Avant-garde, offensive, criminal, and genius… these are expressions typically associated with that of the artist David Choe. It is hard to know where he is going or what it is that he is going to do next, because when it comes to pushing the boundaries of creation, he is truly an architect.
After an abrupt hiatus of his popular iTunes podcast “DVDASA” on July 4th, 2014, he has suddenly re-emerged from the ashes, except this time he has brought a band with him. Teaming with frequent and popular guests Steve Lee (younger brother of comedic actor Bobby Lee) and producer/musician Mark Ramos Nishita aka Money Mark, they call themselves MANGCHI and they are breaking all the rules.
In a matter of seven days their first release, Nega Mola, was written, recorded, mixed, and mastered. To say that this album is an acquired taste may be just a bit of an understatement. However, the spoof intended the “Experimental Gospel Praise” group to take chances on every track blending many different styles of music including but not limited to hip-hop, punk rock, and even gospel. In the typical David Choe D.I.Y format that his fans have come to expect, this album was swiftly released for free, with no prior hype. There are no obvious track names to be found, and it is clearly meant to be played in it entirety since there were no measures taken to separate any of the tracks from each other.
Nega Mola is artsy, it is fun, and it is surprisingly audacious. Roughly 33 minutes of ear-bending audio filled by an array of songs and interludes hits us with classic 808’s, smooth vibes, catchy melodies, and funky rhymes. The interludes deviate and paint a peculiar picture with spoken word, mock news reports, band member interviews, and of course, trademark raunchy sexual innuendoes. Steve Lee is lovable throughout as he keeps us entertained by his boyish voice, and rhymes with childlike allusions of bullies, parents, and even reptilian aliens.
If you are already familiar with the “facebook artist” David Choe from his time on Vice, Thumbs Up!, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and Koreans Gone Bad, then you already know that he takes no measures to stop himself from offending anyone. This band dubbed an “art project” is just that; an extension of his bizarre art layered with his Howard Stern like motifs. What this album lacks in skill it makes up for tenfold in originality. Sure, this album falls short in traditional aspects of popular consumer music, however, it was never meant to be a great piece of mainstream music. It only was meant to be a lot of fun and to be enjoyed by those with a discerning palate capable of absorbing all of its dimensions. Mangchi: Nega Mola can be downloaded for free on the website and here.