GAYNGS

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

Re­layted (Jag­jaguwar) Of the celebri­ties I’ve en­coun­tered in per­son, only one left me feel­ing star-struck: Par­lia­ment bassist Bootsy Collins. All he did was walk past me, but I got the dis­tinct feel­ing that this per­son did not come from the same planet I did. That’s the way it is with funk and soul mu­sic. I know, tech­ni­cally, how to cre­ate it, but to me the real stuff is made in an ivory tower way off the hori­zon by peo­ple I will never re­late to. So I’m al­ways im­pressed by artists like Scritti Politti and 10cc, who ef­fec­tively make lo-fi soul in what could have been sub­ur­ban bed­rooms, not lav­ish stu­dios. Gayngs, the brain­child of Minneapolis song­writer Ryan Olson, is one such pro­duc­tion. En­list­ing a mas­sive ro­ta­tion of mu­si­cians, in­clud­ing in­die-folk icon Justin Ver­non (of Bon Iver) and rapper P.O.S., Olson has crafted a dense, head­phones-ready long-player that calls to mind Funkadelic’s pre-Bootsy ex­cur­sions into psy­che­delic cos­mic slop. The choir of guest vo­cal­ists in pseudo-blues songs like “Cry” seem to stomp for­ward in sin­gle file to hide their num­bers; on ev­ery lis­ten I de­tect new singers and more sub­tle flour­ishes. “The Beat­down” and “Ride” show flashes of the kind of home­made techno you might be able to buy on Etsy. And it just goes on and on to the break of dawn. Sure, it’s not the real thing, but on its own terms, it’s just as good.

— Robert Ben­ziker

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