Gang Gang Dance
Kazuashita


3.0
good

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
August 25th, 2018 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Silky, but sickeningly sweet in equal measure.

Normally when embarking on a new review of a record that I actually like, standard procedure would be to list what’s so great about it before providing a contrasting smaller collection of points about what holds it back from being perfect. However, in Kazuashita, Gang Gang Dance have created a record that throws together a multitude of uncomfortable distractions that somehow come together to form a surprisingly cohesive (if often a little overcooked) and enjoyable album. Therefore, structurally it feels only right to flip this structural concept upside down.

Most significantly, Kazuashita is capable of provoking a real and overbearing nausea. This doesn’t entirely come from the overtly saccharine chipmunk vocals, which have been consistently so unevenly mixed throughout the record that they can often leave the listener waiting for an instrumental break to catch their breath - the most infuriating example of this would be the closing 90 seconds of ‘Too Much, Too Soon’, which would be a heavenly slice of atmospheric synth were it not for the constant moaning over the top of it. For a vocal section that is never presented remotely raw, one can’t help but think some studio engineering could make it sound a touch more tuneful. Nor is it the sole fault of the seemingly randomized interval tracks, which chip away at the immersion of the experience with scant regard for flow. ‘(novae terrae)’ is the worst offender here, which has no thematic link to the track before it and only tangentially runs into the closer, but it is particularly taxing on the listener to attempt to decode a concept through the record as, after the spoken word section, the sung vocals are almost indecipherable.

The most uncomfortable thing about Kazuashita can only be likened to a sea-sickness. Far too often during the record, the synths get bogged down in over-production, taking atmospheric dousings of reverb to the extreme, throwing in an over-reliance on phaser effects and just washing inconsistently over the listener, highlighted by how infrequently the bass and percussion land any kind of punch.

Amazingly, however, there is at its core a very satisfying listen, and the things that Gang Gang Dance do correctly, they do extremely well. The standout here is assuredly the title track, a lush and immersive piece of Future Sound of London-meets-Aphex Twin chillout with a relentless-but-soothing percussive section that holds the track together immaculately. Other highlights are ‘Lotus’ and ‘Snake Dub’, where once again traditional structure and classic techno style kicks and glitches keep everything ticking over with seemingly effortless ease. It is a shame that these are the fleeting moments - as despite this being a quality listen overall - with a little more consistency, Kazuashita could be a truly fantastic release, and a compelling reason to still listen to techno in 2018.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.3
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Back from another shitty self-imposed exile thanks to shitty real life distractions.



Really trying to not make this a recurring theme.

Papa Universe
August 25th 2018


20043 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I, for one, thought this album was undercooked. Like they just put out a record for the sake of having a record out.

Digging: Pedigree - New Freak

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree that some of it seemed a little overproduced to compensate for being underwritten - but for me the main issue structurally was that the songs had no idea whether they wanted to be fleshed out pop songs or more atmospheric themes, and they landed somewhat uncomfortably in the middle.

JustJoe.
August 25th 2018


5724 Comments


I love "Eye Contact".

This however, I can't even look at it.

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2018


1336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have to be totally honest, this is my very first exposure to the band ever so I am lacking in the ability to look at this record in context.



Given that the general feedback from other sources seems to be 'fuck this, their earlier stuff was way better', it definitely makes me wanna look!

bgillesp
August 25th 2018


6710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is amazing you Gang Gang Dunces

SandwichBubble
August 25th 2018


9335 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I'll be that guy and say

their earlier stuff was way better [2]

Digging: Samara Lubelski - In The Valley

Papa Universe
August 25th 2018


20043 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sandwich, get in the line for the 'that guy' position, alright?

SandwichBubble
August 25th 2018


9335 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I'm not adverse to sharing the title

"Co-That Guy"

"Those Guys"

Papa Universe
August 25th 2018


20043 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the official title is 'Literally Everyone'

bloc
August 26th 2018


54682 Comments


Just started listening to this band, they had some good stuff. Will check this.

Digging: Way Out West - Intensify

Epilogue
February 15th 2019


1714 Comments


Yee its good



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