pentatonic是吉他手小马在大学期间开始的创作计划，2008年夏季于北京正式结成为乐队并加入拾柒贰肆唱片。次年6月发行首张EP《If You Don’t Understand Then I Can’t Explain to You》，其中的单曲“You Build a House on my Back”是不少人首次接触后摇的沉溺曲目。有趣的是，英语演唱和歌词的西式叙事方式，导致为数众多的听者以为这是一支国外乐队。惘闻吉他手谢玉岗也把自己的唯一一篇乐评送给了这张唱片。
在几次人员变更之后，pentatonic稳定为5人阵容：双吉他、键盘、贝斯、鼓。并于2012年进棚录制自己的首张全长专辑，由王智星担任制作人，母带则远赴加拿大的Grey Market Mastering完成。这张名为《Sydrome》的全长专辑于2013年10月1日发行，收录的8首作品取自pentatonic不同时期。因此，在概念性的命名之下，《Syndrome》也带上了属于时间的不同风貌，典型的后摇作品、沉郁却优雅的慢核吟唱，和灵动的长篇多乐器奏鸣曲。紧随专辑发行，pentatonic也完成了自己的首次全国巡演。
As deeply entrenched in their somber musical language as they remain affectionate towards mellifluous melodies, pentatonic never fails to find artistic embodiment of the acoustic elements where they derive aesthetic delight from in instrumental. From the fresh, eye-opening encounter of their debut EP to the step forward in creative maturity as seen in the subsequent long-playing records, pentatonic travelled between compositional tribute and novelty, fiddling with the interplay of thoughts and emotion. The results can be perceived as quiet attempts to break through a seemingly conventional approach, a message conveyed likewise through the band’s name: the pentatonic scale from traditional Chinese music, yet written in English. By contrast, the terms “post-rock” and “slowcore” merely serve as guidance for beginners in approaching their music.
This is because pentatonic has created the necessary sonic space for imagination to flourish.
After a few changes in the band lineup, pentatonic has settled into a quintet, with double guitars, keyboard, bass, and drums. In 2012 their fist LP entered into recording, with Wang Zhixing acting as the producer and the Canada-based studio Grey Market Mastering in collaboration to produce the master tape. Released on 1 October 2013, the album was entitled “Sydrome” and has proven to be a condensation of eight brilliant tracks from different stages of the band, hence possessing various compositional characteristics as a result of time: from typical post-rock pieces to slowcore songs with grim, graceful vocals to longer musical works adopting a lively array of instruments. Shortly after the release, pentatonic embarked on their first national tour.
The following four years only witnessed pentatonic’s release of one single and a digital EP containing the unplugged versions of three songs. The band members spent most of their time on their work and daily lives while they waited for the return of the drummer, who had went for his studies in the UK. Nevertheless, the fact that they do not work as professional musicians had fostered a sense of belonging or a feeling of home among the bandmates, and as slowly as their musical journey moves forward, they never consider stopping.
What follows next? In asking the question, perhaps we shall expect not only music from pentatonic.