Yin: Electronic Composer ayrtbh’s Latest “Track” is a .dmg File

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7:36 PM HKT, Fri July 20, 2018 2 mins read

Yin (音, “music”) is a weekly RADII feature that looks at Chinese songs spanning hip-hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. Drop us a line if you have a suggestion.

If last week we took you on a deep dive into the warm, analog world of synth builder Meng Qi, today we go in the other direction with the latest from electronic musician and code composer Wang Changcun.

Wang, who goes by the alias ayrtbh, has just released his latest album Song of Anon, which the presser describes as “a nest of algorithmic oddities, a composer writing himself out of the mix.” You can hear it on Spotify or iTunes, but what we’re interested in today is the comparably more open source bonus track for the album, which Wang has released as a freely downloadable Mac .dmg app.

Click that link to get your hands on it; here’s a preview while it downloads:


It runs on Wang’s current instrument of choice, the Max programming language, which was also a central compositional tool for the album as a whole. The “bonus track,” a playable app, is built as a Max patch, while the album was first rhythmically conceived with the help of a javascript webpage (also available on Wang’s website), sketched out with some sequencers, and ultimately realized with Max. As he told music gear site Midifan (link in Chinese), in the process of composing Song of Anon “the computer is more than just a production tool, but a smart instrument that works with you to complete your creation.”

But you don’t need to understand any of that to have fun with this stand-alone app. Here are the instructions Wang gave me, mercifully, in layman’s terms:

the orange button is for selecting one’s own sound output, yellow range slider is for length control

and one can click [Anon] button anytime to get a new pattern, or the pattern will be refreshed after being played 4 times

and the 3 black multisliders are 3 “sequencers” for 3 different synths, every slider level indicates the “velocity” of that step

if one does not touch anything, this software will run on its own, 4 times a pattern change, and maybe 8 times (not sure) a synth parameter change

Wang Changcun and artist DuDu perform at ALL in Shanghai (photo by Luna)

Song of Anon, appropriately enough, was released by D Force Records, a label that grew out of popular social networtk Douban. The music division of Douban recently spun out from the parent company and merged with copyright services company V.Fine, absorbing a cash infusion in the process that has allowed it to continue its popular Abilu Awards, totally revamp its music streaming app Douban FM, and pursue left-field releases for artists like Wang, including Shanghai-based producers 33EMYBW and Gooooose, with whom he’s currently touring China’s alternative club circuit.

They even have the Luddites covered: if you’ve never heard of Max or a .dmg, you can still enjoy this computer-generated music on rich, crackling vinyl, though 12″ LPs are currently only available on Chinese store Weidian.

Cover image: Midifan

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