Gang Gang Dance
The arc and trajectory on which Gang Gang Dance has propelled themselves since their inception can only be described in terms of evolution. Four individuals with strong ties to the art community and almost boundless creative energy orienting themselves into a musical collaboration whose direction is almost as unpredictable as it is focused.
Comprised of Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian Degraw, Josh Diamond and Jesse Lee, Gang Gang Dance formed in New York in the early part of the new century. Originating from the same experimental Brooklyn scene as Animal Collective and Black Dice, the band's first recorded output was a string of records released on influential local label Social Registry. With the burgeoning arts community of which they were a part continually falling under the microscope of the wider world, Gang Gang Dance recorded second full length album God's Money and in the process transcended all associations with their peers. Boldly forging their various avant garde influences into a coherent statement, God's Money was wildly off kilter and out of sync with what was currently happening in the US underground.
Constructed from assorted fragments of Eastern scales, dub apexes and the inward looking gaze of noise aesthetics, God's Money was Gang Gang Dance's first definitive document of their own voice. Grounded by Bougatsos' otherworldly vocals, the band cemented their position as purveyors of melodically stilted experimentations that aimed as much for the emotional as the cerebral.
If the more melodic elements of God's Money suggested a wider audience was not beyond the band, it was three years later with fourth studio Saint Dymphna, that the band truly streamlined their tendency towards more outré influences into something approaching pop music. A mutant melting pot of Timbaland, The Pop Group, AR Rahman and elements of the UK underground (collaborating with Tinchy Stryder for the avant-grime of 'Princes'), Saint Dymphna cemented their status as one of the most essential and influential acts of their generation.
After touring Saint Dymphna for a few months, Tim DeWit decided to leave the band to concentrate on his producing career, which left the door open for Jesse Lee's entry as the drummer. With Jesse behind the kit, one may notice a tighter, more motorized beat; a tendency in-keeping with the band's songwriting evolution. Now signed to 4AD, fifth album (inc. compilation album, Revival of the Shittest), Eye Contact arrived on 9th May 2011 and duly matched the incremental sonic progression Gang Gang Dance has made with each record. Leaning heavily on the melodicism hinted at on Saint Dymphna, Lizzi's vocals guide the record throughout, embellished by typically intricate polyrhythms and unexpected influences. More so than before however, Eye Contact displays the band's meticulous song craft. Indebted to dance culture, the pacing of the record is such that subtle passages and enigmatic samples give way to relentless locked-in grooves, very much shaping Eye Contact as a coherent statement of intent, defined by its purposeful construction and immaculate production.