Song of the Day: Ganglia - i SEEK THE END

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If you’re of the opinion that only melodic music can be godly, then you might want to navigate your browser elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you see the possibility of the Spirit working and moving in the new, the avant garde, the experimental, and the downright weird, then Ganglia just might interest you.

Sometimes stylized as GÅNGLÎÅ, this one-man project was started by David Smittcamp in Los Angeles in the late 1990s. He took the already experimental genre of grindcore (lightning-fast tempos and ultra-short songs fused into an extreme form of hardcore and metal), and flipped it on its head by utilizing only electronic instruments. This newly-dubbed ‘e-grind’ (electronic grindcore) kept the intense speeds and short songs, along with grunted and growled vocals, but in place of guitars, bass, and drums, Smittcamp used synthesizers and drum machines. Thus the new style was a strange combination of electronica and extreme metal.

Ganglia released a plethora of material, mostly DIY releases, that are now intensely difficult to find. After a few, short but intense years, Smittcamp virtually disappeared, with rumors floating around that he’d left for SE Asia to enter the mission field. Having interacted with him a few dozen times on messageboards (hands up if you’re old enough to remember those!) in the late 90s, it does sounds exactly like the sort of thing he might do.

Ganglia took in the world to the extreme end of the “in the world, not of it” spectrum, choosing to befriend and release music alongside people with very different backgrounds and belief systems. So be forewarned if you go looking for Ganglia physical releases. While the project was entirely Christian in lyrics and lifestyle, not all of the bands Ganglia shared space with on compilations or split-releases had the same values or ethics.

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