Gang Gang Dance’s California Dream-Pop

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Published April 19, 2011

Over the course of ten years and four albums, Gang Gang Dance has experimented with dreamy pop, new-wave synth, African rhythms, and even hip-hop. But one thing has remained constant: the avant pysch-rock quartet is synonymous with a distinct brand of downtown bohemia. If you ask keyboardist and electro-maestro Brian DeGraw, however, this below–14th Street connection was not as natural as one might assume. “It was always really hard for us in the city,” he says, discussing Manhattan’s frantic and distracting energy. “But we never had the opportunity to leave.” To create their fifth album, Eye Contact (out today on 4AD), the group relocated to quieter surroundings—artist friend Jack Pierson’s home in Twentynine Palms, California, near Joshua Tree, to be exact. The result, however, is still very New York—an elegant aural swirl of trippy, fuzzed-out beats framed by a percussive buildup—and Gang Gang’s most ambitious output to date.

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