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十年水流东,十年水流西  // 五条人 (Wu Tiao Ren)

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Although Wu Tiao Ren (五條人) means “five people” in Putonghua, this Guangzhou-based band is made up of only two. Since first performing together in 2003, Ah Mau (阿茂) and Yan Fo (仁科), both hailing from Haifeng, Guangdong, have been playing their folky guitar and accordion (and the occasional harmonica and Jew’s harp) tunes, with their native Haifeng dialect bubbling over the top – a language not everyone may be fluent in.

This, in fact, may be where the beauty and genius of this band lies: in its hypnotic quality that draws you in more because you don’t understand the lyrics, a la Sigur Ros. That’s not to say, however, that their songs are empty and meaningless. Wu Tiao Ren’s songs provide an aural representation of the simple life in rural China, focusing, in classic folk tradition, on memories, stories or feelings they have about their life and hometown, sentiments that fill the band’s first full-length album, last year’s County Stories.

On Wu Tiao Ren

Although Wu Tiao Ren (五條人) means “five people” in Putonghua, this Guangzhou-based band is made up of only two. Since first performing together in 2003, Ah Mau (阿茂) and Yan Fo (仁科), both hailing from Haifeng, Guangdong, have been playing their folky guitar and accordion (and the occasional harmonica and Jew’s harp) tunes, with their native Haifeng dialect bubbling over the top – a language not everyone may be fluent in.

This, in fact, may be where the beauty and genius of this band lies: in its hypnotic quality that draws you in more because you don’t understand the lyrics, a la Sigur Ros. That’s not to say, however, that their songs are empty and meaningless. Wu Tiao Ren’s songs provide an aural representation of the simple life in rural China, focusing, in classic folk tradition, on memories, stories or feelings they have about their life and hometown, sentiments that fill the band’s first full-length album, last year’s County Stories.

On Wu Tiao Ren