If Tricky's Dark and Brooding Maxinquaye album was launched into outer space on a rocket ship commanded by Björk, it might sound something like the Analog Girl. A 34-year-old Singaporean, Mei Wong has come far since she recorded her first melody on a cassette tape at age 7. Nowadays, she uses a MacBook Pro, a digital sound box, a set of toy xylophones and her voice to produce her own brand of futuristic electro-pop, and takes her low-key show it often just involves her, a laptop and a microphone to venues such as New York's Knitting Factory and Paris' avant-garde Cirque Electrique. Last summer, she played her first Tokyo show at Cafe Pause, seated at a far table, indistinguishable from the customers.
Often compared to a young Yoko Ono, Wong feels an overwhelming impulse to create; she wrote the seven tracks on the ethereal Sometime Next Galaxy her new, seven-song EP in a single burst. "Very often, the demo is the final song you hear on the record," she says. "It's direct and honest." But these are demos, one should add, that benefit from the luscious mastering of London-based Mandy Parnell, who has previously worked with Leslie Feist, Sigur Rós and Depeche Mode. And besides, Wong has ambitions that go beyond her computer's minimalist bleeps. She dreams of performing one day "with a full band and orchestra," rendering her work in nondigital form and living up to her stage name at last.