There’s a fine line between homage and rip-off, too. I recently grabbed an mp3 of “According to Plan” by I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness from some blog (and I apologize for not remembering whom) and amid their swell job of transporting and reforming the semiotics of mid-eighties emo-pop, there arose a guitar figure, a solo, really, a three or four-chord tweedling with a specific effect that I knew I’d heard before.
And I doubt I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness intentionally ripped this guitar figure from Ganger (or the Mermen) — I more suspect they ripped their name from a Franz Wright poem — because it’s that type of instrumental syllable that finds its way into the words of good musicians — and while I’m not bowled over by ILYBICD, I think they have more potential that others.
But Ganger, wow. Primarily instrumentals, sometimes a soft female vocal of only a few words, few tracks under five minutes long. A shit-hot drummer able to approximate drum and bass type break beats, but this isn’t d&b by a long shot – it’s something still new despite seven intervening years. Some have tried. Most have died.
I think members went on to form the dismissible Aerogramme. It’s funny – did we all completely ignore the fact that Scotland may have had their own wonderful avant-rock mini-scene from 97-2000? Prolapse, Long Fin Killie, Ganger, et al … Maybe. Too late to celebrate. Like any scene, the afterbirth produces accomplished stupidity — like Franz Ferdinand, so there’s no mistaking that it’s over.
Ganger’s initial releases are so small-label vinyl you might have to go to their homeland of Scotland to buy them – I have one, Half Nelson, and I had to crate dig and buy it on vinyl from an unawares hip hop seller at the WFMU record fair a year or so back. They released an EP Canopy and an LP Hammock Style stateside on Merge in 1998 and 99, but those were very hard to find, even on CD, until now — Itunes has both, and they’re worth it.
And a special excellent bonus, also from Hammock Style
Ganger – Cats. Dogs, and Babies Jaws