Guitar-and-bass duo Gong Gong Gong charges out from Beijing’s underground scene with a distinct vision and uncompromising sense of purpose. The group unites musical cultures, drawing on inspirations as wide-ranging as Bo Diddley, Cantonese opera, West African desert blues, drone, and electronic music.
On their debut LP, Phantom Rhythm, the locomotive chug of Tom Ng’s guitar combines with Joshua Frank’s thumping, harmonics-laden bass lines to conjure an aura of ghostly snare hits and timpani overtones. Over Frank’s enigmatic melodies, Ng sings in Cantonese, piecing together abstract tales of absurdity, doubt, desire, and lust. Synchronized to the point of near-telepathy, the band use their minimalistic tools and idiosyncratic playing style to challenge the notions of rock ‘n’ roll and strip the form down to its bare essentials: rhythm, melody, and grit.