This self-titled 12” vinyl split between Swedish experimental instrumentalists pg.lost and domestic post-rock outfit Wang Wen (罔聞) is definitive proof that China’s musicians have become equal partners in the global creative community.
pg.lost tackles the A-side with a suite of two ten-minute songs—“Desperdicio Parts I & II”—that open with a decidedly doom-influenced Spaghetti Western flair before nestling into more comfortable post-rock ground: crashing rock movements that intoxicate the listener and ferry them through waters of aching, almost heartbreaking emotion stamped with forceful, triumphant and occasionally-violent melodies that recall sweeping windswept vistas.
Wang Wen excels at running emotional relays from melancholy grief to guarded hope—and back again—multiple times within single songs, feats of sonic prowess that make their contributions an ideal soundtrack for these troubled times.
On the B-side, the Chinese quintet counters pg.lost’s fiery, outward-looking tracks with three subdued and inward-looking sketches. The fragile opener, “13th”, is dominated by mellow, intricate guitar interplay overlaid upon warm and reassuring throbbing organ tones before disintegrating into a pedal-induced feedback fuzz.
“Homeland Accent,” a subdued island in which a glockenspiel, Hammond organ, earnest percussion work, soaring lead guitars and a violin all take turns occupying center stage, offers a tranquil respite before the barnstorming closer “Mouse Song,” the aural equivalent to a flash thunderstorm.
The seven-minute jam neatly pivots from languid mandolin and violin-laced guitar wizardry backed by sunny, bubbling synths to a brief midpoint moment of stark lucidity before the band throws themselves into cathartic, film credits territory marred by agitated and fitful guitar squalls.
And then the sky brightens, the string section chirps and all is well again—置若罔聞: turning a deaf ear to the wolf at the door.
released 31 December 2012
Co-Release with NEW NOISE and WEARY BIRD Records.