Identical twins Ming & Ping were born and raised in urban Hong Kong, and are now living in San Francisco. Since their 2004 debut release, the duo has been amassing a devoted following with their energy driven, New-Wave inspired, Electro-pop songs and their highly stylized visuals. Ming & Ping’s work with a small group of talented collaborators has played a vital role in matching the twins’ electrifying music with equally vivid photography, artwork, costumes, and luscious live performances that set a new standard for self-released acts. As these distinctive elements of the Ming & Ping brand reach from the States to Asia and Europe, the group recently separated with their former indie label, Omega Point to self-release their third album entitled Causeway Army, which promises to bring much needed self-awareness and sophistication to a notoriously cold and trend-dominated Electro-pop genre.
Causeway Army’s opening track “Dream of Pop” is an energetic introduction to the Ming& Ping identity – an apparent collage of pop culture, assembled with Asian-American sensibilities. The rest of the album is noticeably darker and more personally revealing than any of their previous releases. Tracks like “Spy vs. Spy,” “Highrise” and “Dark Days” are chilling, atmospheric additions for fans of Ming & Ping’s previous work. In these tracks,the twins’ alternating vocals cut through layers of synthesized music as if to reveal theflesh under a mechanized exterior. Warmer pieces like “Duotone” and “Beautiful Things” highlight Ming & Ping’s ability to reconcile polar opposites in concept and technique – beautiful yet melancholy subject matter, relaxed yet energetic style. The silver-lined lyricsof “Beautiful Things” make up a ballad for misfits and underdogs (“all the people scream for their dead dreams / and tell you not to try ‘cause you won’t fly / and you just watch the show like a black crow”). In “Legends of Nothing,” a frenetic beat is the backdrop for the most aggressive and stylistically diverse song yet for the duo, while its dreamily eerie lyrics describe the violent boundary between sleep and wake, internal and external struggles.