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

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Naoki Ishida - Fazing Redust – Although one's initial reaction to this obviously low-budget recording (the hiss throughout is quite noticeable) of seemingly aimless sonic noodling might be rejection, the seven tracks herein do have...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues