With nearly 20 years of existence, the change or evolution of Wang Wen record is not unusual at this point. But on Invisible City, they seem to have tapped into something interplanetary – utilizing synths, ambient tones, and other electronic flourishes to create one of their most affecting and in some ways warm records. The bombastic outpouring of melody is still present – no one knows how to build up to rousing (and at times baroquely haunting) finish like these guys. However, the band seems more in tune than ever in setting the mood and letting the atmosphere fill the void. Another transcendent triumph from Wang Wen.
A madcap knot of manic, sardonic, and slightly deranged stream-of-conscious melodies and razor-sharp arrangements, Panic Worm are having a hell of a time on their crackling debut Elusive Magic, out now on Ruby Eyes Records. The Wuhan post-punk outfit who have been going strong for years bring a lo-fi grit to their beautifully rendered paranoia that oozes with dangerous allure and leads way to a raucous combustible center. Imagine Mark E. Smith paired with the slacker rock sensibilities of Pavement and Sonic Youth and you’d only get a sense of the absurd grace at hand here.
With the influx of hip-hop artists flooding the airwaves, it becomes harder and harder for artists in the genre to stand out from the rest. Luckily, there’s no one quite like DVC out there. The Beijing based artist combines esoteric and cerebral electronica with reflective bedroom hip-hop that feels like a breath of fresh air in this day and age. With a keen ear for hypnotic beats full of both imagination and care and a penchant for slow-burning verses that drift between meditative self-reflection and dishing throw out film references galore, DVC joins the ranks of hip-hop geeks adding a little sophistication to the joint.