VIVIS was introduced to me through YouTube. I wasn’t what kind of music to expect, but when I watched the video I was immediately interested. Trace is a five song EP. The music is a combination of a lot of styles, but the melodies get stuck in your head quickly and don’t let go.

vivis trace

At the start of “공상,” it can be assumed that VIVIS is simply an electronic duo. The multiple samples that create the first verses bleed and blend into each other. The vocals don’t even seem to follow the tempo that closely. But as the introduction falls into the first real verse, you get acoustic drums, guitar, and bass playing in the background along with a second set of vocals. The song turns from an expected electronic song to more of a R&B mixed with jazz song. The added keyboards add to that theme. But then again at the bridge, the song decides to mix the live band with a lot of electronic samples until the end of the song.

VIVIS might use electronic as the base of their songs, but they use the samples to produce music that’s focused on melody and grooves. “진한 사이” is an example of that. It sounds like a dark indie pop song that transfers between different styles on a whim. In some ways, VIVIS remind me of YAYA. I definitely get drawn into the low and deep melodies and the hypnotic vocals.

But “봉오리처럼” throws a curve. The song is a small bit brighter than previous songs and a lot more dance. It doesn’t overpower with bass, but the tempo is faster. Even though the vocals sing in half-time, the song doesn’t drag. “봉오리처럼” also sounds like it changes up the arrangement for each chorus. The vocals almost come across like a whisper, but there’s something addictive about them. Then you get to “Good-bye” and it’s an electronic pop song. I wonder if Trace was an experiment in genres.

I don’t know anything about VIVIS, but Trace is something new. It combines genres and styles together with a laser precision. It’s also apparent that each song isn’t just an experiment, but that a lot of work went into the arrangement and recording. I’m really curious to see VIVIS live because the songs speak to different emotions and the duo are able to pack a lot in with only five songs.

VIVIS on Facebook.
M.A.P. Crew site.
VIVIS on iTunes.

Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.