Minjoon – Kleśa
(Virescence Records, 2021-05-31)
Pain is a relatable, common struggle which does not discriminate. While being a shared human condition, its expression is a uniquely individual experience. Through Seoul-based Minjoon’s interpretation of “Kleśa”, reflection on suffering is brought about as a deep experience, based on the teachings of Buddhism.
The inspiration behind Virescence Records is rooted in the timeless, natural life-cycle of plants, including their metamorphosis and transformative evolution, as consistently featured in their artworks. For this reason, the curatorial backbone behind this release ties in snuggly, seeing pain as a transformative experience which may lead to great personal growth, perhaps similar to the one lived by the artists when expressing such concepts through sounds.
With a ritualistic off-beat kick-starting with “Aldaw”, it’s evident right from the beginning that the release excels in the use of sound design to highlight the diverse colours and textured elements laid out. Although generally ambiguous, organic human-like chants and tribal instruments far in the background are balanced out by drone structures, complimenting and at times contrasting. These elements, as well as a somewhat playful use of percussions, create a clean, down-tempo build-up. They explore the mindset behind anxiety in a calm and controlled manner to achieve higher states of being, right up to “Meribah”, which delivers climatic, adrenaline-pumping energy.
Some re-interpretations of Minjoon’s 6 tracks then lie in the good hands of Scøpe, Yóhan, Unclear, Adhémar, Martyn Päsch and Traversable. Their message brings another multitude of characteristic layers into this already expansive EP. An uplifting groove, an intense work of panning, a break-beat with heaps of attitude and an underwater closing take things to a whole other level of imagination.
It is stunning to sit back and be in deep meditative thought through the listening experience, sensing the constructive side a potential pain may have, or simply pondering the sonic depth provided.
WRITING BY: TINA CAMILLERI | 31 MAY 2021