample it and it's out on the radio again in another reiteration. It's like the spirits of these people, who have passed away, and it's kind of a beautiful thought."
However, We Will Always Love You marks a change in The Avalanches modus operandi. After taking 16 years to follow-up Since I Left You with the well-received Wildflower (2016), the Melbourne duo decided to write a song-based album.
"We felt free after finishing Wildflower," Chater says. "We thought it was a really great follow-up to Since I Left You and we almost checked in with each other before making this album and said, 'Look, are we up for making another record like that,' because they're no labour and time intensive.
"Neither of us had it in us right now to go away for another five to eight years and make another one like that.
"So we thought let's write a bunch of songs - whether it's four or six songs - and put them out quickly and we can go and do some more shows and get a more regular rhythm going as a band."
The songs began with a sample, before Chater and Di Blasi composed and performed original music and then sought vocalists. The result was the most melodic and dance-infused of The Avalanches' canon, and almost futuristic, compared to the dream-like nostalgia of Since I Left You.
WeWill Always Love You also features a cast of music industry heavyweights.
MGMT, Leon Bridges, Denzel Curry, Johnny Marr, Neneh Cherry, Perry Farrell, Karen O, Mick Jones, Sampa the Great, Tricky and Kurt Vile appear among the album's sprawling 25 tracks.
"Normally we allow the songs to lead the way and we'll think long and hard how the voice will fit or how do we finish this song?" Chater says.
"Someone might say, '[Jane's Addiction's] Perry Farrell might be perfect for that', and then we'll wonder if we could get in touch or if he has heard of us?"
"Then the process begins and we'll reach another. It's not really a wish list. We let the song lead the way and see which voice might be perfect for it."
For Chater, having The Clash's Mick Jones and The Smiths' Johnny Marr on his album was a career highlight.
"I grew up as a teenager listening to The Smiths and dreaming of what England must be like and hoping I would go there one day," he says.
"It was pre-internet and I would read the NME when it came out from England and read all about The Smiths, so it's kind of ridiculous really. I feel very fortunate."
The Avalanches' We Will Always Love You is released on Friday.