bEEdEEgEE: SUM/ONE (4AD) - album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, February 21st, 2024  

Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIMbEEdEEgEE



Dec 02, 2013 bEEdEEgEE Bookmark and Share

Gang Gang Dance’s primum mobile finally struck out on his own and the result is goodvery good, even. The album is the product of what sounds like a deeply tumultuous year for the man personally, and Brian DeGraw as bEEdEEgEE sounds at best like a DJ tuning to the catharsis frequency of the cosmos and at worst like Gang Gang Dance rough drafts. Which is to say: still pretty good.

DeGraw is certainly playing for himself here but in an endearing way, recommending through the narration that opens “Helium Anchor” to “close your eyes,” and let the outside world be “exactly the way it is.” It’s a meditation mantra, over which he lays his own synth mantra laced with piano improvisation and psychedelic swirls. The album is mostly instrumental, yet feels intimate and utterly personal. Despite its dance-floor-ready beats and rhythmic synth riffs, this all feels like internal exploration, an expansion of the interior cosmos for up-close (and not always comfortable) inspection. It’s on “Empty Vases” that he finally enunciates the emotional center of the album via guest Douglas Armour, singing that he “won’t stand around in the rain anymore,” over melancholy guitar-like strums that echo “Solsbury Hill.” Unlike “Hill”‘s triumphant resolution to go forward boldly, however, DeGraw (via Armour) sounds shakier, not quite sure if he’s ready for that first step.

First single “Bricks” is a bleak treat of complex melodic clashes that can only be described as “science fiction dance.” With no rhyme or reason other than ceaseless becoming, you’d do well to enter the meditative mode mentioned in the album’s intro and just go along for the ride. In fact, once the notion that this album is not even close to as song-y as Gang Gang Dance recedes, what you’re left with is one of the most gloriously abstract and adventurous records to emerge from the upper tiers of the underground in quite some time. The new guard at 4AD is quite a sight to behold, it seems. This is the future, kidspay attention. (

Author rating: 8/10

Rate this album


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.