We all danced, one day or another, to the music of Gang of Four. Rediscovered at the dawn of the 2000s thanks to the post-punk revival coming from New York (LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, Radio 4) or from the United Kingdom (Bloc Party), this essential group of English rock had laid all the foundations or almost of the genre in dance mode – mechanical funk, nasal voice and furax – with his dance punk masterpiece Entertainment!, released in 1979.
But the most recognizable element of the music of this highly politicized quartet, founded in Leeds in 1976, was undoubtedly the sharp and howler guitar of Andy Gill, Jimi Hendrix fan and constructivist avant-garde who dreamed of revolution through rock and dance rather than weapons. He died this Saturday at the age of 64, after forty years of sawtooth career (the group separated and reformed twice, in 1991 and 2004), between constant commitment and half-galley in the background.
The legacy of Gang of Four is nonetheless considerable: from Nirvana to R.E.M., including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand, all owe a little, a lot or a great deal to this little-known and eminent group of British rock.