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bEEdEEgEE : Sum/ One

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I’ve often wondered why members of bands launching solo careers almost always cite a desire to do “something different” as the main reason for branching out on their own, before releasing records that invariably sound much the same as what they have produced previously. Such is the case with Sum/ One, the debut LP from Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw, recording here (somewhat annoyingly for journalists – and his press people, I imagine) as bEEdEEgEE, although bearing in mind the sheer awesomeness of GGD’s last two albums – Saint Dymphna (2008) and 2011’s Eye Contact – that is certainly no cause for complaint. Displaying many of those releases’ most recognisable traits – glassy keyboards and bold neon synths; complex post-R&B drum patterns that explode into big, brash beats – Sum/ One takes GGD’s groove-based globetrotting aesthetic and nudges it towards the dancefloor, tweaking the levels ever so slightly to focus on wonky electro-pop melodies and hefty rhythms rather than the hypnotic, ethereal elements usually provided by vocalist Lizzi Bougatsos; indeed, when Bougatsos shows up, mewling banshee-like on “Like Rain Man”, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a particularly meaty Eye Contact outtake. Other guest vocal-led tracks stand out – “F.U.T.D. (Time Of Waste)” finds Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and CSS’ Lovefoxxx crooning saucily over a squelching acid house thumper whilst Douglas Armour goes all emo on the pastel-hued “Empty Vases” – but it’s the shape-shifting, genre-bending production that is the real draw, suggesting that whilst Bougatsos might be the face and voice of Gang Gang Dance, DeGraw could well be the band’s beating heart.

Sum/ One is out December 3 via 4AD; check out the Lovefoxxx-featuring “Flowers” below, and stream the album in full via Pitchfork Advance.

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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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