Boomkat Product Review:
Following a debut for the now defunct Tri Angle label back in 2018, classically-trained cellist mmph returns with a grandiose, complex and billowing set of advanced sonic experiments for Shnaghai’s SVBKVLT, twisting Korean folk archetypes thru pneumatic club blasts.
It was a brush with mortality that forced Sae Heum Han, now based in Los Angeles, to rethink his musical trajectory. Three years ago he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that left him bedridden and exhausted, only able to work for an hour each day. His frustration and soul searching blesses 'Harvest' with a frenetic energy - taking percussion samples and traditional folk music as building blocks for spiky electronic productions.
Han's work as a soundtrack composer informs proceedings, winding smeared percussion through deconstructed granulations and nightmarish musicbox gurgles. On the title track, he passes like a banished spirit through shimmering electro-acoustic instrumentation and off-kilter vocals into thick, metal-inspired blast beats and acidic trance synths. This locks the album into a more propulsive trajectory, and 'Avnue' follows with metallic knocks and tuned percussion that leads into a concertina of skittering, almost operatic blasts. 'Moon Jar' is more heartily electronic, but Han cleverly mimics the traditional instruments with his carefully sculpted sounds, blurring the line between digital and organic sources to disorient us while he abstracts each element into rowdy, chaotic noise.
The album is rounded off by three exclusive remixes from some of Han's SVBKVLT labelmates. Berlin-based Egyptian sound artist and producer ABADIR is first up, with an energetic retooling of 'Harvest' that pushes the original's rhythms to the front, turning blasts into a whirr of kicks and cinematic womps. NET GALA's New Simmian remix of 'Moon Jar' is the album's most edgy dancefloor moment, twisting the original into an arpeggiated mesh of neon synths and rumbling hi-BPM drums, while Yen Tech finishes things with a moonlit, gabber-inspired conglomeration of 'Avnue' and 'Dialogue’.