I’m not sure how to classify JWH. I knew him before as 100989 with a previous EP release. Now with his current name and this EP, it’s very much like listening to a soundtrack for an unknown movie. Somehow over five songs, JWH create a narrative only told through sound. What the message he’s ultimately trying to convey might be up to the individual listening.
He doesn’t limit himself in the tools to create his songs. “밀양” featured mainly piano, but “바람 구름 갈대 연소” focuses on a violin with an ambient audio wave surrounding the majority with smaller highlight verses coming in and out. At only a little over two minutes, it actually makes you want to hear more before ending.
“담아” builds a bit on the foundations of “바람 구름 갈대 연소.” It’s more heavily ambient with a strong drone feeling without becoming burdensome. The main melody switches between instruments with the a drum line varying depending on what’s pushing the melodies. “Track 3” almost feels like a heavy rain because of the bass tones that live in the background pulsing in and out. It could be easy to say that the album is dark, but I feel like a lot is up to interpretation. I could actually consider it to be kind of hopefual at times.
I don’t think JWH speaks to a general audience. It’s not upbeat or focused on pop melodies, but creates audio atmospheres that people can experience. His previous work contained a similar vein and that’s not bad at all. You could consider album to be a total experiment, but it does leave you with a feeling of curiosity that other albums lack.