Dae Kim ~ Solace

Everything we own, and everything we’ve achieved, should have made us freer, calmer and happier; but it hasn’t.  Korean-born musician Dae Kim finds solace in creating music, and hopes that others will find solace in listening.  His debut album has the desired effect.  As it threads through melody after melody, it begins to ease the tension of the day.

As a bonus, the artist has also shared a live turntable mix of his influences, adding, “cherish all the comforts in your life.”  The album and mix prove that music need not be soft and slow to soothe the savage breast.  The album contains a mixture of electronic and organic elements, as we have come to expect from Malaysia’s mü-nest label.  Label mates Flica and Okamotonoriaki make contributions as well.  The addition of percussion to ambience places this in our Electronic category, but if one were to define music by its tone rather than by its construction, one might call Solace an ambient release.

The classic múm sound is present in the accordion, bell and music box tones.  The music is not only sedate, but happy, suitable for a baby’s mobile.  “Andromedids” comes across like a lullaby.  In an era of nonstop stimulation, many yearn for simplicity ~ not to be children again, but to recapture a child’s ability to live in the moment.  “Solemn Solace” is the opposite of its title; it’s a blossom of ebullience, replete with cooing, wordless vocals and a synthesizer sound that imitates a theremin.

The longer one listens, the more one feels the contrast between the music and the outer world.  The outer world is rushed, run by an unending news cycle and the demands of social media.  The music, even when swift, is unhurried, inviting one to sit back, log off and listen.  This is a perfect album for the long commute home.  Allow this solace to enter, and be renewed.  (Richard Allen)

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