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Music Review

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Artist: Jambinai
Label: Bella Union
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 June 2019

Following on from 2016's A Hermitage, comes Jambinai's new offering, Onda. While I wasn't a huge fan of A Hermitage, Onda is a totally different animal. Diversity is one of the album's strong points. The fact that you never know whether you're about to listen to a heavy metal instrumental or a slice of traditional Korean music brought up to date for a more modern audience helps to keep this album fresh and exciting.

"Most people expect Asian traditional music to make something smooth for yoga or meditation," says band spokesman Lee Il-woo. "We wanted to break all of that." And they've done a terrific job of doing just that.

The album contains 7 songs (43 min, 25 sec) with one of the highlights being 'Small Consolation', which starts rather weakly before opening up into a crescendo of sound incorporating traditional Korean instruments played in a non-traditional style, all backed up by a string section.

'Onda Prelude', the album's closing track is a beautiful piece that really does leave you wanting more.

Overall this is an interesting and deeply satisfying album which touches on so many genres and styles.


Nick Smithson

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