"House Jam" by Gang Gang Dance
This time out, Gang Gang Dance really means "dance." The experimental group has gotten down before, but those arty rhythms and percussive thumps often drifted into ethereal atmospherics, taking the vibe with them. With newfound focus, the band keeps the motion going on Saint Dymphna, to the point where tracks such as "House Jam" even—gasp—could soundtrack a high-end clothing store. Fans, don't get dismayed: Polyrhythmic noise-textures still pinball from culture to culture (one minute, Japanese instrumentation, the next, Brazilian guitar), drum freak-outs still raise a ruckus, and ambient electronica still lends a psychedelic sparkle. But Saint Dymphna is less The Beatles' "Revolution 9" (well, okay, except on "Inners Pace") and more Bob Marley's "Revolution"; without losing its avant-garde, the album always has a scratchy reggaeton beat or a frenetic first foray into rap ("Princes") waiting in the wings. Howling with hyperactivity or recalling Low's laziest electronic slosh on "Vacuum," Saint Dymphna is no easier to categorize than any other GGD record, but it is easier to groove to.