- Experimental music with an odd allure.
- Aïsha Devi's Danse Noire label deconstructs the deconstructed. A grip of mostly young artists dissolve dance music tropes into abstract sound collages that deal with themes of the self, gender, philosophy and emotion. That continues with the Taiwanese artist and NTS resident Meuko! Meuko!, who presents the most fully formed soundworld the label has hosted yet.
Meuko! Meuko!, who goes by the name Pon, is inspired by her hometown of Taipei and its bustling streets and muggy air. 鬼島 Ghost Island, in particular, is informed by a dystopian dream described on the record's Bandcamp page. Distant and hard-to-place sounds permeate the atmosphere like pollution, creating a dreamy feeling heightened by the liberal use of reverb and delay.
Pon's atmospheres might seem formless but they're engrossing, especially the odd touches that stick out from the haze. This approach works best on tracks like "都市念佛法會 Metropolitan Sutra Gathering," where the layers of samples sound like memories warring for attention. "希卡公主 Princess Sika" is similarly overloaded with effects. Other tracks feature narcoleptic grooves that stumble around the woozy soundscape. "眾神廟 The Temple" gets genuinely creepy, as martial horns loop around the sound of howling wolves. The wolves sound artificial yet unnerving, the kind of thing your brain cooks up while dreaming.
Pon's Danse Noire labelmate GIL turns in an impressionistic version of "Princess Sika" that doesn't add much to its world, while Dutch E Germ's extended remix of "Ghost Island" pulls its wandering focus into a tighter structure. It's like a coda for an EP that's weird, challenging and, at its best, captivating.
01. 都市念佛法會 Metropolitan Sutra Gathering
02. 眾神廟 The Temple
03. 鬼島 Ghost Island
04. 狗戰 Dog War
05. 希卡公主 Princess Sika
06. 希卡公主 Princess Sika (GIL Remix)
07. 眾神廟 The Temple (Dutch E Germ Remix)