Jambinai - Onda - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jambinai - Onda

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2019-06-07
Jambinai - Onda
Jambinai - Onda

Ideally, the post-rock landscape should be populated by a wide spectrum of artists that cover an infinite range of musical combinations. While, somehow, the genre got populated by bands that are often sticking to ‘tried and true’ formulas, the Korean quintet Jambinai, and their latest album Onda (come in Korean) is in full synch with that range of combinations concept. And how!

Those who love winter sports might have caught Jambinai playing at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics when the band’s guitar accented music was combined with a troupe of Korean zither (geomungo) players. Then, recently the band seemingly went down a storm with their performance at SXSW in Austin Texas. Onda’s seven tracks could be a good indicator of why.

Recently, Lee Il-woo, band guitarist and Piri (bamboo oboe) player stated that “Most people expect Asian traditional music to make something smooth for yoga or meditation, we wanted to break all of that.” And Jambinai breaks it, and Jambinai breaks it as hard as it gets. Combining what you can call a standard guitar crunch, think bands like Pelican, and Earth and combine it with traditional Korean musical concepts and instruments.

What we get is an interchange of hard ‘n’ heavy with brief passages of respite, like on “Event Horizon”, that some of the original prog rockers could only dream of achieving. Jambinai often adds vocals, like on “Square Wave” and “Sun.Tears.Red”, but as Lee points out since there are not that many Korean language speakers outside Korea itself, the vocals to them will probably sound just like another instrument.

The key piece is the 13 minutes long composition “In The Woods” a re-arranged piece from one of their previous EP’s that includes a guest appearance from a traditional Korean singer, a slow-burner that deals with pollution and climate change, that starts in the ‘meditation mode’ Lee talks about and then comes to an almost crushing conclusion.

Jambinai and their Onda can certainly be qualified as a heavy, but ultimately rewarding experience, as the quintet are able to challenge the usual genre boundaries.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles