Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact (4AD)

May 25, 2011 by  

It’s hard to believe that this is Gang Gang Dance’s fifth record. Having already explored their atmospheric if slightly skewed sound on their former records this album pushes their sonic template further, incorporating an array of global sounds along with the familiar psychedelics and electronica.

Being subversive is in effect what the band does best, why else would they feature tracks containing figures of 8 rather than actual song titles and begin the album with the 11 minute psychedelic odyssey ‘Glass Jar’? It’s not likely to be featured on the radio 1 playlist any time soon. Its excessive bleeping and washes of synth over a sparse vocal is a little disorientating and could initially deter new listeners, but this gradually evolves into a ravey track with Bollywood stylings – a very impressive start even if an obtuse one.

‘Adult Goth’s’ propelled drums and synths accompanied with female vocals is enough to set any dancefloor alight. ‘Chinese High’ is another high point with is Chinese vocal stylings and stabs of synths along with its programmed beats, which is a welcome respite to the albums heavier sounds. ‘Mindkilla’ is another synth heavy epic with its sweet vocals wrapped around a progressive electro backing. The Neo Soul brilliance of ‘Romance Layers’ and the blessed-out electronica of ‘Sacer’, which sounds a tad like Asobi Seksu, takes things down a notch before moving into the middle eastern influenced final track ‘Thru and Thru’.

It’s almost like taking a rocket trip around world music, but Gang Gang Dance inject enough musical ambition to make this journey sound edgy and captivating, despite the numbers titled interludes. This could easily be classed as world music but there is too much going on in the mix to confine this to the easy listening section

A mindboggling, but absolutely essential listen, nonetheless


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