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 Princess Stomper

Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact (4AD)

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by Princess Stomper

It doesn’t sound like an American accent saying “I can hear everything” on opener ‘Glass Jar’, but the little I know of Gang Gang Dance is that they’re from New York. Those opening noises put me in mind of an instrumental from Pink Floyd’s ‘Momentary Lapse Of Reason’, and I think we’re in for a psychedelic ride.

‘Glass Jar’ is 11 minutes long, and after several minutes of those noodly meanderings busts out into breezy breakbeats with Lizzi Bougatsos’ distinctive voice, cheesy synths and crisp guitar. I’m torn between memories of 90s German jazz experimentalists Plexiq and the last Sufjan Stevens album.

‘Adult Goth’ doesn’t sound anything like you think it will – not a trace of Bauhaus or The Cure – though it would undoubtedly have gone down well in those dingy black-clad clubs with Delerium on the playlist. It’s just a dense and complex mix of percussion and fuzzy bass with soaring ‘world’-style vocals, reminding me a little of Natacha Atlas.

‘Mindkilla’ rings bells, as though it used to be played on the radio, but I’m not sure if that’s the case. It’s a very obvious single, even if it is out of sync with the rest of the album – an uptempo dancefloor filler with a very obvious singalong chorus. Radio friendly. Club friendly. This song could be huge, but leave anyone it reels in feeling a tad disoriented by the rest of the album.

Don’t worry about those tracks marked with the infinity symbol – they’re the digital doodles the titles suggest.

‘Romance Layers’ and ‘Sacer’ are chilled out to the point of somnambulant. They’re quite listenable, but more background music at cocktail hour than the distinctly foreground music of the album’s stronger moments.

‘Thru And Thru’ isn’t just foreground music. It’s music that doesn’t allow you to do anything else, but insists you give it your fullest attention. It’s Siouxsie Sioux’s Creatures channelled through Transglobal Underground and more bewildering Eurodisco cheese. It shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does, but those obliterating rhythms smash their way into your skull and pummel your brain until you have no choice but to comply: you will love this album.

2 Responses to Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact (4AD)

  1. hannah May 23, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I met a guy out of Gang Gang Dance in the street as he was loading up his van at the Great Escape festival. He was really friendly and sweet. They were playing at the same time I was watching Warpaint, so didn’t have chance to see them, but my friend did and she was inspired.

  2. Princess Stomper May 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Ouch! That would have been a pretty tough call to make – I’m not even sure which of those I’d choose. I suppose your only other option would have been (depending on how far the stages were apart) to try to catch half of each set.

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