One of our favorite records of the year (so far) is Gang Gang Dance’s excellent Eye Contact, a mesmerizing stew of the band’s polyglot influences strained into a singular, stylistically fluid aesthetic. This is progressive, experimental music, yes, but it is not solely for the internet youth market. Playing the album for my parents always elicits arched eyebrows and crooked smiles, particularly when GGD cop Bollywood ticks — in the bhangra rhythms, the modal melodies, the vocal samples. I can’t confirm whether the “oh-oh-oh-oh” snippet that peppers “Mindkilla”‘s exotic hook is lifted straight from an Indian film soundtrack or just sounds that way, but either way, it is a personal favorite moment for recalling the sounds of my youth in a fashion that feels integral to its own vision, and not some pandering culture-vulture topical ointment in a bid to “worldly.” Gang Gang Dance honor their influences. I honor them for it.
On this new remix by rocksteady/reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry, of course, the Bollywoodisms are filtered out. Which is cool, because it is fun to hear masters re-imagine songs by eliminating a defining element and replacing it with their own sensibility. For Lee, that’s some skanking rhythms and his inimitable voice pairing up with Lizzi’s. Which makes sense, since the reggae and dub stylings Perry helped pioneer certainly made their way into other corners of the Gang Gang blueprint. Download the remix and its original here:
Gang Gang Dance – “Mindkilla (Lee “Scratch” Perry Remix)”
UPDATE: Some quotes from the principal players have surfaced via press release. Here’s what Lee said about the remix:
I did have a great fun in the studio in Negril (Jamaica) recreating the riddim. The ingeneers and people around also enjoyed the vibes and the great voice of Lizzi. All the blessings for the remix from LSP.
And Gang Gang’s Brian DeGraw had some admiring words his own:
I feel blessed…like ACTUALLY blessed…to have made some form of musical communion with LSP. I think about him a lot in day to day life but never really imagined our paths would cross in any other way. And I really have to give it up for anyone who gets handed a song about fear and turns it into a club banger about eating cops. Perfect.