Wei Zhongle Raised High / Brought Low
Raised High / Brought Low is the second full length from Chicago's Wei Zhongle. The album was recorded in the band's previous home of Carbondale Illinois in the winter of 2012 and 2013 as a five piece band of prepared guitar, electric bass, two clarinets, percussion and voice.
Using scales drawn from East Asian classical music, the interlocking reeds heard in Balkan folk and the rattling, syncopated rhythms of Steve Reich's gamelan-inspired minimalism, the album weaves a blend of disparate influences and unexpected sounds into a tight musical fabric that is both unfamiliar and immediately understood. Angular guitar patterns resound underneath slippery clarinets while Rob Jacobs' voice acts as an instrument of its own, transforming its tone and texture to resemble reeds or strings. Throughout the album, his dreamlike abstractions become succinct allegories about the search for spiritual union. With Raised High / Brought Low, Wei Zhongle have merged the energy and immediacy of a new band with the intricacy and craftsmanship of a highly skilled arranger to produce a futuristic portrayal of a globalized musical landscape.