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The third LP from the innovative South Korean post-rock group Jambinai arrives courtesy of Bella Union. ONDA once again sees the band blending traditional Korean instrumentation and song structures with influences from heavy metal, alternative rock, ambient and noise music. The combinations make for unique and stirring listens, particularly when Lee Il-woo's powerful vocals are front and centre.

Vinyl Double LP £21.99 BELLA916V

White vinyl 2LP on Bella Union.

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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Includes download code
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CD £9.99 BELLA916CD

CD on Bella Union.

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ONDA by Jambinai
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Daoud Staff review, 29 May 2019

I think to understand everything Jambinai can do it’s useful to consider just one of the tracks on ONDA, the Korean band’s third album. I nominate the title track. At 7 minutes long it very easily sits in the post-rock territory their repeat visits to ArcTanGent festival suggest, but they fully make the genre all their own. This is most obvious in their use of Korean instruments. ‘Onda’ opens with the unmistakable sound of the geomungo, an enormous string instrument which is plucked with visceral intent. The instrument is joined by a singer who wails beautifully. Suddenly the tracks takes a turn towards jazz as a taepyeongso (a reed instrument) and a haegeum (bowed strings) battle it out in some kind of improvised death-match. All the while the band’s drummer is studiously thrashing away. And then the climax, a sick metal riff and a choir.

The variety of texture their instrumentation brings mean that though the base of their tracks is much the same as their peers, they can spins sounds and melodies that would be impossible for anyone else. The taepyeongso is particularly devastating, having it screeching chaotically over the top of the album's many climaxes makes them all the more powerful.

And they’re capable of so much more. ‘Small Consolation’ starts small and pretty before absolutely wrecking its edges with noise and excess. ‘Sun. Tears. Red.’ sees the band introducing something like gang metal vocals. Jambinai are a band noteworthy not just for their willingness to bring together different musical traditions, but for having a sense of experimentation and flair as they do so.


Jambinai - Sawtooth (Official Audio) - YouTube



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