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Audio Asia: immersive ambient textures on Arexibo's 'fin'

The Korean DJ, producer and multimedia artists dazzles with her debut EP

  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 1 October 2020
Audio Asia: immersive ambient textures on Arexibo's 'fin'

Arexibo, real name Soma Kim, has been causing a stir in her home town of Seoul thanks to her multimedia artwork as well as her all-female DJ collective, BAZOOKAPO Seoul. Now she delivers her first-ever production effort in the form of her new '카운터! (Counter!)' EP.

As a visual artist, Arexibo explores “the relationship between image and actuality through camera images and sound”, while through her music she maintains a conceptual approach, concentrating on the dance floor as “a fluidic space, full of politics.” The six-track EP is released via the Chinabot label, a platform set up by a digital diaspora community of Asian artists to curate and promote exciting and adventurous music from the region's creators.

As those familiar with Arexibo's artwork might expect, the music has an uncompromisingly experimental quality. “’Counter’ is a word that presupposes a pair,” says Arexibo “and it also implies a balance of power. When a force of similar size pulls each other in opposite directions, the two are temporarily placed at a standstill. My attitude of producing and creating is no different from this balancing act.”

Ranging in theme from beat-less ambient soundscapes, to starkly abrasive rhythm patterns, it represents a bold and complex collection. Opening track 'sketch for un:coming image (into)' floats over waves of granular textures, while '쌍둥이자리Gemini' throws up jagged drums and heavy arpeggios before the beats drop out to leave meandering layers to unfold. '3' journeys into paranoid realms, as glitches and dark atmospherics fill the sonic space before warm pads offer a sense of hope.

The scattered drums of 'Bent' provide the energy as sinister bass rolls and searing synths soar in the distance, while track five displays more abstract experimentation into synth-wave topography. Our choice to play here is 'fin'. Probably the most melodic and harmonically rich piece from the collection, soothing swells and ripples evolve over the dream-inducing arrangement, as delicate arps rise and fall before giving way to jarring drones, adding a bittersweet reprise.

Arexibo '카운터! (Counter!)' is out October 2 on Chinabot. You can listen and buy it here

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