Guess what! A new album by purveyors of tripped-out percussive indie-dub-noise crew (and performers of my current ringtone in the shape of "Oxygen Demo Riddim", uninteresting trivia fans) Gang Gang Dance is here.
Its name is Saint Dymphna, and on initial listening it appears to have progressed in a more electronic direction from their first one, God's Money. Seems to be a slow burner rather than anything instantly overwhelming, but then again i only listened the once, and i seem to recall the same thing about God's Money – a dense psychey sludge-out that took a bit to get into but then just kept on getting better and better over the following months.
Probably the most immediately noticeable about the record is that, weirdly, East London grime head Tinchy Stryder turns up as if wandering in from another record altogether. Eh? For once a record company press release tells no word of a lie:
“Princes” is the real shocker of the bunch. The first appearance of London-based MC Tinchy Stryder and his “Oh shit! Gang Gang!” toast will cause more than a few moments of “Did I accidentally switch records?” before the conclusion that this stuff is smashing apart genre conventions in a way that few bands have been willing to experiment with. The song plays like the weirdest Grime track (or the weirdest Gang Gang Dance track for that matter) you’ve ever heard. Either way, it re-emphasizes the group’s club potential, experimental success and beyond all, true understanding of good music no matter what label critics decide to obsess over on a given day.
Hm... maybe some words of an exaggeration, though. But they're right about the "huh?" factor of TS's arrival.
And Saint Dymphna? The press release pegs her as the patron saint of "outsiders, taboo subject matter and general disorder". Well, um, sort of. She actually accounts for those who suffer from mental illnesses and nervous system disorders, epileptics, mental health professionals, happy families, incest victims (the last two a pretty strange combo, if you think about it), and runaways.
A lot of that is accounted for by her own life story: when her mother died at fourteen, her father searched the world in vain for an equally beautiful replacement, until someone pointed out that his daughter looked quite like her mother (duh) and he decided to cut his losses and try and have a crack at her. She fled to Europe with her priest mentor, but was followed by the father who cornered them in the temple, beheaded the priest, demanded that Dymphna return to Ireland with him, and beheaded her too upon her refusal. Her burial place has long been associated with "miracle cures" for mental illness.
Phew, eh. It's a wonder Christian types spend time getting het up about aspects of modern culture when their mythology is rammed full of stuff like this.
MP3: Gang Gang Dance feat. Tinchy Stryder — "Princes"