Gang Gang Dance Kazuashita

[4AD; 2018]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: psychedelic, avant-pop, art-mystical
Others: Animal Collective, Black Dice

Telepathically seduced by a being that might not be there anymore. You know, the old NYC. It’s there and always will be, but who’s still there: who didn’t want to make their music morph into something that wasn’t guitar-centric. Oh, how anciently thou strumeth your electric guitar, sire. But wait. Guitars or not, on the outskirts or not, Gang Gang Dance, during their 7-year gap, have became of another self: the one thusly come. Which was once two. This album, Kazuashita, dazed by the idea of a cocoon opening; of a sea-mist that breaks open upon the rocks; of halberds made of gilded steel that are actually synths, or drum-sticks; of the sense of delayed enlightenment. It’s sort of Tibetan or Nepalese or just downtown, criss-crossing, mountainous with traffic, containing the pulse of one of those late-70s Manhattan nightclubs.

But not as sexual as them. Or nocturnal. It has within it a more secretive, Zen-yearning quality, that pines for a beyondness beyond bodily accentuation. The lyrics are noisy, made out of graffiti. The sound is proggy, with dungeons that we must escape from in order to reach the babbling brooks and the fat, milky, yawning stars. Lizzi’s voice is still strong and strange, often liturgical, bespoken of a medieval castle, or cast glass, or jade chambers; she sings as if from a shrine-like enclosure. If there are themes, they are intensely obscured with a magician’s flare. Like on “Lotus” when the chorus is just straight saintly, in a seductive, earthenware-esque way. I’m spellbound; I want to make love; I am no longer a product of my own alienated reflexivity, but am pushed into an immanence that I knew was always there. And egads, it’s here, fucking with me!

Kazuashita wants what psychedelics want of human brains: transcendence. But its fleetingness masks any sort of completion. Frantic impulses come from afar, a random sphere of floating values, frames of signification. Even when I’m moving, I’m still still. The liberation of human time from the constraints of labor ends as the music ends. Fuck, I’m back. But for a moment, it was only shepherds and desert villagers. Linnets in the whitethorn; a shadow on the meadow of a dragon surfing the air.

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