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Park Jiha: Philos (CD)

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“As the album’s sole player, Jiha transcends the sum of her tools’ parts to create a deceptively enveloping soundscape that evolves from soft, ambient warmth and playful melody to brittle, bone-rattling tension – textures so uncannily rendered that they almost sound programmed by computer …. The beauty of Jiha’s work lies in the spaces she leaves to evoke these imaginative moments in the listener. With the use of no more than three instruments in any one composition, Jiha displays not only her subtle arranging skill but also the capacity for instrumental music to express as much meaning and emotion as language …Philos is all the better for its isolation, benefitting from its repetitive minimalism and Jiha’s relentlessly creative approach to playing.”

The Guardian (Global Album of the Month)★★★★☆

“Restrained but vibrating with intensity, Philos pushes Park Jiha’s unique vision forward into richer spaces than those occupied by last year’s Communion … Philos is saturated with chiming and reverberant echo … Park plays all instruments herself. It’s inward turning and meditative music, and the elegant engagement with minimalism evident on Communion has been further tuned in…”

The Wire

“A still, intimate, engrossing 38 minutes.”

 Mojo Magazine ★★★★

“This admixture of traditional Korean and Western instrumentation, coupled with compositions that lean towards the ambient and neoclassical, transmute Park’s experiences of a world awash with changing tides, transitory weather and ever-expanding cities into something that is indefinably atemporal.”

Monolith Cocktail

“All but one of the eight tracks are purely instrumental, creating eerie layers of ambient sound that fuse an Oriental vibe with the minimalist Western compositional style of the likes of Steve Reich, Jon Hassell and Michael Nyman… Impressive …”

  Songlines ★★★★

“A beautifully realised, layered work … Arrival proves an attention-grabbing opener which introduces each of the instruments on the album, while Thunder Shower effectively incorporates field recordings of rain. The meditative title track, the sonic daydream which is On Water, and the melodic When I Think Of Her are all transcendent pieces of music. .”

fRoots

“Stripping her music back to its bare essence, Jiha has created a raw, richly atmospheric work that surpasses its illustrious predecessor.”

Record Collector ★★★★

“Ambient weaves through traditional South Korean music in Park Jiha’s Philos … The album continues to explore Jiha’s work at the intersection of instrumental South Korean and Western ambient traditions.”

The Vinyl Factory

“The resultant soundscapes are infinite in their minimalist tonality and their overall ambient character is sustained by a metronomic repetition of cadences. It’s a sound which captivates. Most of it is articulated via the piri, a kind of oboe, the saenghwang (mouth organ) and the yanggeum (hammered dulcimer) — an intriguing combination of ancient sound in contemporary, radical instrumental composition.”

Morning Star ★★★★

*products photo by_Lee Jaemin