박혜진 Park Hye Jin Blurs Barriers of Language and Genre on 'How can I'
Published Jun 24, 2020Few labels have the kind of track record Ninja Tune has for scouting producers. This has allowed the UK-based label to not only remain relevant for its back catalogue but also for its impressive roster of acts, who continue to be tastemakers across an array of genres. It has also helped the long-running label to not get boxed in chasing trends and trying to be something it isn't, and give producers carte-blanche to explore and develop their own style and sound.
For the follow-up to 박혜진 Park Hye Jin's 2018 debut, How can I's house-y lead single "Like this" features vocals sung in the artist's native Korean. Any language barrier blurs as vocals are used as rhythmic elements, at times fusing English and Korean lyrics in the same song, as on "Can you." Packed with feathery Rhodes chords, cutting hi-hats and catchy hook, the standout track "Can you" has an earworm quality.
She takes a left turn after her more recognizable house palette in the first half of the EP. On "NO," she twists taught drum loops with repetitive vocals that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Plus 8 record from the '90s or a dark, strobe-heavy warehouse party. The YouTube-taught producer uses a similar morphing vocal loop style on "How come" that is effected enough to make you question what you are hearing as the sample shifts and fluctuates ever so slightly throughout the cut. "Beautiful" has a more playful vibe than the other songs on the second half of the album, despite the aggressive percussion. Balancing heavily gaited toms with wide-open reverberated drum hits, scraping hi-hats and shifting vocal samples, "Beautiful" is a fitting end that proves 박혜진 Park Hye Jin has successfully avoided the sophomore slump. (Ninja Tune)