The first thing that sticks out on Here Is The Thing by KANG New is how nostalgic it sounds. The EP isn’t fully minimalist, instead, there’s a careful manipulation of the tones and samples mixed with vocals. It presents itself in a timeless vacuum where the EP could have been released any time in the last decade and still sounds present.

kang new here is the thing

KANG New sets up Here Is The Thing with “Grief.” It’s a simple track that uses repetitive samples and tones across the entire track with her vocals coming on the verses with a staccato delivery. At almost three minutes, “Grief” sounds like it should fall into a boring repetition, but I think the careful arrangement keeps the song moving and interesting.

Then on “The Sun From Mars,” KANG New partners with Fat Hamster to create an 80s-style cyberpunk electronic track. The pulsing bass and simple hi-hat sample with snare give the song an underlying consistent movement while the top layer of instrumentals adds a lot of energy. Also, KANG New seems very specific with tempo as “The Sun From Mars” moves at a walking pace.

I kind of wonder if KANG New is influenced by 80s music because “Kill This Sound” also carries that stylistic tone. It feels like an older song that could have been a remix, but there’s a freshness to the sound overall. KANG New doesn’t flood the track with layers of samples and takes quick pauses between verses letting listeners catch their breath.

Among the five tracks, I like “Nana” the most. I think it’s because the song combines two different styles and interprets them into something different. The tempo is slower, but the percussion elements add a different rhythm to give “Nana” a dual-tempo presentation. KANG New’s English vocals also fit the track perfectly with this low but almost monotone delivery.

For someone who’s just starting to listen to KANG New, “Mohano” might interest you the most. It’s got the highest level of melody compared to the other tracks. It also sounds like a video game soundtrack song and also adds a palate cleanser to the entire EP. I kind of wonder if it could be a teaser for new music too.

KANG New makes a great first extended impression on the EP. It’s unique in the electronic genre while using and presenting familiar sounds and styles. Sometimes electronic artists shove too many layers into their music, but KANG New has balanced everything perfectly.

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Korean Indie owner and Editor at Large. Constantly looking for new music and working on library parity on Spotify and YouTube Music.