Ten Best Albums of the Year

Originally posted at Feed Your Head on Sunday, December 21, 2008:

Gangi – A (self release) released: Apr. 29, 2008

This is the second most original CD I heard this year. After Amnion opened my brain to their wild potpouri of influences, Gangi took it a step further, into the realm of electronics. I like having my brain stretched and a lot of music did that his year, but Gangi asked me to accept, what appear to be, wildly disperate elements carefully piled up onto each other, topped off by the slightly strangled sounding vocals of Matt Gangi. Lyle Nesse providing the foundation with his hyperactive drumming and recorded samples.

It was a live show that first introduce me to this band and I found their music immediately intoxicating. I ran up to Matt Gangi, babbled like a fool and bought the CD, A. I wondered if they could ever capture on a recording what I heard live. Well they do!

I’ve written about this band a bit, but to repeat, I love the way they carefully construct the layers of sound, piling them on top of each other until this incredible musical structure seems to float in front of you. I’ve also seen them win over a crowd time and again and have the audience rush the stage at the end to try to get a CD.

The variety of styles they master on this short CD are daunting. From the lilting melody of “Commonplace Feathers” that starts things off, you know this is not normal music, it’s such a wild assortment of sounds. I particularly love the obscure and plaintive quality of “Ground” with it’s dialog samples and circular tune, beautifully sung and sounding like it was created in a junkyard in India.

“Subject Positions” and “Animals” are other stand outs, but there isn’t a weak track in the nine that are included here. Their influences seem to come from everywhere, including rock and roll, jazz, classical, International pop, Indian ragas, you name it.

Transplants from the fertile New York City music scene, they are a most welcome addition to the ever exploding Silverlake scene.