As a founding member of the band Gang Gang Dance, musician and visual artist Brian DeGraw has had a heavy hand in igniting (and some might say keeping alive) the flickering heartbeat of downtown New York City art rock. Equal parts improvisational, mystical, and coolly calculated, Gang Gang Dance evolved into a finely tuned point of influence by effortlessly fusing experimental music with a fine-art sensibility over the course of five full-length albums.
DeGraw has stepped out on his own to release his first ever solo effort, SUM/ONE (4AD). Released under the nom de plume bEEdEEgEE and recorded over the past year at W0RMB1N, DeGraw’s studio in Woodstock, New York, the synth- and sample-heavy album reveals a more beat-driven and wholly electronic side of his work.
Featuring vocal contributions from the likes of Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and fellow Gang Gang Dance member Lizzi Bougatsos, SUM/ONE treads a fine line between the kind of electronic psychedelia best consumed via a good pair of headphones and the Technicolor dance music that would play at a rave held in the middle of some parallel (and perhaps LSD-soaked) universe. It also says something about the extreme diversity of DeGraw’s creative output that even a record as stylistically broad and fundamentally challenging as SUM/ONE, is, according to DeGraw, “the least weird record I’ve ever made.”