Review: Mun Sing – Witness

These are more than just percussive sounds. These are physical dents in the speaker cones, caked in the distortion of the mechanism they’ve just blown apart. Somewhere beneath the noise, I hear the resonances of objects I recognise: dulled and rusted kitchenware, the patter of hand drums, ripped up samples of vocal vowel. Yet Witness is all about the obliteration of the individual in the generation of the spluttering, overdriven whole; each of these tracks is a teetering polyrhythmic scaffold, maintaining precarious balance through the symmetry of call and response, leaning treacherously into those feints of absent beat or those sudden clangs of lop-sided impact, wielding these individual acts of destruction into four pieces of perilous, vertiginous assembly.

And despite using clumps of overblown noise as its base material, the construction of these pieces is actually the product of painstaking scrutiny. He weaves seven or eight individual percussive lines into eachother, creating a poetic undulation through flurries of emphasis and the bait of intermittent silences. Mun Sing’s rhythm work has a somewhat ambiguous hierarchy – sometimes resembling the various pulsating neurons of a single hive mind, sometimes splaying into a frenzy of autonomous Morse code lines. Yet there is an ultimate direction to which this EP always realigns, and even during those moments that threaten to rupture the music’s rhythmic coherence, the deviation is never enough to undermine the integrity of the structure that rises into the sky.

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