In layman’s terms, the Second Law of Thermodynamics states in part that any isolated system naturally tends towards entropy, or the denigration of the system into disorder.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t quite in laymen’s terms. Think of it this way: imagine leaving an ice cube on the kitchen table. As far as these things go, an ice cube is nice and orderly – all of the molecules are packed into a condensed space, it’s easy to transport, can easily be held in one’s hand, etc. However, leave it on the table long enough and it’s going to melt, and water is much less orderly in its liquid from than in its solid form. It can be held on one’s hand, but not without losing some of it. Put the ice cube in a glass instead of just leaving it on the table, at the water can be contained and transported with relative ease. Leave the glass out long enough, though, and the water will start to evaporate. Have you ever tried to keep track of water vapor in the air? It’s not possible – water molecules are at their most disorderly in their gaseous state.
That being said, physicist James Clerk Maxwell posited a way around this Second Law. In a thought experiment that’s become known as Maxwell’s Demon, the table where the ice cube is progressing form frozen to liquid to gas is inside one chamber, and the rest of the kitchen is in another, and there’s a door between the two chamber that’s controlled by a demon that can tell the difference between water molecules and the rest of the gasses in the room. The demon opens the door to let all of the non-water molecules out of the table chamber, and shuts it whenever a non-water molecule from the kitchen chamber might try to get back in. Eventually, all of the water vapor will be isolated inside the table chamber and every other molecule will be housed in the kitchen chamber, thus returning the system to some semblance of order.
Those loyal Vault Hunters who haven’t just skipped ahead to the SoundCloud embed are probably wondering right about now what the fuck any of this has to do with “Never Ailments on Oneself,” the track we’re premiering today from 夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker)‘s forthcoming sophomore album 一期一会 (“for this time only, never again”). If you’re asking that, then chances are you aren’t familiar with 夢遊病者’s peculiar brand of blackened droning psychedelic avant-noise kraut/jazz-metal. However, that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue – it’s probably easier to describe their style as ‘barely controlled chaos,’ or even ‘a good and proper mind-fucking,’
In short, each of the six tracks on 一期一会 consistently sound as though they’re on the verge of collapsing into complete disorder. And 夢遊病者, much like the hypothetical Maxwell’s Demon, are the only ones who can see the individual, vibrating components in each composition and manipulate the theoretical chamber doors to keep any kind of sonic entropy at bay. in other words, 夢遊病者 are brilliant–total fucking visionaries–that it’s simply not possible to comprehend in purely musical terms. You can still enjoy them, however, without having to understand how they do it, or the philosophy of thermal and statistical physics. Just press play below, but be aware: “Never Ailments on Oneself” is going to rip the top of your puny human skull off.