Guitar-and-bass duo Gong Gong Gong (工工工) 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' (幽靈節奏), the locomotive chug of Tom Ng’s guitar combines with Joshua Frank’s thump- ing, 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.
Formed in 2015, the band’s earliest shows were in Beijing underpass tunnels and DIY spaces - Ng and Frank both being outsiders who call the city their home. Born in Hong Kong, Ng defiantly sings in his native tongue, while Frank, originally from Montreal, has lived in Beijing on and off since childhood.
'Phantom Rythm' follows the release of Gong Gong Gong’s 'Siren' 7” and the band’s subsequent tour of the UK and Europe with Brooklyn’s Bodega.
“Their work is spare and savage, with Ng’s Cantonese singing uncannily evoking a heavily accented British punk.” — The New Yorker.
“Transnational blues with swarming psychedelic borders.” — Stereogum.
“A totalizing soundscape that brings to mind a pure immersion in a foreign land... An exceedingly rare experience in any genre or medium.” — Interview Magazine.