DaWangGang… Philosophical stories and poems about animals, children or wizards, embedded in musical textures from guitar, horse-head-fiddle, ghijek, throat-singing, jaw harp, drums, percussion and samples, combined and played in ever-new variations. A trip through Chinese and central-Asian folklore, experimental and nature-adapted soundscapes, archaic sound of wideness, rhythmic trance, expressive-energetic emotions and stories full of fantasy, wisdom and depth.
Song Yuzhe, founder and mastermind of DaWangGang, studied guitar and composition in Beijing. At the beginning, he played in various punk- and rock bands. Then he decided to expand his musical knowledge by traveling for ten years to remote places in China. There he learned from musicians of different ethnic origins and a wide array of social backgrounds. This experience led to the project DaWangGang. Accordingly, it unites musicians of diverse musical backgrounds and often works with guest musicians. Besides the core member Song Yuzhe (vocals, guitar, eight-stringed banjo and cittern), the current DaWangGangs are Hu Gejiletu (horse-head fiddle, throat singing, jaw harp), the ghijek-virtuoso Adil and the drummer Zhang Yang, who is experienced through many punk-, rock-, and jazz projects in Beijing.
DaWangGang blows up borders between Singer-Songwriter, Asian folklore, multi-ethnic Sound-Art, Chinese opera and contemporary rock.They create a unique union between tradition and present.
In spring 2013, DaWangGang’s debut album “Wild Tune Stray Rhythm” was released topping the 11th Place in the World Music Charts in its first week.
“Huang qiang zou ban” (Wild Tune Stray Rhythm): the expression comes from the Chinese Opera and refers to music which is slightly out of tune and rhythm. The series includes “Three Dakinis are Discussing”, and “Ashik Castle” (instrumental). These are musical projects inspired from songs and rhythms from Western China and Central Asia, using opera structures with folk songs and the musician’s own compositions and adaptations. The aim here is to create a new musical entity as well as using the differences between the musicians to the advantage of a greater communication.
“Coming with Image, Going with Sound”: live music accompanies videos which include performances by folk artists filmed by Song Yuzhe in Tibet and Xinjiang over the years. Each show includes two parts, “We Go” and “They Come”. “We Go” leads us on a journey into nature from a traveler’s perspective, while “They Come” brings images of folk musicians into the live performance with the band. Song Yuzhe also plays solo, sometimes he composes live music over silent films, he writes music for films and documentaries, and works as sound technician. He has participated in international music festivals and projects in China and abroad.
DaWangGang – Wild Tune Stray Rhythm, the group of songwriter Song Yuzhe from Peking (!). An astonishing, worthwhile work! I listen to almost all kinds of music, but I’ve never heard anything like this before. Rough classification: Asian Folk, but only as a basis, distinctly modernized, including discreet Western elements, but entirely independent, something new emerges, rhythmic too; expanded Songwriter Folk, outlandish but disconcertingly, remarkably beautiful; a blend of China Folk (more modern?), Peking Opera and way-out avant-garde, now taking off like crazy, now in a trance, contemplative or intensely hypnotic; current Scott Walker (even the vocals!) meets Eastern folk, solemn, almost festive, absolutely fascinating; and two great pieces more or less in slow motion, one with a breath-taking female voice and religious chants, the other with acoustic Rock influence, painfully emotional. Various string instruments, Asian fiddle, percussion, short sax, organ – and loops! – accompany him and other singers in pieces some very lengthy; dark, often magnificent music from a different world, a very special tip! Glitterhouse Magazin