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