EP Review: 박혜진 Park Hye Jin’s Incandescent Equilibrium In ‘How can I’

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박혜진 Park Hye Jin | How Can I (EP) | Ninja Tune

Release Date: 26 June, 2020

Park Hye Jin (박혜진 in Korean) is one of the electronic music realm’s fastest rising stars, since her debut EP ‘IF U WANT IT’ in 2018 – the artist has been a luminous, iridescent and dazzling bright light high on the radar of the industry, with our focus on the breakout artist being no different, as we have covered two of her singles ‘Like this’ and the titular track ‘How can I’ leading up to this EP release.

Earning her stars as DJ, producer, vocalist and rapper in the industry in an impressively short space of time, Park was immediately thrust into the spotlight with her ethereal and simplistic approach to creating dreamlike, entrancing tracks – being recognised by the likes of major music publications. Park quickly found herself touring North America, Australia and Europe for the first time, constructing the six tracks on ‘How can I’ primarily during her tour. 

26 year old Park quickly found herself achieving personal highlights, such as a performance at the festival Dour, along with appearances at distinguished clubs such as Berlin’s Panorama Bar and illustrious festivals such as Melt, Lost Village and Way out West, 88RISING’s ‘HEAD IN THE CLOUDS’ and received a personal invite from Jamie xx to play alongside him in London in 2019.

With the long-awaited release finally here, ‘How can I’ is rich with the artist’s eclectic and dynamic skills, incorporating her multiple talents into a unique offering, released via Ninja Tune.

When listening from start to finish, it becomes clearly apparent how balanced ‘How can I’ is. With the structure of the EP fluidly intricate when it comes to the carefully woven cohesion of tracks: from the rapid adrenaline inducing, club-ready tempos to slower, moody minimalist cuts, it manages to remain unified while continuing to showcase the artist’s willingness to experiment in her multicoloured approach to composition.

Tracks such as ‘Like this’, ‘Can you’ and ‘How come’ are most evidently the hypnotic, spellbinding dancefloor cuts that stand out among the rest: easily imagined as drawing listeners to a euphoric state of movement. Her minimalist approach to working with the bewitching rhythmic claps of house, confident, driven techno beats, detailed use of racing drum & bass-esque frenzy and atmospheric soundscapes peppered with intriguing electronic textures all come together to form a clear insight into the producers skill when it comes to creating tracks that work well together, but are unique in their own ways.

While a track such as ‘NO’ pulses with a powerfully brooding techno prowess, captivating in the midnight-cloaked darkness of the deeply compelling beat: the slightly gloomy tone it captures is definitely reminiscent of nights spent in otherworldly, underground realms – a vigorous force lies within it – a complimenting atmosphere to the title of the track itself.

While the songstress uses her vocals frequently as textures within her more buoyant, dancefloor oriented cuts – titular track ‘How can I’ still remains a favourite as the songstress focuses on her smooth, silken vocals: rich and graceful, combined with the emotive trip-hop-esque feel, with slow, steady beats complimenting the moments in which she embraces her rapping skills is elegant and highly charismatic.

The album closer ‘Beautiful’ blooms with melodious synths and remains mainly instrumental, and although we see Park’s personality breaking through, it can be highlighted for its distinct nature in comparison with the rest of the EP: radiant in layers of beaming electronic textures and intriguing percussion as it reaches its crescendo.

Stream & Purchase How Can I by 박혜진 Park Hye Jin
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Rating: 7.5 / 10

Feature Image: 박혜진 Park Hye Jin by Sam Pyatt

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