Two dozen-member Midwest indie group Gayngs (original core trio Ryan Olson, Jack Coulter, and Adam Hurlburt) have established themselves as an intriguing group of artists because of the way they work to reinvent their music in new and interesting ways that aren’t always in accordance with the general populous. Their debut LP, Relayted, released early last year, came about from one jam session. Its mix of soft rock, acid/ambient jazz and experimental music, which altogether sounds a bit like 80’s music on a slow record player in a lounge, received tremendous attention for its original parody of 80’s soft rock.
A year later, they asked hip-hop group Doomtree to take the same music (which was arbitrarily named and put into a list), choose ten songs and chop, pitch-shift, and pulverize the stems into new, cohesive songs all at 69 BPM. The result is Affiliyated, a “regrind” of sorts, which couldn’t sound more different from the previous album. This new body of work reflects a removal of many of the vocals from the previous album and a greater focus on instrumentals. From downtempo to uptempo, this reinterpretation of the same music has given new life and a fresher sound to previous songs that some described as sleepy.
The rap beginnings of the first track, “Fight F*ck Fall Asleep,” which features Doomtree rapper SIMS, are powerful and shockingly awesome to some, but abrasive and over-the-top to others. The standout track of the album, “Coercion Van,” takes two tracks from the previous album, “The Walker” and “The Gaudy Side of Town,” both of which emanate a sexy glow but dejected hopelessness, and adds a nice electronic kick in the pants that makes the new track highly infectious. The distortion of Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) vocals on the track “Sprinkle Juice” works very well, allowing his vocals to transcend the track and soar above it even higher. The production that melts these tracks into each other is absolutely exquisite, as it is nearly impossible to distinguish the ending of one track from the beginning of another.
Overall this album is a solid body of work that is both catchy and cool, and the stark differences allow for a totally new listening experience and reinterpretation of elements of previous songs. By using these familiar elements, Gayngs reel their listeners in and encourage them to develop and expand their musical tastes.