I listened to Fat Hamster a little in the past and enjoyed his electronic and synth music. Around the release of Nonviolent Communication, he emailed the site and let me know that the EP was released. Nonviolent Communication is more interesting because it combines electronic and synth with traditional Korean instruments and other styles from collaborations creating this merging of melodies. Three of the five tracks collaborate with Park Sunju, Bomnunbyeol, and Ocoro.
“Heatwave” mixes the gayageum in the music. Park Sunju‘s performance brings the gayageum forward as the song’s driver. Fat Hamster is careful to not cover or muddle the melodies that are produced and uses his electronic and synth to support each note.
The song’s mix is interesting because the gayageum is both a melodic and percussion instrument in how your ears digest the sound. Even though the gayageum is a traditional instrument, many artists who use it have found ways to manipulate the tones it produces and that’s shown here.
Fat Hamster is solo on “Touch of Frost.” This allows him to really spread out the audio landscape and gives listeners a chance to understand how he creates and produces his music. “Touch of Frost” sounds like a traveling song where you’re flying over a landscape. The main melody sweeps across the percussion elements and gives you a soaring feeling from start to finish. In a way, this song also sounds like a video game soundtrack.
Bomnunbyeol’s collaboration on “The Way He Lives” might be my favorite track because of the variety of instruments used. According to the Bandcamp description, Bomnunbyeol uses “handpans, RAV drums, singing bowls, and calimbas.” Percussion instruments fit well in electronic music combining an organic sound with artificial melodies. Fat Hamster shows a lot of talent in how he composes all these separate sounds to create a moving and engaging track.
Going back solo, “Love, Hate, Speak, Think” is a cyberpunk track. It makes me think of TRON or Cyberpunk 2077 with a lot of neon lights during the night. It’s the shortest of all the tracks on the EP, but makes a fast impact before the last track.
Ocoro is a trance artist who uses “oriental melodies and orchestra sound with traditional Korean instruments.” “OwO” is the brightest of all the songs and has this uplifting and positive tone. I think this is the hardest song to determine where Fat Hamster starts and ends and where Ocoro begins. It’s like the perfect mix together and probably one of the best songs on Nonviolent Communication.
Fat Hamster does something different on Nonviolent Communication. The collaborations create something new while highlighting both artists. It’s definitely not a feature and allows both sets of ideas to prosper. There’s a lot to enjoy on these five tracks and even with it being short, you come away feeling energized.