Gang Gang Dance WIN. This fifth album from the New York experi-electro-etcetera powerhouse (and their first for tastemaking powerhouse 4AD) blows the doors off their entire run of releases. And all that stuff, especially 2008’s Saint Dymphna, was pretty god-damned amazing, so you can only imagine the intensity of Eye Contact.
And man, lemme tell ya…it’s intense. Seriously, mind-bogglingly intense. Not just in terms of quality (though, of course, that too) but the sheer size of its songs. The hushed lyric “I can hear everything/it’s everything time” says it all: Bollywood-infused rhythms collide with glitches and pops, the classic, chilly GGD synthesis poking through these expansive layers of world influence. 12-minute opener “Glass Jar” meanders through space and time (think EPCOT, but in the awesome, Carl Sagan-y way), leading into the undulating gleam of “Adult Goth” and the Knife-meets-Kate Bush-meets-10 Ragas to a Disco Beat “MindKilla.” It’s dreamy but abrasive, poppy but jarring; this almost sunny shimmer shoved into the grime of a dark, sweaty club.
Now, will it be the magic elixir that catapults Gang Gang Dance to crossover (ish) status? Probably not. Eye Contact is still a little too weird for all that. But it’s good weird. Perfect weird. Silent Shout weird, you know, the kind of weird that forces you to put a record on repeat for weeks, even when you feel slightly uncomfortable or confused, even when you know the album doesn’t give a shit whether you like it or not. Weird in the way the most amazing things always are.