Two years after his last release, Taipei producer Lujiachi returns in 2022 with Mantis, a new EP focused on heavy, percussion-driven tracks that roll out at around the 100 BPM mark. Each cut is tied together by snarling, fuzzed-out bass and metallic drum sounds, sounding like hard drum blaring out of a busted Marshall stack. In the brutal opener “Link,” sludge metal bass tones mingle with a reoccurring sample of labored breathing. Kick and snare are buffeted by all manner of glass-breaking and metal-smashing percussive noise, which threaten to tear the track apart yet somehow end up just making the groove even stronger. The title track begins with a crackle of distortion, announcing the arrival of a rumbling bassline that moves with a brash swagger echoing Lujiachi’s club edits of old school Taiwanese pop. As an eerily insectoid plucked synth figure stalks the high end, the kick locks into a 4/4 stomp to draw us to a lento violento-like conclusion.
Lujiachi’s peers in Taipei’s underground scene also contribute two remixes: psychedelic explorers Mong Tong transform “Link” into a launchpad for waves of pentatonic surf guitar, while emerging producer Sandy retools “Mantis” for maximum club pressure.
Mong Tong has become one of the most famous bands in Taiwan with Taiwanese folklore and a love of conspiracy theories to form what they describe as “superstitious music.” As the remix of the track “Link”, they used their impressive guitar sound for the lead to express their vision of the violence world.