Now in residence at Raying Temple, an underground music club on the outskirts of Beijing, Glow Curve (formerly Maze) peddle an orchestral groove that dwells somewhere between math rock and ambient sound. As the quartet release their third album this month, Wang Ge talks to band-founder Xue Ran (pictured third from left) to discover what’s behind their penetrating musical meditations.
Tell us about your hometown.
It’s a town called Leling, in Shandong. Life there has always been grey, and I was the only kid in town who had a band. It was one of those places where disaffected, aimless youngsters wander around rows of outdoor pool tables and crappy karaoke bars. Parents expect their kids to go to Peking or Tsinghua University, and eventually end up in disappointment.
I heard you worked as a postman.
It was 2003, when I was only 16. I got up at 7am every day and cycled for 35km to deliver all the newspapers and mail by lunchtime. Then I had lunch in the post office and spent the afternoon waiting for the next day’s loads to arrive while putting the newspapers together… you don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?
All the pages come in separate piles; it’s people like us who take each one out and fold them together into the newspaper that you read. After work, I spent my time listening to music.
I wanted to compose original soundtracks for horror films, and I made some samples with a toy keyboard and a tape recorder. Then I moved to Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong, and heard Nirvana, Joy Division, Placebo and Venus. To be honest, I’ve never listened to The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath – I’m just not interested.
What’s been the most difficult part of recording this album?
We started in the winter of 2010, and could have had it done by May this year. Then, one day, our computer crashed and everything was gone. We almost killed ourselves, but then we realised that we had to face reality, so we rested for a day and started recording again. Actually, a similar accident happened again, but by then we were way too smooth to panic. No one will ever know what the album sounded like the first time around.
发光曲线(原迷宫乐队) 现在在小雷音（一个北京郊区的地下音乐俱乐部）生活，这支乐队的风格介于数学摇滚和氛围音乐之间。本月该组合发行了他们第一张专辑, Time Out Beijing采访了乐队创立者薛染，讲述他们音乐背后的故事。
我当时想为恐怖片写背景音乐, 所以用一个玩具键盘创作并录了一盘小样。接下来我搬到了山东省会济南，接触到了Nirvana, Joy Division, Placebo以及Venus. 老实说，我从没听过滚石乐队, 齐柏林飞艇或者黑色安息日，我对这些就是提不起兴趣。