By Laura Turnbull

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Brothers Hom Yu and Jiun Chi share a fascination for the occult. The superstitions and folklore that linger on the shadier side of reality right before slipping into dreams are what the siblings specialise in, and the influence these interests have on their music is undeniable. The eerie psychedelia the pair concoct in their home studio as Taiwanese outfit Mong Tong is the earth-shaking evidence.

This week Mong Tong release their debut ‘Mystery秘神’ via Guruguru Brain, Kikagaku Moyo’s label for Asian underground music, and it’s safe to say that this duo’s psychedelia is right at home in the subterranean. Wah-ing and shaking under the synths and samples of each track, Jiun Chi’s dark guitar licks sound like spells conjured up from the depths. “I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe,” George Clinton declared in Funkadelic‘s 1971 shredder ‘Maggot Brain’. We’re sure Mong Tong must have sipped on that strange brew too. 

Dipping into the sonic world of video-game soundtracks and drawing on a discography of doom metal and psychedelia, a trip through ‘Mystery秘神’ is a deep dive into the heavier frequencies. Whether it’s the hectic, gnashing jaws of guitar groover ‘A Nambra’ or the hypnotic, sample-driven explorations of ‘Chakra’ and ‘Ancient Mars’, ‘Mystery秘神’ has psych for every occasion. Summoning up both Imarhan‘s ‘meditative desert blues’ and Khruangbin‘s steamy funk, Mong Tong‘s debut is just the kind of cosmic spin we’ve been craving. 

Check a live stream of ‘Mystery秘神’:

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