Beijing’s Gong Gong Gong make driving, stripped-down transnational blues, tapping into the spirit of Bo Diddley, the Monks, and psychedelic music from West Africa to Southeast Asia. “Phantom Rhythm” is the concept at the duo’s core: between Tom Ng’s percussive guitar and Joshua Frank’s melodic, charging bass, an aura of ghostly snare hits emerges over a thumping low-end pulse. Atop this framework, Ng recounts Cantonese tales of absurdity, love and lust with fragmented, wry vision.
On their first US release, Gong Gong Gong brings to life a cinematic chase scene. Shot-by-shot, frame-by-frame, “Siren” is a story of galloping hooves and screeching tires—a horse and car racing each other through mountains and desert, charging into the city. The flip-side, instrumental “Something’s Happening” is Gong Gong Gong at their most raw: locomotive jangle and fuzz-faced roar. Dust, sweat and engine oil, the landscape rushing by.