Local synthpop outfit Ming & Ping and have joined the ranks of bands utilizing iPhone applications as a promotion tool. However, instead of offering access to the band's catalog for a few bucks, Ming & Ping have adapted an old game for a new era.
Ming & Ping Pong takes the concept of the video game classic Pong and revamps it in the image of the cult favorite dance music artists. Game images are hued in bright shades of pink and blue, much like the album art from Causeway Army and the Patrick Nagel-inspired cover of MP2. The game can accommodate either one or two players. Users can choose to play by using the touchscreen or the “accelerometer” mode, in which you can move your character by tilting the phone (which we have found to be more challenging than the touchscreen). There are eight localized versions of the application, with languages including English, Japanese, German, French and Spanish. The soundtrack for the game is “Return to Zero,” a track from the group's upcoming fourth album, which is self-titled.
For Ming & Ping, arguably less of a band and more of a multi-media art project, the game is not simply a promotional tool but another facet of this interactive synthpop endeavor. Bao Vo Creative, the company founded by Ming & Ping artistic director/mastermind Bao Vo and developer of the iPhone app, recently relaunched the group's website to include social networking and group blogging features and has produced a series of making-the-album videos for YouTube called “Ming & Ping Spicy Show.”
In a press release, Vo says that the game is best used in connection with Ming & Ping's other interactive features, including its highly active Twitter stream. He also notes that Ming & Ping's status as self-released artists have given the band the freedom to perform its elaborate stage shows, but has allowed them to take a forward-minded approach in their marketing campaigns.
Since its release last Thursday, Ming & Ping Pong has already accumulated 1400 downloads. Vo says that the group plans to release two more applications in connection with the new album and upcoming tour, set for August.
Ming & Ping Pong can be download for free from iTunes application store.
Ming & Ping “Legends of Nothing” directed by Brian Williams