I randomly stumbled upon Chuck Soo-Hoo’s wonderful Ki Oni project earlier this thanks to Emma Palm/No Translation and it’s been an aural love affair ever since. Ki Oni makes music that is cotton candy to my ears and Life After the Digital Spa is no exception. His effervescent compositions are an unobstructed flow of billowing aquatic ripples.
Melodies are crushed and then stretched back into imitations of their original shape, the new dents and crevices allow new notes to bubble to the surface. Whimsical tones lilt in the warmly lit passages of “Spa 1,” floating toward the cool tile surfaces where the light reflects in shades of gold. Soo-Hoo bathes listeners with a tonic glow, pushing for maximal relaxation and minimal fuss.
It’s a feathery-light world inside the digital spa and I never want to leave. Encased underwater, “Spa 2” picks up the action, submerged into synthetically warmed springs. This alien world shimmers endlessly. It’s inviting to the point of recklessness; a place where all worldly concerns are left behind and every glittery timbre pushes deeper into the relaxation zone. Opiates drip as bamboo rhythms move back and forth across the watery divide. I’m helpless against the entrancing vibes. Ki Oni’s artificial ascendence hovers in lotus pose off in the distance, more than satisfied to bask in the shimmering aural froth.
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