From neon-glowing cyberpunky city to sandcastles in Okinawa – electronic producer and singer Aseul comes back with two fantastic synth-pop pieces.
“New Pop“, the first album from South Korean electronic act Aseul (아슬), was groundbreaking monument for the country’s synth-made music scene of 2010s. In “New Pop”, Aseul elaborately mingled dreamy shoegaze atmosphere with shining electronic haze, which was quite futuristic considering the timing of release.
After 2 years, it seems that Aseul is making a trip to the past, rather than continuing the journey to the future. Her new two singles in 2018, “Always with you” and “Sandcastles” (모래성), you can easily notice that these new tracks are more slanted to conventional “synth pop” structure, which is similar to 80s electropop and pop rock titans.
Beats become more regular 4/4 structure, and the synthesizer is aiming at the keyword “retro” in these new songs.
You can find those retrospective reference from Western new wave music, but you may find a hint from growing trend of Japanese city pop, the AOR/disco/funk/jazz fusion mixture that flourished among 1980s in Japan.
In fact, this city pop trend is humbly bubbling right now in South Korea, from indie supergroup like ADOY to major K-Pop act Yubin (former Wonder Girls). Neon-glowing cyberpunky city in “Always with you” and Okinawa-located shooting of “Sandcastles” are also implications for those city pop references.
Still, the main sensibility surrounding Aseul’s music has not changed. She constantly sings about deep, melancholic feeling that looming over darkness of city night. “Could unveil it / only in room with no light.”
Both song will become the soundtrack for somber, yet relieving loneliness of individual life. No matter what structure she select, this sentiment is always circling around when you listen to Aseul’s music.
Her new EP, “ASOBI”, is scheduled to be released later this year.