Gang Gang Dance God’s Money

[The Social Registry; 2005]

Styles: experimental, avant garde, faux primitive
Others: Animal Collective, Cerberus Shoal, The Residents


By its very nature, experimental music is a genre held together only by its practitioners' tireless search for new sounds and sound combinations. Given the enormous range of results, it can be quite hard for even experienced listeners to find a point of entry into the music, yet Gang Gang Dance creates accessible music that can only justly be described as experimental. They achieve this by using familiar, yet disparate elements that the music seems entirely instinctual.

While GGD certainly aren't the only purveyors of new sounds operating nowadays, it occurs to me that with God's Money, they are proving themselves to be among the most able. And listenable. Granted, as good outré musicians they integrate the tools of the popular music synthesizers, guitars, drum kits as well as folk instrumentation and singing (which might more appropriately be described as cooing) while simultaneously subverting any expectation of pop song structure. But rather than just subversion for the sake of disorientation, they are respectful of their audience and seek to create music that will be able to speak to them, albeit in a new language.

Opening with "God's Money I (Percussion)," tribal drumming eases one into GGD's world of sound very gently. While the strange nature of their project increasingly manifests itself with each successive track, that early compassion for the listener is never abandoned. The importance of rhythm to the compositions gives most of the tracks, especially "Glory in Itself," "God's Money V," and "Nomad for Love," an undeniable funkiness that one hardly ever gets from such heady music. Party music this ain't, but it wouldn't be unlikely to see people nodding their heads with the music.

Still, it's an overstatement to say that GGD are making experimental electronic folk rock for the masses. This is music with a very specific target audience. But for those jaded music fans looking for something new and different, GGD are offering a pleasurable answer to their (our) prayers.

1. God's Money I (Percussion)
2A. Glory In Itself
2B. Egyptian
3. Egowar
4. Untitled (Piano)
5. God's Money V
6. Before My Voice Fails
7. God's Money VII
8. Nomad For Love (Cannibal)
9. God's Money IX

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