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Saint Dymphna CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Oct. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Warp
  • ASIN: B001EKUHN0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,078 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

1. Bebey
2. First Communion
3. Blue Nile
4. Vacuum
5. Princes feat. Tinchy Stryder
6. Inner Pace
7. Afoot
8. House Jam
9. Interlude
10. Desert Storm
11. Dust

BBC Review

Being equally concerned with musical and artistic endeavours, the members of Brooklyn-based Gang Gang Dance are firmly embedded within the New York scene derided recently by Santogold in 'L.E.S. Artistes'. But it's hard to find any pretentiousness to dislike in their fourth album St Dymphna, a celebration of all the dance genre not only has encapsulated, but can possibly encapsulate with a little imagination.

Former studio mates of Animal Collective and Black Dice, the band share their love of the avant garde, while simultaneously aiming for the inclusive. This is especially evident on St Dymphna, the most accessible and danceable collection of their career so far, on which experimental instrumentation is included, but vitally not at the expense of rhythm.

Founders Tim Dewitt and Brian Degraw have been gifted with an almost telepathic rhythmic relationship according to their bandmates, and this correlation of ideas is satisfyingly evident on tracks like Inners Pace. An amalgam of widely varying rhythms ebb to and from the fore, allowing the listener to create a different aural experience for themselves each time.

It is this masterful layering of sound, largely credited to Dewitt, that makes the album both interesting and accessible. Vacuum leans towards classic shoegaze, with foreboding guitar reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins' Violaine, while First Communion and single House Jam give away the band's N.Y ties with their distinctly DFA tinged bassline. Alongside these references to the modern, the more expected eastern flavours and African drumming are also present; most overtly in opener Bebey and the closing Dust.

A truly transcontinental collaboration presents itself in the form of Princes, featuring East London grime artist Tinchy Stryder. The track effortlessly combines an easily recognisable grime beat with bongos, keys and a string break. Add to this the adaptable vocal of Liz Bougatsos and you have the epitome of a perfect contemporary hybrid.

As is often the case with albums of this ilk, it takes a good few listens to really appreciate and understand the intricate workings of St Dymphna, but the effort is worth the reward. If you like landscapes with your soundscapes, this one's for you. --Keira Burgess

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
On Saint Dymphna, Gang Gang Dance does very similar to what Battles did last year, or what bands like This Heat and The Pop Group achieved in the late 80's and early 70's respectively; hint at seemingly every single popular stylistic trend and genre that can be identified in modern underground music, yet craft an end-product that has almost no touchstone on the planet. Also like Battles and The Pop Group, hypnotic exploration of grooves, twitch-jerk unpredictability and the avant garde are the unifying philosophy behind everything here. But listening to Saint Dymphna, there's no telling where it'll be from track to track. shoegaze, post-rock, tribal world music, hip hop, dance punk, psychedellia, vocal samples, spoken word, noise, and all the bloops and beeps of club music are just a fraction of the elements that the band touches upon, often all within the same track, and none of which can even approximate a description of what listening to this album is like.

"Vacuum" sways to trash can drums while some sort of cybernetic wailing melodically mimics a guitar effect from Loveless. Spazzed out dance tracks like "First Communion" and "Desert Storm" are cluttered with spontaneous shrieks and howls, while punchy guitar squalls and constantly shifting percussion alternates with piercing synth effects. "Dust" and "Inners Pace" are the ambient explorations with electronics, samples and third world music that David Byrne and Brian Eno should've been doing this year. Then somehow, somewhere in between all this chaos, there's the song of the year, "House Jam," a club-friendly masterpiece of a song, which really just has to be heard in order to be believed. Timbaland once called M.I.A the "music of the future," but her minimalist meandering sounds like oldies in comparison to the masterful brushstroke of post-modern style and experimentalism that is achieved here. (Aron Fischer)

For fans of: Cut Copy, MIA, The Pop Group, Battles, The Knife
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Format: Audio CD
Long-time darlings of New York's ultra-hip, art-conscious underground music scene, Gang Gang Dance look braced to make a wider breakthrough with their new album `Saint Dymphna`, released in the UK on Warp. Like their contemporaries Out Hud, Gang Gang Dance makes a hybrid of post-rock and electro, punk and dance. But while Out Hud and particularly their sister act !!! (chk chk chk) often veer towards house and disco, Saint Dymphna is mostly scary, volatile stuff. While there are certainly parallels with LCD Soundsystem, GGD's take on dance-punk has less cross-over appeal and more in common with the darker acts on the DFA roster such as Black Dice and The Juan McLean. Despite the gorgeous Kate Bush-remixed-on-a ZX-Spectrum (if I may) of `House Jam', Saint Dymphna is surprisingly un-dancefloor-friendly - sonically wild and sometimes abrasive. It combines some of the oblique electro sequencing of (fittingly) early Warp acts like Black Dog with a live-sounding spontaneity and ritualistic insistence on rhythm that recalls the Boredoms and ooioo.

With most its tracks segueing together into one passage, Saint Dymphna is a journey of rushing peaks and noodly valleys. Lizzi Bougatsos's vocals - somewhere between Bjork and Yoshimi Pi We - will not be to everybody's taste, her spontaneous yelps and howls riding the vagaries of the music as if driven by tribal fervours. The trancelike quality also recalls math-rock mavericks Battles but there is less insistence on precision and groove, more on Dionyisan abandon. Like ooioo there is also a new-agey, cod-mystical influence that creeps stealthily into their music.
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Format: Vinyl
On Saint Dymphna, Gang Gang Dance does very similar to what Battles did last year, or what bands like This Heat and The Pop Group achieved in the late 80's and early 70's respectively; hint at seemingly every single popular stylistic trend and genre that can be identified in modern underground music, yet craft an end-product that has almost no touchstone on the planet. Also like Battles and The Pop Group, hypnotic exploration of grooves, twitch-jerk unpredictability and the avant garde are the unifying philosophy behind everything here. But listening to Saint Dymphna, there's no telling where it'll be from track to track. shoegaze, post-rock, tribal world music, hip hop, dance punk, psychedellia, vocal samples, spoken word, noise, and all the bloops and beeps of club music are just a fraction of the elements that the band touches upon, often all within the same track, and none of which can even approximate a description of what listening to this album is like.

"Vacuum" sways to trash can drums while some sort of cybernetic wailing melodically mimics a guitar effect from Loveless. Spazzed out dance tracks like "First Communion" and "Desert Storm" are cluttered with spontaneous shrieks and howls, while punchy guitar squalls and constantly shifting percussion alternates with piercing synth effects. "Dust" and "Inners Pace" are the ambient explorations with electronics, samples and third world music that David Byrne and Brian Eno should've been doing this year. Then somehow, somewhere in between all this chaos, there's the song of the year, "House Jam," a club-friendly masterpiece of a song, which really just has to be heard in order to be believed. Timbaland once called M.I.A the "music of the future," but her minimalist meandering sounds like oldies in comparison to the masterful brushstroke of post-modern style and experimentalism that is achieved here. (Aron Fischer)

For fans of: Cut Copy, MIA, The Pop Group, Battles, The Knife
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