Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Gang Gang Dance: Retina Riddim

Newcomers to New York's Gang Gang Dance definitely shouldn't look to the CD/DVD Retina Riddim as an introduction; it's only an experiment designed to fill the gap between studio albums. Musically, GGD's chopped-and-screwed montage of tribal rhythms and electro-acoustic hiccups are similar to Animal Collective's, though the screeching violins and digital distortion—reminiscent of Kid 606 remixing Arthur Russell—are far more obtuse. Unfortunately, the visuals rely on typical art-school tedium: clips of public-access shows, snippets of the band in the studio, pretentious nature shots, and swirling kaleidoscopes, all adding up to little more than stoner eye candy. By comparison, Oliver Payne's accompanying tour film GGDbyOP—which includes much more actual music—provides a better glimpse of what makes the band such an unmissable live act. In an included interview, the band boasts of "pushing things forward." It's too bad that has to involve a bag of "avant-garde" tricks as predictable as this DVD, but taken as an experimental lark, Retina Riddim is a serviceable, forgettable way to bide the time.


Share This Story