South Korea

Jambinai: The Roaring Reconciliation of Rock

Music Press Asia’s midweek concert review: Jambinai

Midweek concert playlist Jambinai Music Press Asia

As midweek draws to a close, I worked up a baffling encounter with consternation; a sense of dread almost by appointment that some of the week’s most appalling workdays are behind me. Weaklings will probably expect more apprehension before the week ends, Saturday perhaps, but who would judge anyway? The mini celebration isn’t so much like a visit to my favourite sweet shop, but a mini celebration of what rock music could poignantly express. The real delight, you see, lies in the thrill of what Jambinai could do to the ‘rock’ language.

As much as it is a force of nature, its dramatic range of post-rock dynamics is some exhilaration needed for a midweek playlist. Having met while studying traditional music at Korea’s National University of Arts, it must have been one of Jambinai’s ways out of an impassioned explosion in creativity.

ONDA is an enchanting stream of peace that ensues. I’d like to think of it as Lofi Rock but it doesn’t matter so far down the road. Grossly intimidating in a good way, I find the zither and flute performance a constant harmony with the voice in the distance. The flute is like a snug skipper, barely ready to lead a full storm, but adequately enough to guide an evening of impassive stillness.

At a point, it may be relaxing music. But in its depth, it is certainly the modern expression of what is classically traditional. It is in all aspects communicative and conservative, and nonetheless the ultimate fusion of jazz, metal, and experimental in all aspects. Unequivocally, something we’d choose for midweek – nothing too much or intense to endure. In other words, perhaps, a good day to check out the Aurora borealis, or waves for that matter.

Review track, click here.

“Time Of Extinction”


Ilwoo Lee: guitar, piri, taepyeongso, saenghwang, vocals
Bomi Kim: haegeum, vocals
Eunyong Sim: geomungo, vocals
Byeongkoo Yu: bass, chorus
Jaehyuk Choi: drums, chorus

Director: Jinho Park
Producer: Hyunggun Kim (The Tell-Tale Heart)
Video Production: DEEPCUT
D.O.P: Hanhee Cho
Production Assistant: Younggyun Lee
Audio Recording: Minjae Lee (ssplworkz)
Audio Mixed and Mastered: Sanghyun Cho (M.O.L STUDIOS)
Media Art Installation: d’strict
Special thanks to Stella Heesun Suh (KOCCA), Victor Eun Suk Choe (d’strict), Yunjung Yeum (d’strict), Sangwoo Lee (d’strict)

Producer: Bob Boilen
Video Producer: Maia Stern
Audio Mastering: Andy Huether
Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Josh Rogosin, Gabrielle Pierre
Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Click here to listen to the full album of ONDA, released in 2019 by Bella Union Inc.

Jambinai’s Facebook.

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