If I were to tell you that post-rock is one of the most popular musical sub-genres in Chongqing, you’d probably reply by saying, “post-rock… what the fuck is that?” A few years ago I was saying the same thing. I saw a poster for a band that was coming to Chongqing. The name of the band or where they were from, I couldn’t tell you. The only thing I could decipher was the two words in English, “Post-Rock.” Curious, I went to the trusty folks over at Wikipedia to find out exactly what this post-rock thing was all about. I quickly found that I was aware of post-rock without even knowing it, as it is pretty much just instrumental music played with traditional rock and roll instruments (think Ratatat or Muse). Knowing that was enough to get me through the door, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.
The band turned out to be Wang Wen/惘闻 from Dalian, who are essentially the godfathers of Chinese post-rock. To use generic metaphors, their live set is can be hypnotic, full of improvisation and cinematic swells, and their lead guitarist is famed for playing his axe with a screwdriver. Heady stuff!
As one of the more seasoned Chinese touring acts, Wang Wen have garnered their chops while picking up quite the following. You can check them out at Nuts Club, Friday. 20:30.