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- The Brilliant & The Dark Live At The ICA by Gaggle
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 28 April 2011
Gaggle are a 30 strong feminist choir so I have been terrified into liking this record. There are 30 of them and only one of me with just the two balls between me so its an unfair contest really. Luckily, although an acquired taste, this is a rather impressive outing. What we have is a performance recorded live at the ICA of a choral work for women's voices first performed by 1000 (!) people in 1969. As you can imagine its a mammoth sounding thing from the outset. Huge thumping drums, clanking percussion with chanted vocals veering off into an almost hip-hop inspired section with added drum and bass drums for good measure...... and that's just the first minute and a half. It's a lengthy complex piece which seems to veer off into a different mood/ style at whim. I'm sure there are other more apt comparisons but initial impressions are kind of like a ballsy all female Polyphonic Spree tackling the Tom Tom Club back catalogue in full on rock opera style. Later we get spoken word interludes, school choir like chant-alongs and on the flipside we get sample elements of the performance for you at home to remix if you like. All in a gatefold sleeve with colour insert.
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