Five Elements (Wang Fan)

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General Information

Artist: Wang Fan
Title: 五行 (wǔ xíng) / Five Elements
Release Date: 2006, June
Label: Kwanyin Records
Type: CDDA
Cat. No.: kwanyin 004
ISRC: CN-A08-05-37200

Track Listing

  1. 五行


  • (c) that's Shanghai Magazine, Thomas Podvin, Chief editor: Steven Crane, May 2006 issue

With Five Primary Elements, Beijing-based sound designer Wang Fan offers one hour of pure meditation, a piece of soothing electronica where nature speaks; no break beats or high-frequency BPM tempos here. Much like being lost in a tropical forest, with all the modern comforts – naturally. Wang is a composer and vocalist, a pioneer in China’s experimental/improvised music scene. Born in 1970 in Lanzhou, Gansu province, he relocated to Beijing in 1996. The same year the self-taught minimalist noise-maker created China’s first formal experimental music piece. Ten years later, he’s still at it, experimenting and mingling sounds together. On this release, Wang has ventured out of town, out of Beijing at least. The CD is filled with the sounds of nature: flowing water, singing birds, quivering leaves and Buddhist bells, woven, with no small degree of poetry, into a synth matrix. At the seventeenth minute, ethnic vocals and drums offer a semblance of melody. At the twenty-fifth minute, the human voice is exchanged for the sound of wind. At the forty-seventh minute, one hears reeds bending in the wind. In a world of facile pop purée, Wang’s experimental music offers an alternate reality we should all meditate on. That is if music, in any form, doesn’t interfere with your cosmic vibes.


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