Universe Mongae‘s introduction came from Instagram. Her electronic pop style fits among artists like UZA and Aseul. Like many artists in the genre, Universe Mongae has her own distinct style and presents that well on Room:Night.
She’s a bit more dance and pop than other electronic artists. “This Night” feels like an after hours journey going from the club to a bar and back again. The pulsing bass keeps the song moving and the snare and cymbal samples add a walking rhythm. Universe Mongae’s vocals come in-and-out of the song. The repeating vocals don’t get repetitive and focus the song. At over three and a half minutes, there was a danger of the track getting boring, but that doesn’t happen. “This Night” uses the electronic pop, chillwave, and even some city pop intent across the entire arrangement.
It’s clear that Universe Mongae has an affinity of using percussion as a main feature in her music. The drum samples to keep the tempo are placed prominently and don’t get silenced by other melodies. The hi-hat sample she uses is one of the most organic and pairs with the bass drum well. “Feels” sounds like a video game soundtrack to a cyberpunk game that you might hear as you’re driving. The song is presenting so many different samples and layers, but still keeping a separation with the beats and melodies.
In relation to other artists, Universe Mongae is more about rhythms than melodies. The samples still use tones and melodic lines, but a lot of the arrangements in her music is different competing and contracting beats. I would have thought that it could get bloated. Somehow with everything that’s happening, it’s still possible to follow along easily. The first three tracks on Room:Night are all kind of similar but the closer, “Love Is the Only Answer,” is the highlight. It has a different energy and really highlights another side of her music.
Universe Mongae has been a little quieter in 2020 with her “Shower” single so I hope there’s something more in the works. I like her style and how it creates a different soundscape from many of the other electronic artists around now. Percussion-forward listeners will definitely enjoy Room:Night.