Jambinai
ONDA


4.0
excellent

Review

by Slex CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
June 7th, 2019 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A big wave

When I first put ONDA on, I had no idea what to expect. What I did find was quite the surprise, but more on that in a moment. What I really want to touch on is the concept of foreignness; it can be both alienating and intoxicating, foreboding and alluring all the same. Jambinai are very interested in this sensation, this layer of feelings, and harness a unique spin on world music and post-rock to instill a feeling of elation and displacement in the listener. By employing the traditional Korean folk instruments haegeum (lets save some time and call it a fiddle), piri (a kind of bamboo oboe), and geomungo (a 64 inch stringed instrument) with the more standard setup of guitar and drums, the band is able to put a very peculiar stamp on their brand of ominous post-rock. Shrill, wayward strings clash with stormy guitar, insistently weeping woodwinds hang in the air until rumbling drums thunder in. The title ONDA was even chosen for it’s dual meaning, translating to ‘come’ in Korean and ‘wave’ in Spanish. It’s more than apparent that Jambinai had a clear goal in mind when creating the album, and the results really are something to behold, both for the impressive execution and the genuinely strange take on such an established genre of music.

It becomes even more admirable that the band were wily enough to do this with a style of music that already relies so much on the notion of surprise. Beyond simply housing exotic musical thrills, ONDA is able to achieve an emotional reaction that is both sophisticated and primal. There are a handful of instances where Korean vocals are used, and these operate much in the same way that Sigur Ros use alien voices: as texture, as raw unknowable emotion. The centerpiece of the album, ‘Sun. Tears. Red.’, illustrates this best, starting with a deep intonation of Korean lyrics laid atop clipped, portentous guitar strums and building to include cowbell, swoops of shrieking fiddle, and explosions of coarse screams. This balancing act of unfamiliar elements with raw power and feeling reaches some stunning heights, and is never less than engaging. The closing title track utilizes thick geomungo plucks, fluttering drums and mournful Korean singing until buzzsaw strings launch the song into a pseudo breakdown of muscular riffing and ghostly wails. As with almost all post-rock, there are times where repetition can begin to grow static, mostly with a slight over reliance on piercing woodwinds here. In moments such as these, I can’t help but hear a band that is ever so slightly tentative to fully immerse themselves and the listener in the singular sound they’ve created. Still, ONDA is overall an intense and enchanting journey. True to its conception, it is both a longing greeting and a headlong farewell to stranger lands.



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user ratings (62)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Raul Stanciu STAFF (4.2)
Traditional Korean instruments meet post rock with noise leanings......

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First write up as a Contrib! Constructive criticism always welcome



This is a weird and awesome album

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JS19
June 7th 2019


7205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Exciting band

Digging: Dinosaur Pile-Up - Celebrity Mansions

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2019


9615 Comments


the official contrib debut review!!

Funny how I just add this to my stream list, and now I see your review pop up!

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Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha fancy that



Had absolutely no idea what this was and decided to try it on a whim, and I was not disappointed

Sniff
June 7th 2019


5591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing band

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had never heard of them until yesterday, I’ll have to check their other stuff

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2019


4789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Haha, I was waiting to post my review today. I also sent them some questions to answer for the site's blog, hopefully, they'll have time for that. This is an excellent album, more people should check it out.

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Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Reviewed this on a whim and a want for something a little different, excited to read what you got dude



Really hope they respond too, as someone completely new to the band and instantly captivated I’d love to learn more about them and this release

Sniff
June 7th 2019


5591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Both of their previous albums are really super

JS19
June 7th 2019


7205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also see them live it's incredibly intense

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2019


4789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Hoping to catch them sometime soon

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 7th 2019


31210 Comments


Been looking at this artwork for a few weeks now with no idea what to expect from the actual music. I'll give it a go this week.

Digging: Bad Books - III

Sunnyvale
June 7th 2019


1104 Comments


I just listened to this, interesting album

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see people are giving this a shot!

Relinquished
June 7th 2019


40267 Comments


good art

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why does this still only have 2 ratings smh

Uzumaki
June 8th 2019


1068 Comments


Legit didn’t even know they released a new album. Color me surprised.

Digging: Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2019


4789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

You should check out these guys as well - https://zhaoze.bandcamp.com/album/birds-contending They aren't as heavy as Jambinai, but follow a similar sound

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2019


7174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will do!

virpi
June 9th 2019


58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great band, excellent album.



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