Wei Zhongle are a trio operating on a number of axes simultaneously, pulling in dubby bass, a melange of electronics, occasionally klezmer-ish clarinet and ecstatically meandering vocals to make a curious brew. The LP version of Nu Trance is released on Hairy Spider Legs, the cassette version on NNA Tapes.
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Proving that you can make ridiculous sound art without just doing free form noise all the time thank you very much. Thurston Moore, Wei Zhongle have created some slapstick jams that recall Animal Collective three albums in and Ponytail pre tragic breakup. There’s chaos but it’s tethered by rhythms that exist to hypnotise, with muted guitars hammering away in the background as lead singer Rob Jacob hums speculatively and howls absent-mindedly. John McCowen adds some additive melodies and estranged sounds here and there, supplementing electronics to create a journey that wades into dub but then blowing on the clarinet with all the fervor of Naked City. The drumming of Sam Klickner keeps our band marching, just about.
It’d be something of a disservice to spot particular tracks from among this glorious wreckage, considering how anonymous Wei Zhongle make their record sound -- particular songs aren’t a necessity. Choice moments include what sounds like a fight chant on “To Man”, wrapped around a tonally wiry guitar and a motif transposed from clarinet to keys, and the three longer, proggier tracks that comprise of the record’s flipside: on “To Woman” the drumming is more scattershot, going from frantic pelts to something quite shimmering and ambient-oriented. ‘Nu Trance’ is a nice fluorescent vortex of sound to get yourself all lost and confused in.
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- Nu Trance by Wei Zhongle
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