Exposé Online banner

Wang Wen — Sweet Home, Go!
(Space Circle SCCD01, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-11-28

Sweet Home, Go! Cover art

Just like a typical post-rock track which starts simply and builds gradually to an epic climax, the band Wang Wen started with a few albums of fairly standard (but well done) instrumental music, and has gradually built up their sonic palette to increasingly diverse instrumentation. Their latest is Sweet Home, Go — the Chinese title actually means Years of Divide or Gulf of Time, and the English was chosen because of a phonetic similarity with the Chinese pronunciation rather than meaning. On it, the guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards are augmented by strings and brass to provide an expansive sound. The group is a seven-piece now, with a horn player and cellist added and the keyboard player picking up the violin he learned in childhood. The result is somewhat like other post-rock bands with extended lineups (Godspeed You Black Emperor, for example), though it maintains continuity with the band’s history. Continuity, if not uniformity — there are some notable expansions of the band’s style in the increasing complexity of the arrangements, which sometimes approach chamber rock. Leader Xie Yugang has said that the music on this album is explores a more linear style than their previous work, and one of the ways that manifests is that the different instruments operate a little more independently, with increased polyphony. Rather than just playing along with the chords or the melody, the cello and trumpet have distinct parts of their own, and different sections use different combinations. In one respect, this interrupts the strict progression of the pieces from their quiet beginnings to their climaxes, though it serves to make the music more of a journey from one place to another rather than standing still and just increasing the intensity. The rhythm section also changes up their contribution, straying from standard rock beats into more cinematic, symphonic territory. The whole thing is superbly captured by Belgian producer Wouter Vlaeminck, and the result is a moving plea to pause the rush of time, slow down and reflect on life, soak in the depth of unfolding sound.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Wang Wen

More info
http://wangwen.bandcamp.com/album/sweet-home-go

Latest news

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

(Tom Newman) - Variations on a Rhythm of Mike Oldfield - David Bedford – This is a four track EP, and is basically a Tom Newman album. It's confusing, I know. This is some of that stuff you know Oldfield and Co. did for laughs (when perhaps beer and worse entered the...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues