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‘ for release on June 19th. Today they share the first single, “Chakra“.
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.”
First single “Chakra” is one of the first songs they wrote and set the tone for the rest of 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.
Listen to “Chakra”: https://soundcloud.com/gurugurubrain/03-chakra-44124
Recorded in their home studio in Taipei, “Mystery 秘神” is a psychedelic journey into Taiwanese folklore combined with the 80’s media obsession with the supernatural. It’s a record that manages to combine nostalgia and tradition with humour and an underlying intrinsic earthiness to create something unlike anything else out there.
The album’s artwork is inspired by vintage Taiwanese book covers (Hom Yu runs an Instagram account dedicated to them here) and contains a hidden code; a puzzle they challenge listeners to solve.
‘Mystery 秘神’ track list:
2. Mystery 秘神
6. Ancient Mars
7. A Nambra
8. In The K. Court