Park Hye Jin - Before I Die

Park Hye Jin

Before I Die

Ninja Tune • 2021

Of course, a review of Park Hye Jin’s new record could be written on the basis of the supposed »Korean wave«. Okkyung Lee, Yaeji, K-Pop and of course Peggy Gou – certainly artists from Korea (or with so-called Korean roots) have moved into the spotlight. It’s all too easy to forget to look at the individual musicians and their work when it comes to such fundamental findings. And yet, far from global diagnosis, it is worth taking a closer look: Also with »Before I Die«. On her first long-player, Park Hye Jin manages to expand an already established sound as well as to introduce completely new facets. On an ambitious 16 tracks, she shows just about everything that’s on fire right now: Housy Dreams or dreamy House, chill beats, as the young people say, club experiments. This time, however, hip-hop and trap borrowings also join in. You could also say that it doesn’t matter whether the sixteenth notes roll to juke or trap. Some corners seem more unpolished here, but it is obvious, especially after repeated listening, that everything follows a sophisticated architecture. Park establishes a sound that certainly wants to be heard at the window – whether in hard industrial garb or laid-back. A double-glazed, renovated window in an old building or an endless panorama sliding door – it doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that it’s raining outside, or the waves are pushing a little melancholically towards the beach. It should be Instagrammable – then you have definitely found your soundtrack for the rest of the year.