Thursday, May 14, 2015


I've been taking in Wei Zhongle's album Nu Trance these past few months. Wanting to see what age brings has meant sitting on this recording for a bit longer than expected. A brilliance, concentrated and concise is emitted from every pore of this music. What a difference the light makes in an atmosphere, a sharpness that directs what could otherwise be lost in slipstreams of flotation. Here, with instrumentation that would upon brief glance conjure an image of hollowness, Wei Zhongle constructs thickets of fortified uniquity. An electric channel to traditions of the east (peking opera etc.) rides the crest without ever falling into the entrapments of academia, mundanity, or contrivance. Qualities of the musics of Harry Partch, Faust, This Heat, Snakefinger, all cascade from what stands, certainly, a higher alternate point of departure. A wakeful directness shatters expectation; profound in its deceptive simplicity. Nu Trance maintains itself over the course of many listens. The stream never weakening (a rare achievement uncommon in the life to which we are accustomed). Its consciousness resolute. Better to die than live in sleep.

Wei Zhongle's "Nu Trance" is out now on Hairy Spider Legs and NNA Tapes

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