Music Reviews
Mong Tong

Mong Tong

Epigraphy

No Gold

Sometimes, you just can’t top the press release. In this case, a piece of fiction placing the music solidly in a science fiction world long after catastrophic sea level rise. Here is the press release:

“The Earth’s Diving Team Discovers A Music Artifact From 500 Years Ago”

Earlier this month, a diving team on Earth found a gelatinous disc at a deep-sea site in Asia. Upon analysis, it was confirmed to be a relic from the ancient internet era 500 years ago. Experts identified dense engravings on the disc, speculating it was likely used for storing and playing music. If the theory holds true, it will undoubtedly be a significant breakthrough in archaeology. Previous research suggested our ancestors stored music on an interactive internet called ‘Social Media.’ However, during the Great Migration, super solar storms damaged most ancient databases. If the disc’s data retrieval is successful, the AI Renaissance will become a thing of the past, and we will finally explore the primitive music in the field of Epigraphy.”

The music on this “artifact” is a swirling collage of psychedelic electronica. Mong Tong builds their music around samples and sound effects. The instrumental tracks sound like an amalgam of “pre-flood” trippiness. I hear the chugging rhythms of Can, the techno-Afrobeat of Talking Heads, the guitar sprawl of King Crimson, and a heavy dose of Lee “Scratch” Perry-style dub effects. It’s a shimmery, watery sound wrapped in mystery and occult symbolism. It’s sure to give those future archaeologists sounds to ponder and speculate about.

Mong Tong are brothers Hom Yu and Juin Chi, from Taipei, Taiwan. Mong Tong translates as “the east side of dreams,” and it’s their attempt to blend Southeast Asian mythology and occult practices into a modern psychedelic hallucination. I think they’re doing a pretty good job with that.

Mong Tong


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