From wishy washy world-beat jams to tribal trance overlords, these cooler-than-you Brooklynites take not only the crown for best album this year, but also the one for reinvention of the year.
Opening dreamily, enlightening arpeggios twinkle with sentient life. Later there are Eastern European accents, curry house bhangra, jazzy inflections and yet 4AD still seems the perfect home for Gang Gang Dance. And that's not just because singer Lizzi Bougatsos mews all Elizabeth Fraser-like during the spectacular 11+ minute opener.
Just as 4AD legends Cocteau Twins were otherworldly, so too are 2012's Gang Gang Dance. With calypso programming here, synthetic Middle Eastern grooves there, Eye Contact could well be all of Earth's radio stations as heard simultaneously from Mars.
There's a real skill to this blend. Exotic, foreign language interludes and samples bewitch and charm when they could have been plain annoying. That said, despite all this oddness, fairly popular beats and bass sequences underpin this sometimes-highly danceable aural collage.
There is relatively straightforward single material to consider too. "Adult Goth" is an intoxicating cut that threatens as much as it caresses. Though more aggressive, "MindKilla" is also no less compelling, interesting nor commercial.
A proper album that couldn't nor shouldn't work on shuffle, Eye Contact holds your gaze far longer than is polite and does so with an irresistible promise of the unknown. Be impulsive. Dance.
Advised downloads: "Adult Goth" and "MindKilla".