I belive that China’s love affair with post rock is about the landscapes that the guitars build in these songs, and the drama of climbing a mountain and reaching its top. And I also believe Wang Wen is the leading light of this love affair.
Eight Horses came out to mark the fifteen years of Wang Wen’s succesful music adventure. Each of the eight songs of the album are meant to be a ride to explore different ideas, some are spiritual trips, other fictional, and a couple are about nature.
There are a lot of new factors changing the sound of Wang Wen in Eight Horses, though their essence is intact, there are new instruments in the game, more effects, and a trumpet even, plus they brought four producers to work each on two songs. The result is felt as a wider range of sound, more colorful and more solid too, with drums that now feel more confident and on the spot. There are some new waves of fusion jazz influencing their music too, not only because of the trumpet, but because of the keyboard and the atmospheric effects created by the strings. The guitars are lyrical, and they seranade with much more maturity, but one of the individual charateristics of Wang Wen since their beginning is intact, their sound of innocence, or it could be timidity, something very subtle that emerge from their technique.
I like the trumpet on “Sky Of Dalian” it reminds me a little of Roxy Music. And about memories “The Last Journey” reminds me a lot of Rainbow Danger Club and their Where The Maps End, it’s a song that sounds to sea currents and goodbyes. “Escape From Mother Universe” is entitled as the science fiction book of Wang Jiankang, I haven’t read that book sadly, but the song sounds to an oxidized sad reality, like the end of a night at a jazz bar that’s falling apart and a piano player that is about to succumb to exhaustion but turns on in rage from frustration to find at least spiritual freedom, I know that’s not very science fiction, but that’s how it sounds to me.
Eight Horses was recorded in a library in Dalian, the producers are Yang Haisong, Anzi, Lao Wang, and Wouter Vlaeminckx. It was released by New Noise label, and Pelagic and Genjing Records are distributing it outside of China.