Thursday, April 14, 2005

getting tiled with mahjongg

With their first EP, Machinegong, five-member experimental collective Mahjongg mixed Afro-beat with P-Funk, computer-generated blips with cowbell-driven rhythms, infectious dance grooves with tricky time signatures. This was a band that would take sounds from anywhere -- including mic'd up tap shoes on multi-instrumentalist Karyl Czientzar's feet -- and layer them one on the other in complex polyrhythmic raves. But far from being over-intellectualized or precious, the whole thing felt like a party. It was an auspicious beginning for five kids from Missouri, newly relocated to Chicago and freshly signed to Cold Crush, a label run by Pretty Girls Make Graves bassist Derek Fudesco.

"Mahjongg remind me of a moment in time, 1978-1982, when a lot of us whiteass, funkass, bitchass artpunks discovered that we could take funk and make it into a new sound, or at least imagine it as a wonderful life just out of reach, to chase after, potentially anywhere. Not that I want to burden the Mahjonggskyists with my past, since they don't sound old. But given that punkfunk never jelled into the future noise we'd dreamed of, the Mahjonggians raise hopes: new bends and twists. Telegraph keys played like thumb pianos. Circular motion, while the guitars sputter and sparkle in anticipation of a prison breakout. A dance that's different from hip-hop, house, techno, country. A riot of our own." - Village Voice

Mahjongg - the Stubborn Horse
Mahjongg - Hot Lava
Mahjongg - Aluminum


At 12:08 AM, Blogger bidi said...

good to see mahjongg's getting their much deserved props.


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