The first US release from Beijing’s Gong Gong Gong is called ‘Siren 追逐劇.’ It will be released on Wharf Cat on November 9th. The track comes with black and white video. We’re going to talk about it for a bit.
Describing themselves as stripped-down transnational blues, Gong Gong Gong can trace their roots back to Bo Didley, the Monks, and the purveyors of that kind of simple riff/rhythm structure. However, in the simplicity there’s a hypnotic, psychedelic fabric. It’s clear to hear the Southeast Asian, and West African influences that the band have enjoyed spinning. But, y’know, you’re also likely to play this stuff when you’re through with all the Can back catalog and you’re feeling bluesier than Beak>.
The narrative of ‘Siren 追逐劇’ details a chase scene. The pace is set, and this thing drives. Instrumentally, this is all jangle and fuzz. Sound-deck distortions throw grit into the process. Bass rolls. There’s no time to wait for percussive instruments, so an angular guitar takes care of setting tempo. Vocal work spirals in and out of pitch. We’re away.
Accompanying video is a piece of art. Horses gallop, tires screech. Tarmac tears away beneath us. There are frames which freeze, and yet fly by. We know this feeling. Free of constraints – running. The sense of speed and space is rolled out.
This is not an English-language release. And there’s something liberating in that. We’re free to go with the sound. The emotive elements hold everything together well. Yes, there’s an English translation accompanying the video – but sonically the treat of following emotion is as rewarding for not having to make literal sense of things. Perhaps this track is surreal, and more affective, simply because we don’t hear the traditional structure of the English language. We’re free to simply dig in. Vibe with things, y’know?
Gong Gong Gong are at the start of a tour. They’ll be hitting a number of stages on both sides of the Atlantic. You’ll be able to see them with Parquet Courts, Bodega and Flasher. Those should be some good and sweaty nights.
HURRY – BUY – GONG GONG GONG MUSIC
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