Gang Gang Dance
Saint Dymphna


4.5
superb

Review

by AggravatedYeti USER (46 Reviews)
February 18th, 2010 | 25 replies | 7,812 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: New York City experimental-pop outfit create a world, and genre spanning dance-floor epic.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Strange cover right? Two sets of heavy-handed eyes, both behind masks. One being a gorilla head of sorts, the other a large, random head-dress with cues to any number of markets around the world. Then slapped just slightly northeast, the words, Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna, are barley present. Interesting album name really, Dymphna being a canonized saint and daughter of an Irish Pagan Chief, a particularly shifty one at that. With her Mother dead, and her father’s subsequent wide-eyed search for another suitable bride coming to an abrupt, unsuccessful halt, the Chief soon turned his eyes toward his darling teen-aged daughter. As one would expect, Dymphy didn’t enjoy Daddy’s advances, and soon, she and a few close confidants fled the shores of her Irish home for the less personally invading confines of Belgium. Soon enough though, her father caught wind of her escape and followed, eventually cornering her at a Flemish church, where after he slays her followers, she refutes his declaration of love once more…and ends up losing her head for it. Effectively being martyred, and now she’s since viewed as the patron Saint of Mental Illness (causes, patients and doctors), runaways, and incest victims -- no ***. So what exactly does this cover image, and that story have to do with one another, really? Nothing. But when concerning Gang Gang Dance themselves, Saint Dymphna presents a vibrant, versatile mix of earthy, tribal, sound scapes that exhibit as much in hooks and replay-ability as they do in listening challenge. Further more, how difficult it is to pin what you’re hearing down to anything more specific than severely danceable world music. All the while sounding as though if they weren’t created at some Ritual of the Solstice, where we all dance on a moon-lit hill during the equinox; that someone should seriously consider having these guys committed.

Upon first listen, Dymphna rings true to the cannon of freak-folk, and waves it’s weirdo-flag free. With influences ranging from African Big Band and classic Ska all the way to ambient house and dub-step, Gang Gang Dance truly convey a unique sound, while still maintaining their holds to home. But make no mistake, this Saint is a globe-trotter, with a multicultural spirit, that‘s hard to pigeon-hole. While they too, may sound similar, adding The Knife tag, or Animal Collective signet wouldn’t help much to sonically classify either. Considering that if, for some reason, Gang Gang Dance does in fact sound like -insert your favorite band- at any point, it’s only for a matter of seconds here, or a concentrated flourish there. Truthfully, Saint Dymphna does almost all it can to not sound like everything else you’re hearing, and considering these guys arose from the Dance-Punk-Noise scene that erupted in the American North East during the beginning of last decade(any many other following.) One that gave us such “modern icons” as James Murphy, TV On The Radio, and Lightning Bolt -- it’s not only impressive that they don’t sound like their close peers, but they’re doing this while almost everyone else around them is seemingly trying to rip those song books as though it were a life-or-death situation. Dymphna’s strength really resides in the fact that Gang Gang not only choose their inspiration wisely, but they’re motivated to make it a success, and to get your ass shaking. Musical disasters and experimentations that are well known to be covered in red-tape and do not enter signs are prevalent all over Saint Dymphna, but miraculously, it works. Furthermore they flaunt these influences of big beat, tribal house, and ambient-post-pop promptly attached to sleeve, with what seems like little to no distinction for what you may think. Thankfully, in the end, it all adds up.

It could be that summation of parts that gives Dymphna such replay value, and an almost ease to settle into once you’ve familiarized yourself with the ways of Gang Gang. Basically the aspect of the album which doesn’t allow you to specify it’s musical origins, along with the fact that you’ve not heard this, by way of hearing it all before, makes Saint Dymphna feel fresh, while also nestling in close to home. Like the local Tapas bar down the street, offering you foreign taste with local hospitality, Gang Gang‘s music possess the same quality of expanse meets locality. The warm afro beats of “First Communion” and “Dust” counter act the cold electronics of “Blue Nile” and “Inner Pace,” while bangers “Princes” and "House Jam" just make you dance. This ability to basically deviate any which way with any number of musical palettes so well gives each song a sense of teetering madness, as though it were a fine line they were walking between soaring and ***. But Gang Gang are able to balance all the chaos, controlling it into a palpable beat, or infectious groove, that is above all other things, as playable on the dance floor as it is in your headphones. Which is important really, because at the end of the night, when you’re muscles are aching, your mind is weary and you’re full fledged ready to collapse a top anything resembling a comfy surface, it’s nice to have that same music that kept you wired for so long now be putting your mind at ease.



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user ratings (64)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AggravatedYeti
February 18th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

DATABASE D:

Prophet178
February 18th 2010



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh shit! Gang gang!

shablaman54
February 18th 2010



281 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh shit! Gang gang! [2]

Kiran
Emeritus
February 18th 2010



5992 Comments


WANT

EVedder27
February 18th 2010



6088 Comments


Really cool stuff Yeti, like that first paragraph.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
February 18th 2010



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh shit! Gang gang! [3]

Wish this album had more consistency to it.

Digging: Labyrinth Ear - The Orchid Room

AggravatedYeti
February 18th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

but it is consistent : (

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
February 18th 2010



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

idk I mean when you put together songs like the beat heavy and raped up Princes straight after a showgaze track like Vacuum only to throw in a wandering electronic track like Inners Pace later and its like wtf get some focus even if they're all good. Just doesn't feel albumy enough for me. I still like it. But if I'm up for NYC experimental I'd rather listen to Oneida. Rated O was one of last year's criminally underrated albums.

Review was pretty bangin tho.

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 18th 2010



4459 Comments


I should get this.

AggravatedYeti
February 18th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with you 100% on Rated O Alex, but I find just that specific variation in the tracks is what makes this such a successful listen as a whole, it's fun, interesting, rewarding, and not boring.

but whatev, look at me over here, hyyyyyyyyyyype.

ECRbubs
February 20th 2010



687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ya b

Baphomet
February 24th 2010



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. There's something about it that makes it a bit monotonous aftera few listens, though.

brutebeard
July 29th 2010



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Like the local Tapas bar down the street, offering you foreign taste with local hospitality, Gang Gang‘s music possess the same quality of expanse meets locality."

True that.

Very well-written and listened. How do you write in italics?

kanecooper
January 27th 2011



630 Comments


love

AggravatedYeti
January 27th 2011



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

: )
it's so easy to.

Baphomet
January 27th 2011



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But I'm not in love with it. : (

Also, I forgot to congratulate you on the great review, Yeti. Have a Pos.

AggravatedYeti
January 27th 2011



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been waiting almost a year for that pos *sniff* :' )

have you heard any of their other albums Baph?

also sweet avatar.

Baphomet
January 27th 2011



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know me, I like to take things slow.

Nope, haven't heard any of their other albums. Gotta say, your review really sold me for the album and I was hoping for it to be absurdly amazing... but when I listened to it, it turned out that your review wrote a check the album wasn't willing to cash... I'll give it another spin and see if I get the other albums.

also sweet avatar.

I'm so much in love with her it's almost ridiculous.

AggravatedYeti
January 27th 2011



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're all pretty unique, Gang Gang Dance, God's Money and Retind Riddim are all worth checking out. Probably in that order too...

Ya know, if you want to.

I still find this pretty amazing so can't rly say which way er de other there : /


Baphomet
January 27th 2011



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll give them another chance just cause we usually enjoy the same stuff.

NOW GO GIVE MARINA A SPIN!!!



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