Album Reviews

Hyunhye Seo: Strands – “various tones of darkness”

The Xiu Xiu member releases her debut album.

Best known to us for her work with Jamie Stewart as the collaborative force that is Xiu Xiu, Hyunhye Seo arrives with her debut solo album, Strands.

For the experimental artist’s first solo outing, Seo brings us two compositions that live in polar-opposite worlds to one another.

Strands I is a cascading ambient piece that reveals various tones of darkness, with thick blankets of sound that slowly roll through the atmosphere. Its shadowy undertones pass off the impression that this was conceived from a discarded dungeon.

It’s a solid, elusive representation of ambient production, proving a worthy resident alongside the pantheon of artists occupying Lawrence English‘s Room40 stable.

Loscil: Clara – “sprawling collages”

Then there’s the second number, Strands II. A piano-based composition reeling with intense paranoia and rigid movements, oscillating from conventional to ridiculously arcane.

Hyunhye Seo - Strands

In comparison to the preceding work, Strands II is like the ugly step child not even a mother could love. But like everything, there’s a beauty that lies within and Seo captures some of that right here.

Yuko Araki: End of Trilogy – “a portal to an alternative universe”

In the words of Seo, Strands “captures the beginnings and conclusion of various strands of storylines.” While certainly an esoteric journey through the world of experimentation, it’s no surprise that Seo has produced something like Strands.

Being the radical foil in Xiu Xiu for so many years, Seo has always been up for the challenge in exploring the sonic oddities this world has to offer. The only surprise is that she hasn’t released something like Strands much sooner.

Strands is out now via Room40. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

2 replies on “Hyunhye Seo: Strands – “various tones of darkness””

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s