王阳明 – 屯蒙

Recommendation: ☀☁☁


王阳明 is a music producer based in Beijing, China; whose albums revolve around the concept of Chinese traditional philosophy and literature as described in the Book of Changes. There are sixty-four hexagrams within the Book, which are either “broken” or “unbroken” (a parallel to yin and yang) and are divided into an upper and lower trigram. Each trigram is associated with an element; the eight trigrams utilized in the Book of Changes are Heaven, Earth, Water, Fire, Swamp, Mountains, Wind, and Thunder. Through the casting of coins and the subjective interpretation of resulting trigrams/bigrams via the Book, one can guide their life toward a path divined through the heavens.1

Each of 王阳明’s albums revolves around two hexagrams.2 屯蒙 is his second, released in October 2015. The meaning is rather cryptic, which is par for the course when it comes to ancient Chinese classics! The phrase “惟入于林中,君子机不如舍” accompanies the album on bandcamp, which (very roughly) translates into “When in the forest, the gentleman must abandon.”3 This release is best described as “outsider house meets vapornoise;” each track is highly dark ambient-inspired, being made from twenty to thirty second snippets of anime, music, and commercials that are chopped-and-screwed and pitch-delayed to all hell, creating an intensely discomfiting and very alien musical milieu. It is not entirely beatless; compared to 王阳明’s later albums (such as ), 屯蒙 is quite rhythmic.

While the overarching concept may be lost on listeners, 王阳明 is certainly a fascinating producer in sheer breadth of scope. 屯蒙 is recommended for fans of dark ambient and the “vaporgoth” stylings of Chinese Hackers.

 

Tracklist


1. ䷂ 初九 – (0:54)
2. ䷂ 六二 – (1:47)
3. ䷂ 六三 – (1:19)
4. ䷂ 六四 – (1:15)
5. ䷂ 九五 – (2:36)
6. ䷂ 上六 – (1:08)
7. ䷃ 初六 – (1:06)
8. ䷃ 九二 – (2:27)
9. ䷃ 六三 – (0:46)
10. ䷃ 六四 – (2:41)
11. ䷃ 六五 – (2:32)
12. ䷃ 上九 – (0:51)


 

1You can read more about this theory and philosophy in the creator’s own words via this reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vaporwave/comments/3ogc84/%E7%8E%8B%E9%98%B3%E6%98%8E_%E5%B1%AF%E8%92%99_another_super_cool_outsider_ambient_album/
2… which means we can expect at least thirty-two albums out of this producer.
3I could be totally off on this. My studies are in Romance languages.

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