A horrible hack

Mong Tong

Mystery 秘神

Year Released: 2020
Format: Download
Label: Guruguru Brain
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Oct 25, 2020
Calmly hypnotic and yet quietly eerie, brothers Hom Yu and Jiun Chi have crafted something utterly distinctive with their debut LP. At root a psych pop record, 'Mystery 秘神' takes influences that might otherwise appear routine and bends them carefully out of shape, filtering squelchy guitar lines and glistening synths through a kaleidoscopic jumble that includes Eastern pop, Taiwanese folklore and lurid pulp paperbacks. Basslines jauntily bop and lope while tinkling melodies flicker temporarily into view and sampled dialogue provides a crackling, rattling backdrop, with each song perfectly placed and compactly crafted despite the sense that any given idea could happily stretch for hours on end. Like Death And Vanilla or Sanae Yamada's Viva La Void, Mong Tong manage to capture a sense of the intimately familiar while maintaining a hazy, unerring otherness – an impressive feat, and one that makes for a truly compelling slice of psychedelic strangeness.

Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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