For those who enjoyed my other feature on Asian IDM , these are the more ethereal sounds of Far Eastern electronica.
Mus.hiba – White Girl
I’d assumed Japan’s mus.hiba was the girl you hear on several of the tracks from last year’s White Girl debut. Turns out, not only is mus.hiba a dude, but all the vocals are made by an artificial voice synthesizer, creating his virtual frontwoman ‘Yufu Sekka.’ The tracks behind the voice are gorgeous soundscapes that bring to mind an icier kind of chillwave.
Twomyung – Between/Summer Rain
Twomyung were my favourite discovery while living in Seoul a few years back, coming across a monthly residency they’d co-headline in the chic Hapjeong district of the city. While their initial debut was string-flavoured indie, the group have moved on to a wonderful sort of electronica that perfectly complements their visual-filled live show (see above). Check out 2012’s Between EP or this year’s Summer Rain single for the best of their current sound.
Ookorookoo – Aurora
With its cut-up vocals and ukulele guitar strings, Ookorookoo’s 2013 debut album Aurora brought folktronica back from its resting place in the 2000s, and gave a much needed update to the template of Korean acoustica, the national soundtrack to coffee shops everywhere in the country. Album stand-out Today I Want to Run for Some Reason manages to bring both strands of the band together, with a verse-chorus melody coasting along a glitchy Notwist-esque beat. Their last three singles O, Autumn Night and Winter Diary have mined similarly ethereal terrain, straying into more dream-pop or post-rock territory with equal aplomb.
Oh Hee Jung – Everybody Here Wants You Back
Oh Hee Jung is a solo artist who typifies the ethereal/ambient/chillwave end of the electronic spectrum. Her debut EP Everybody Here Wants You Back from 2013 remains her strongest release so far. An album is yet to surface, but in the meantime feast your ears on 2014’s Set Adrift REMIX EP, especially its I Want You reworking by fellow Korean artist Palpal (aka EightEight 88). A most luscious trip indeed.