Gong Gong Gong announce debut LP ‘Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏’ + share ‘Notes Underground’

Gong Gong Gong press photo

Beijing Art Punks Gong Gong Gong (Wharf Cat) have announced their debut LP ‘Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏’, which will be out October 4th via Wharf Cat Records.

Gong Gong Gong 'Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏' cover artwork

1) The Last Note 最後的音符
2) Notes Underground 地下日記
3) Ride Your Horse 騎你的馬
4) Moonshadows 月後殘影
5) Inner Reaches II 慾望的暗角二
6) Gong Gong Gong Blues 工工工布魯斯
7) Wei Wei Wei 喂喂喂
8) Some Kind of Demon 某一種惡魔
9) Night’s Colour (Chongqing) 夜色(重慶)
10) Sound of Love 愛歌

‘Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏’ is out October 4th via Wharf Cat Records. It’s available for preorder here.

Formed in 2015, Gong Gong Gong played their first set of shows in Beijing underpass tunnels and DIY spaces. Members Tom Ng and Joshua Frank are both outsiders in the city they call home, with Ng, who sings defiantly in his native Cantonese, born in Hong Kong, while Frank, originally from Montreal, has lived in Beijing on and off since childhood. They were born out of Beijing’s underground scene with a distinct vision and uncompromising sense of purpose in 2017, with the release of their first 7″, ‘Siren 追逐劇’. The two-song single coincided with the band’s first US tour, a run of dates with Parquet Courts, which was followed by more US shows with Flasher and a European tour with Bodega.

Along with the album announcement, the band shared their first new material since that 7″ with the single Noted Underground. The track provides a preview of the way the group unites musical cultures on the album, drawing on inspirations as wide-ranging as ‪Bo Diddley‬, Cantonese opera, West African desert blues, drone, and electronic music. ‬‬‬‬‬The band eschew traditional rock percussion, the locomotive chug of Ng’s guitar combines with Frank’s thumping, harmonics-laden bass lines to conjure an aura of ghostly snare hits and timpani overtones. Over Frank’s enigmatic melody, Ng sings in Cantonese, piecing together abstract tales of absurdity, doubt, desire, and lust. Listen to the track via YouTube below.

Frank explains the song’s history: “This was one of the first Gong Gong Gong songs we wrote, in 2015. It kind of just emerged fully formed, before we even had a band name—things just clicked. One of the first times we played it live was in this underpass tunnel in Beijing. Here’s a video of it.

“Generally speaking, the lyrics are about a relationship gone wrong. If I remember correctly, this was the first song that we recorded in the studio working on this album. It’s a very direct, energetic song, with something about it that feels very natural to our band. We spent time during the recording and mixing process to bring out the percussiveness of Tom’s guitar. That included using a contact mic on the wood of his archtop guitar, which gives his guitar tone a banjo-like element.”

In support of the release, Gong Gong Gong will be embarking on a Chinese tour, with US and EU dates to follow. Full Chinese tour dates can be found below. 

Tour dates
8/23 Beijing – Fruityspace
8/24 Beijing – Fruityspace
8/25 Beijing – Fruityspace
8/29 Yiwu – Gebi
8/30 Hangzhou – Loopy
8/31 Shanghai – Yuyintang
9/1 Nanjing – 61
9/6 Wuhan – Vox
9/7 Xi’an – Wuqiong
9/14 Guangzhou – Rozz Tox OR 191
9/15 Shenzhen – Hongtangguan