Editor's Rating

8

Taipei, Taiwan sibling duo Mong Tong have signed to Guruguru Brain, the label for Asian underground music run by Kikagaku Moyo, and have announced details of their debut album, Mystery秘神’ which will be released on 19 June.
 
Brothers Hom Yu and Jiun Chi also play in ​Prairie WWWW​ (落差草原 WWWW) and Dope Purple. They both returned to Taipei in 2017 after finishing their studies and before long began to explore their mutual obsession for Taiwanese occult-inspired art and vintage superstitious imagery, channelling it through music. Mong Tong means many things in Chinese, but the translation they choose to fit their music is “the east-side of dreams”. 
 
Growing up in Taiwan in the 90’s, the brothers listen to ​電子琴音樂 which they describe as “relaxing Chinese synth pop” along with video game soundtracks, psychedelic music, doom metal and sound collage/library music. On Mystery秘神 these inspirations combine with the dark humour of Taiwanese folklore and a love of conspiracy theories to form what they describe as “a psychedelic journey to the east.”

The first single to come from the LP ‘Chakra’ is one of the first songs they wrote and sets the tone for what we can expect from the album. It sees the duo use sound samples including sword fights and a voice-over that amused them in which a reporter talks about the connection between Hinduism and UFOs. The resulting record is a surreal and mystifying journey through 80’s cult influences, with a distinctly Far Eastern outlook. It’s a refreshing track that leaves a trail of intrigue in it’s wake and adds Mong Tong up there with the other great psychedelic bands emerging from Asia.