It’s strange and also a little confusing when you listen to the new music released by a rock band and their songs remind you of something that you didn’t hear since many years, something that was lost in your memory but which left a profound sign in your personal development. A few days ago I was working on the PC and the stereo was playing in the background the new album released by Wang Wen, named Invisible City. To be honest inititially I wasn’t giving too much attention to the music, but at one point it seemed to me that I was suddenly projected in the past: I was in my old room, in my parent’s house, studying maths and listening to one of the first albums by Mogwai. I used to be a big fan of the legendary Scottish post-rock band and I really appreciated their first few albums. Mogwai marked my growth as a music lover and they impressed me with their absolutely original and suggestive version rock music, something that they unfortunately abandoned in their subsequent works: the extremely slow rhytms, the delicate and charming melodies, the gentle touches of the guitars. The music that was arriving from Wang Wen’s new record brought me back in that special phase of my life, more than twenty years ago. Once again I was enjoying those ethereal and gentle sounds, the quiet but sometimes unsettling atmospheres, everything that I loved of Mogwai and which – wen I was something more than a teenager – introduced me to the fascinating world of post-rock.
Wang Wen, from China, is not a newcomer in the rock scene. They have released many LPs since their formation in 2002 and they toured extensively in many Countries, often sharing the stage with the same legends of rock that they were – more or less consciously – imitating.
Invisible City is their seventh LP. The album is extremely intriguing and although it basically reproduces without any particular innovation a style of post-rock that was already affirmed by other bands in the past decades, the LP still offers a valid selection of excellent instrumental songs. Perhaps one of the strongest aspects of the album is its capacity to provide different levels of listening: you can focus on the single track and appreciate all the details and nuances that are part of it, but you can also let this music play in the background while you’re busy with something else.
Wang Wen’s songs are delicate and profound at the same time, they have been composed and played to bring us a sense of serenity and peace. And this is a gift that only few albums may offer.
Highlights: Silenced Dalian, Daybreak and Stone Scissors.