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Eye Contact

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Eye Contact, Gang Gang Dance's first album for 4AD, was recorded in an old church converted to a recording studio in upstate New York, with a myriad of chimes, drums and good vibrations. Chris Coady was behind the board to capture the impromptu jam sessions as well as the structured songs the band had on hand when they started, while Alex Epton aka XXXchange, focused on vocals with Lizzi . When combined, we have the cleanest, freshest and most focused Gang Gang Record to date.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4ad Records
  • ASIN: B004OT7PTC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,382 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Like so many offbeat or experimental bands, each successive release by Gang Gang Dance finds them sporting a progressively accessible sound. "Eye Contact," GGD's fourth proper album, is not only accessible, it's "pleasant." Compared to their past work--even immediate predecessor "Saint Dymphna"--this is practically Easy Listening music for them; spacey synths undulating through leanly arranged melodic numbers, each track flowing perfectly into the next as if it were a Paul Oakenfold mix.

Is this cause for panic amongst the GGD fan base? Hopefully not. While this one certainly is as smooth as a whale's tail, the spacey feel is closer to Cocteau Twins than Enya or Moby. And it's still inimitably, unabashedly, a Gang Gang Dance creation. As with past albums, percussion still takes precedence here, so "Eye Contact" is not some dippy trance mix; it has some great rhythms, from the crashing dubstep of "MindKilla" to the skittering "Sacer" to the thunderous stomp of "Thru and Thru." And Lizzie Bougastos is as colorful a vocalist as ever, turning "Adult Goth" into a stoner-friendly Bollywood anthem. That may sound silly, but the song's beauty and emotional heft totally transcend any campy trappings such a reference might hold. Such is the power of Gang Gang Dance.

The seamless synthetic approach to the album's production does give "Eye Contact" a deceptive feeling of sameness, not to mention of fluffy superficiality. Subsequent listens, however, reveal the character behind each song. Admittedly, I was initially underwhelmed, but now I can't get enough. Similar to Stereolab's "Dot and Loops," an impressive and ambitious album eventually comes out of hiding. Just give it a chance, let it get to know you.
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Format: Audio CD
This album came out of nowhere. NYC's Gang Gang Dance's previous experimental albums probably assured them of an underground following but their latest album, _Eye Contact_, reaches into more pop territory with great results. This album is running a close second to _Kaputt_ by Destroyer for album of the year for me.

The opening track, "Glass Jar", one of the best of the album, is also one of the most moving tracks you'll hear this year. It's over 11 minutes but it doesn't seem nearly that long. The synths and some gentle percussion keep things moving, setting the mood for about 3 1/2 minutes before it just blooms open into a spectacular excercise in some primal sounding drums. The final 5 minutes features vocalist Lizzi Bougatsos, who sings in a style that combines Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and Kate Bush. The repeating, buzzing synth line in this portion of the song is outstanding. "Chinese High" has a strong '80s flavor to it, especially the sunny, final 75 seconds on the track. The band hits all the right notes on that one. I'm wondering if anyone who's a fan of indie/progressive music didn't have "Mindkilla" in their party mix playlists this year. This is a song that sounds like an updated version of music Talking Heads/David Byrne might have made in the '80s, with it's jumpy, bouncy beat and catchy chorus and an air raid siren finish. "Sacer" opens up with some head-nodding drums before the synths join in and Bougatsos' wonderful vocals take over. There's a great chorus and a stirring guitar line to accompany it on this track. There are a few shorter interlude pieces which are also interesting and fit well into the album as a whole. A lot of the tracks run into each other in a continuous stream.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
While reading reviews about Panda Bear's Person Pitch (which I love) and Tomboy, I came across someone mentioning this album. I checked it out and bought it same day.
I wouldn't describe it is similar to either of those Panda Bear albums in terms of sound - but I still love this album. It's far more up tempo and beat driven, but I suppose the vocals have a haunted, wavering quality like Person Pitch (or Youth Lagoon's Hibernation) does.
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Format: Audio CD
(Taken from by blog at [...])

On "Eye Contact", Gang Gang Dance have proven that they are willing to grow, willing to adapt, and not afraid to show not only their experimental side but even their pop-sense of songcraft and writing. The synths swirl and the guitar jabs guide you up and down the stairway of psychedelic noise. There is a clear focus to this album, perhaps more focused than their previous albums have been. And just like how a little focus worked wonders for Pink Floyd (who went from the messy "Obscured by Clouds" to the monumental "Dark Side of the Moon"), it works to this band's favor.

They now have direction, a target to aim their experimental weapons toward. It's not commercial by any means at all but the music they made here is easier to fall into than previous attempts, easier to grasp and more than anything, easier to see how talented this bunch really is. The care that went into this album bleeds through the veins of each song; these are clearly musicians who love making this music as much as they love letting us explore it.
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Format: Audio CD
Gang Gang Dance have always made exceptionally bizarre electronic music, and they seem to be quite content in in doing so. However Eye Contact is really the first time they've flirted with accessibility, not necessarily out of a desire for a larger fan base (although I'm sure this album has brought a lot of new fans in), but rather for further sonic exploration. The production is squeaky clean, the grooves a lot more funky, the tracks are much more structured than on previous releases and the music is overall much more melodically driven. The album is overall much tighter than any of GGD's previous (and also excellent) offerings. While this record is still weird as all hell, and it's not like this is their Merriweather Post Pavillion, but it does point toward a potentially very bright future. If the band keep refining and perfecting their sound and craft as they have done on this record, it'll be no time at all before they start headlining major indie festivals.
What really makes this album interesting though, aside from what potential promises it makes for the future, is that the blend of experimentation and accessibility is so evenly scaled. Those two elements really co-exist in such a hyper-dynamic way on this record--If you pay attention to one half, the other catches you off guard. It's two opposites working to create one perfect whole. Even if Gang Gang Dance release their magnum opus--I will still return to this album for that reason, this is the sound of a band at a very unique creative epoch, an era that I, humble listener, am proud to be a part of.
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