Swarm intelli-dance

Gang Gang Dance bring their noisy stomp into town

Emily Garber

Gang Gang Dance is the buzzing of a swarm of worker bees, cross-pollinating different musical pollen into a new hybrid. They are a weedy mess of sonic flora held together only by a sort of whale-song.

The band is a genre in itself, combining elements from New Age, Asian, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, rock, hip-hop, electronic and experimental music, all the while fronting the noise with orgasmic moans projected through an echo machine.

Gang Gang Dance’s music is loosely threaded, leaving the line between composition and improvisation invisible. The foursome rarely plays a song the same way twice – in fact, they went into the studio to record their first release, “Revival of the Shittest,” with only a vague idea of what they might walk out with.

Though Gang Gang Dance is uncompromising, captivating and inescapably “out there,” amidst the chaos, they still leave a beat to find and dance to.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, the band is comprised of Brian DeGraw, Josh Diamond, Tim Dewitt and leading lady Liz Bougatsos. All are artists in their own right: DeGraw is a globally-known painter and illustrator who founded the bands Cranium, Ssab Songs and Angelblood; Dewitt and Diamond were both in Ssab Songs and have collaborated with Neil Haggerty, Cass McCombs and White Magic; and Bougatsos is also a visual artist and former member of Angelblood – which explains why music from the foursome fits best in an art gallery.

Gang Gang Dance with Paul Metzger
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
TICKETS: $16 ($13 Walker members), (612) 375- 7600

Gang Gang Dance recorded 2004’s “Revival of the Shittest” in only one day, using studio outtakes, live performance recordings and a boom box recorder in their studio space.

“Hillulah,” from 2004, came from a last-minute tour with Animal Collective, when Dewitt created a tour CD using only reels of previously recorded tape and digital video. What resulted was something beautiful, chaotic and utterly exhausting.

Gang Gang Dance’s second full-length release, “God’s Money,” blends these same hypnotic rhythms into a highly ordered compositional style. The group recorded “God’s Money” over the course of a year at Junkyard Audio Salvage, using whatever was available to them: drums of all shapes and sizes, various keyboards and synthesizers, digitally recorded guitars, vocals reconfigured via effect pedals and even the occasional aluminum chair.

The frenzied and mystic experimenting of Gang Gang Dance is as disturbing as it is exciting. Just as a single bee disappears in a swarm, the multiple layers blend into a single sheet of noise. This leaves the listeners to discover their own details and intricacies, forcing the audience to appreciate the trees for the forest.