Boomkat Product Review:
Poetically expressive ambient experiments by Brooklyn-based composer Ohyung, mirroring a text by poet t. tran le with a palette of wilting keys and chiffon synths luxuriating in space - RIYL Romance, claire rousay, Meitei
Ohyung’s 2nd album, proper, ‘imagine naked!’ witnesses them dematerialise from the noisier hip hop of their 2020 debut ‘Protector’ into a far more ponderous state of mind that patently resonates with the gauzier depths of NNA’s sprawling catalogue. The aesthetic switch can be attributed to their reading of ‘Vegetalscape’, a poem by US-based t. tran le which acts as “artistic companion” to the album, with each track titled after, and inspired-by, a line in the poem. In pursuit of evoking or reflecting the text, Ohyung deploys their electro-acoustic inputs most impressionistically, leaving lots of room for the imagination to ruminate its meaning, or more simply eaze off into its sublime, if melancholic, drowse.
Treading the finest line between hypnagogic and soporific, the 11 tracks gently play with aspects of memory and self-reflection in a way that speaks to lived experience. Life is messy, and there’s a warm acknowledgement of this matter as the album oscillates from the 15 mins of elusive spheric harmonics in ‘my torn cuticles!’ to allow for lush quota of rustling acousmagique ephemera recalling Perila and A Humble Bee in ‘my hands hold flora!’, and the feel of skin on wood and strings in ‘i’m remembering!’.
Their pathos manifests thru nuance, with the self-evident calm of ‘to fill the quiet!’ contrasting he more anxious occlusion of ‘tucked in my stomach!’ and plangent, vulnerable feel of their time-stalling keys in ‘yes my weeping frame!’, while the exquisite glassy still surfaces of the title tune betrays its oceanic depths that become more apparent in its later stages, via the skin-tingling presence of ‘symphonies sweeping!’, and, ultimately, the 37 minutes of ticklish timbre and anaesthetising hues explored in ‘releases like gloves!’.