So, today I was hanging out in the Loop just doin’ my thang, minding my biz. Out of nowhere, I was approached by a man who says, (and I am being completely serious), “I am Tupac.” Now, dear readers, I do not think he was aware of my obsession with the legend himself, so I thought it was uncanny that he would tell me his secret, of all people to tell. Let this be a call to arms–Tupac is living in St. Louis and he has lost his marbles.
I really would have liked to talk to this Tupac, however he was too busy doing lunges in the snow and singing to pretty ladies on the street. I feel like I would have gotten more than I bargained for, so I just let it be. In true Tupac fashion, he smelled like weed, hit on an old lady who was walking with her children, and was high-kicking in the street. He was completely mad, but think of what fame can do to someone.
I said goddamn! This ain’t your grandmother’s ancient Chinese solitaire! Chicago, IL (by way of Columbia, MO) based Mahjongg’s sophomore release on K Records, Kontpab, transcends genre specifics and cuts straight to the magic. Blurring the line between tribal-influenced, Battles-esque polyrhythms and downright dance-punk, Kontpab combines heavy percussive blasts and jittery guitars with scathing-hot synths to produce 42.4 minutes of organized chaos. We should have seen it coming. I mean, the album art on the back-cover is a Magic Eye, for Pete’s sake.
The first song off of the album, “Pontiac”, guides the listener through two minutes of head-bopping build-up until it finally erupts into an all-out dance party. It successfully serves as the introduction to the complex and amusing entities that are their other eight tracks.
The rest of the album is a layered mess of sorts, but it works. It will make you want to dance and stomp and shimmy your brains out. We think the chorus of “These Birds Are Bats” is slightly reminiscent of the famous “Downtown” by Petula Clark, but hey, who’s pointing fingers?
Standout Trackz: “Tell The Police The Truth”, “Problems”, “Wipe Out”, “Rise Rice”.