“The extremely aural intensity of Gang Gang Dance draws you into an experience of negotiation from which a humane and harmonic beauty emerges.” —Artforum
This foursome has burst from the fertile Brooklyn art-rock scene with an enigmatic, visceral sound unlike any other. A mess of layered sonic flora—drums and percussion, keyboards, synthesizers, MIDI, flutes—is held together with the mysterious chants and delicate wails of front woman Liz Bougatsos. The raw frenzy of their live performances acts as organic counterpoint to their skittery loops of electronics and effects. Gang Gang Dance performs Saturday, October 28, at 8 pm in the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater. Free-form melodies and syncopated primitiveness recall early Can—each individual song is a piece of a larger puzzle that tells a story of fierce humanity and beauty.
Local legend Paul Metzger (of T.V.B.C. fame) opens the evening with a mesmerizing solo, raga-tinged improvisation on a modified banjo. Revered nationally for his picking/experimentation, Pitchfork notes, “Metzger has located a quivering space between the raga open-string drone and the ear-warping harmonic meditations of Tony Conrad, and the combined logic puts us both out of time and right in the body of the misshapen instrument.”
Combining the stylistic elements of Asian, Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, hip-hop, rock, experimental and electronic music, Gang Gang Dance synthesizes a vital and wholly new type of music; rigidly structured yet fluid enough to allow for improvisation to take the music in a different direction. Their approach of constantly developing new material for an ever-evolving repertoire sets them apart from many of their contemporaries.
Gang Gang Dance members are Brian DeGraw, Liz Bougatsos, Josh Diamond, and Tim Dewitt. In addition to being a painter and illustrator, DeGraw was a founding member of the DC-based band Cranium, Ssab Songs (with director Harmony Korine), and the art/metal band Angel Blood. Dewitt was a member of those groups as well and has also played with Neil Haggerty, Cass McCombs, and White Magic over the last few years. Diamond, a member of Ssab Songs, has played with numerous rock, jazz, and experimental musicians. Bougatsos is known for her visual works in addition to her work with Angel Blood and the legendary NYC art provocateur band Actress.
Tickets to Gang Gang Dance are $16 ($13 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.