snow | 11min

 

snow | 11min
GrD 31 | Vinyl [order]
Limited Edition 12″Vinyl + postcard with download code
Reviews

 

Seoul based duo 11min is an instrumental unit, 11(Jiyeon Kim) – pianist/composer/sound artist and min(Sangyong Min) – drummer/sound engineer/producer. Their music has been described as minimalistic-acoustica but they draw equally on jazz, ambient, and glitchy-electronica.

 

Released on September 24, 2019

 

Tracklist

 

A
snow
MP3
gust
stone
lowdrum

 

B
snow keeps falling(snowREMIX)
MP3
loose
MP3

 

6 Tracks (37′01″)
Vinyl (300 copies)

 


 

Credit

 

11 – Piano
Sangyong Min – Drum

 

All tracks written and performed by 11min except:
– snow keeps falling(snowREMIX) by 11
– loose by 11

 

Recording: 11(piano), Sangyong Min(drum)
Mixing: Sangyong Min, 11
Mastering: Sangyong Min at studioLOG, seoul
Lacquer cut: Kitaro Beeh, Schnittstelle, berin
Artwork: 11
Video: Mihye Cha

 

Label: Weather Music
Manufactured by Handle With Care
Vinyl distribution by Gruenrekorder

 

Album 11min.bandcamp.com
Official Video www.youtube.com

 

 

(video still from music video directed by Mihye Cha)

 

Sound Art Series by Gruenrekorder
Gruenrekorder / Germany / 2019 / GrD 31 / LC 09488

 


 

Reviews

 

textura
Gruenrekorder upholds its reputation for unusual catalogue items with its latest releases, the more conventional of the two a vinyl set by Seoul-based piano-and-drum duo 11min (the album’s actually issued by Weather Music with vinyl distribution handled by Gruenrekorder) and the other, a book-and-flexi-disc research project titled A soft hiss of this world, more characteristic of the label’s experimental-leaning output. Let’s begin with the more accessible release, snow, a six-track, instrumental offering from 11 (pianist Jiyeon Kim) and min (drummer Sangyong Min). As presented on the thirty-seven-minute album, 11min’s sound is neither jazz, pop, nor minimal electronica but rather acoustic material sensitive to texture and dynamics, executed with improv-like spontaneity and amenable to electronic treatments. The record splits down the middle, with the A’s four pieces credited to 11min and the flip 11 alone, the concluding “loose” and a fourteen-minute remix both Kim productions.

 

The tracks aren’t intended as naked exercises in virtuosic display, which the opening title track makes clear. Here and elsewhere, Kim and Min craft delicate settings where texture is paramount. For “snow,” Min establishes a simple yet nonetheless effective drum pulse with brushes over which Kim drapes equally simple phrases, the pauses between them long enough that pedal sustain is conspicuous. With elements reduced to their essence, one is naturally more attendant to those that are included, in this case the boom of the bass drum, the snare accents, the swish of the hi-hats, and the soft ping of cymbals. In marked departure, the second track, “gust,” leaves little doubt that both Kim and Min possess the technical ability to dazzle, with in this instance rapidly rippling arpeggios accompanied by aggressive drumming that segues from almost breakbeat-tinged expressions to jazz-funk exuberance. “stone” perpetuates the vibe of “gust,” Min ornamenting Kim’s minimal gestures with imaginative jazz-funk riffing.

 

The album’s electronic dimension moves to the fore in “snow keeps falling (snowREMIX),” an understated re-imagining of the title track. The makeover hews generally to the style of the original—minimal piano phrases softly murmuring over a restrained drum base—with edits and treatments applied subtly. Stretching out as it does, the piece exudes even more palpably the feel of a relaxed improv with the playing reflecting a high level of attunement between the two. “loose” offers a final twist to the release by augmenting minimal piano chords and a low-key funk groove with wordless vocal musings, Kim’s soft accents an appealing element in the arrangement. The closer’s restrained attack is in keeping with the album as a whole, which demands attentive listening for its merits to be best appreciated. […]
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felix | freiStil – Magazin für Musik und Umgebung / #88
Weather Music / Gruenrekorder – Jiyeon Kim (p, e), Sangyong Min (dr)
Es deutet auf lustiges Korea hin, wenn sich ein Duo 11min nennt – wobei 11 von Jiyeon Kim verkörpert wird und min von Sangyong Min. Minimalistisch haucht eine/n auch die Musik dieses Klavier-Schlagzeug-Duos an. Aber mindestens. Zwar stellt sich anfangs die Frage, wozu so ein schmalbrüstiges Statement die Verewigung auf Vinyl überhaupt erforderlich machte. Mit Fortdauer der Zeit löst sich diese Frage in Nullkommanichts auf, und im Immerwiederhörenwollen treffen wir auf einmal auf Soul aus Seoul. Knapp, magnetisch, meditativ, fesselnd – und glücklicherweise länger dauernd als elf Minuten, wie man ursprünglich befürchten würde. Snow ist demnach eine Platte, die man ruhigen Gewissens einen Tag lang laufen lassen kann, ohne dass die Musik darauf auch nur Sekundenbruchteile lang an den Nerven sägen würde. Sehr speziell, sehr super.
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Łukasz Komła | Przekrój
11min to artystyczne alter ego dwojga muzyków pochodzących z Seulu: 11 (Jiyeon Kim) – pianistki i kompozytorki oraz min (Sangyong Min) – perkusisty, inżyniera dźwięku i producenta. Płyta snow jest ich pierwszym wspólnym dziełem. Żadne z nich nie debiutuje – Kim wydała solowy album Transparent Music, który w 2018 r. był nominowany do Korean Music Award, a Min jest bardzo doświadczonym i cenionym perkusistą oraz uznanym inżynierem dźwięku zajmującym się wszechstronną produkcją i masteringiem. Można go także usłyszeć w różnych grupach oscylujących w pobliżu indie rocka. Prowadzi ponadto swoje studio nagraniowe pod nazwą studioLOG.

 

Aspekty dotyczące studia i produkcji wydają się kluczowymi składnikami kompozycji Koreańczyków. Niemal od pierwszych sekund brzmienie perkusji w tytułowym nagraniu snow, a dokładnie bębna centralnego (dźwięk tego elementu zestawu perkusyjnego nagrywano w oddzielnym pomieszczeniu o wysokim suficie z naturalną akustyką), zapiera dech swą głębią i fakturą. Dostajemy zatem od muzyków także bardzo czytelny komunikat: „STOP! Zatrzymaj się! Oddychaj! Poczuj!”. Podobnie został potraktowany fortepian, którego dźwięki głęboko oddziałują na słuch, a to dzięki bliskiemu ustawieniu mikrofonów przy instrumencie. Po subtelnym początku w utworze gust motoryka staje się dynamiczna i rozbudowana o całą paletę brzmień obu instrumentów. Sekcja rytmiczna kontrastuje tu z minimalistyczną grą fortepianu – i nawet nie są to całe interwały, ale zmieniająca się progresja dwóch nut w trakcie trwania całego utworu. Natomiast lowdrum to eksperyment z samplami wyciągniętymi z membran perkusyjnych i połączeniem ich z akustyką całego zestawu. A po drugiej stronie pięknie kwitnące frazy fortepianu Kim. Jeżeli poprzednie fragmenty nie przyciągnęły uwagi słuchaczy, to jestem pewien, że prawie 14-minutowy snow keeps falling (snow REMIX) oczaruje ich swą nieszablonową transowością, poruszającą swobodą i niemającą końca przestrzenią. W wieńczącym całość loose pojawił się nawet głos pianistki, który delikatnie unosi się na powierzchni minimalistycznych pętli perkusyjnych. Jest w tym taneczny puls, ale żyjący z dala od klubowego harmideru, to raczej stan kojącego dryfowania.

 

Album snow to jedna z najbardziej oryginalnych płyt ubiegłego roku – soundtrack napisany z przeznaczeniem do głębokiego podsłuchiwania wnętrza wyobraźni.
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Jack Chuter | ATTN:Magazine
It’s disarming to hear a piano played like that. I mean it as a high compliment, but the melody on opening track “snow” carries the slow, plodding concentration of a grade 1 practice exercise. It’s simple to the point of being tuneless, and perhaps that’s the whole point: when the façade of composition is removed, all that’s left is an instrument resounding in a room. My focus settles on how pedal sustain melts the notes together, or how the accompanying brush kit skims over keys as pebbles on placid water, or how a layer of microphone noise lingers over the mix like frost on a window. The fact that the second track, “gust”, opens on a succession of arpeggiated cascades and cut-up percussion only affirms my theory: the opening track, while still pleasant on its own, is a means of listener calibration, stimulating an awareness of tonal quality that frames the understanding of the album thereafter. The record is not only a duet between pianist Jiyeon Kim and drummer Sang Yong Min, but a dialogue between human intention and the feral interventions of environment and circumstance.

 

This act of priming only strengthens the association between the earthly artefacts in the track titles. The aforementioned tonal flurries on “gust” start to resemble little clustered uptakes in the breeze, somersaulting over the syncopations of hi-hat and cymbal; the held breaths and plosive releases on “stone” feel like objects being dropped from a cliff edge. So spacious is 11min’s sound that each action sits upon its own plinth in empty space, framed by echoes that have been sculpted with equivalent care. What’s remarkable – and this is even evident during the album’s 14-minute reconstructive circumambulation, “snow keeps falling(snowREMIX)” – is that the players are each reverently aware of the space they occupy. They make room and time for eachother. The piano poises itself in the air to give the bass drum a lower expanse in which to rumble. The fidgeting of cymbal goads the piano into constant movement but never hurries it along. Such an awareness is only possible when a band attune themselves to the physicality of sound, and while 11min don’t worship this principle to the extent of discarding their exquisite melodic sensibilities, the album is nonetheless a bodily excursion at its root.
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Rigobert Dittmann | Bad Alchemy Magazin (104)
Da sitze ich und starre, wie Parzival auf drei Blutstropfen im Schnee, auf den schwarzen Schnee von snow (GrD 31, LP) und komme erst Flocke für Flocke dahinter, dass sie vom Nachthimmel fallen und dass 11m nicht 11 Minuten meint, sondern das Seouler Duo von Jiyeon Kim = 11 und Sangyong Min. Zwei, die auch schon, meditativ und nostalgisch, „Transparent Music“ (2017) hingetüpfelt haben, nachdem 11 allein ihre „11 EP“ (2014) als poppige Singer-Songwriterin geschmachtet hatte. Die transparente Musik spielt 11 jedoch auf dem Piano, ostinat klimpernde Muster, die zwischen Satie, Debussy und New Simplicity changieren, besonders wenn Min mit seinem Drumming pausiert. Sobald er nämlich klappert und rockt, verjüngt sich die Musik und aus Zylinder oder Melone wird ’ne Newsboy-Kappe. In den Schnee tappt Min mit Besen, 11 tupft mit nur 1, 2 Fingern weiche Flocken mit viel Nachhall, versonnene Poesie in winterlichem Licht. ‚Gust‘ ist dagegen 10-fingrig verquirlt und in arpeggiertem Auf und Ab verrührt mit einem Noiseloop, Min rockt als Wind über Blech und Fell. Bei ‚Stone‘ bleibt 11 in träumerischem, bedächtigem Moll verfangen, auch wenn Min dagegen anrockt. Bei ‚Lowdrum‘ sind sich beide einig, dass nur die dunklen Töne wahr sind, umso mehr pocht 11 auf die hellen. Dem folgt ‚Snow keeps falling‘ als Remix von 11, gedämpfte und melancholische, weitgehend monotone 14 Minuten zu pochender Bassdrum und Besen. Und ‚Loose‘ loopt sie zuletzt mit melancholischem Lalala und HuUu und vergeblichen Griffen in die hellen Register, weil der Drumloop auf der Stelle klappert und auch 11 sich im Düstern verfängt. The lights are turned way down low / Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! […]
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Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
You would think that 11min stands for 11 minutes, but it a piano player who is called 11 (I will refrain from ‚Stranger Things‘ jokes) and Sangyong Min on drums. For both, we could not find much information online, as the latter brought me to car websites, even when the spelling is slightly different. The mastering was done in Seoul, so these musicians could also be from South Korea. Gruenrekorder is a label mostly known for their releases with sound art and field recordings, but they also have a section devoted to improvised music and that is the field where we find the music on this album. One could even say this album is a bit jazz like; throughout the music is laidback and easy and it reminded me of some Austrian music of some years ago (bands like Radian, Kapital Band 1, Efzeg and such like) and Australian jazz from some years ago (Spartak, Triosk and 3ofmillions), but since I easily admit nor pretend to be an expert of this kind of things, and only know what I heard over the years, there might be other examples out there. There are four duo pieces on the first side of the record, in which there is a fine interaction going on between both players, not emphasizing either instrument, but some fine gentle slowly paced music. On the other side there is a remix of the title track (opening on side A), now called ‚Snow Keeps falling (snow Remix)‘ by 11 and it sounds curiously close to the original but now expanded quite a bit and 11 keeps finding new configurations for both instruments to interact. I assume this is all done on the computer, but 11 maintain a fine flow for this. ‚Loose‘, also on this side of the record, is a solo composition by 11 according to the cover and I still hear piano and drums for this, so perhaps Min plays a role too? There are also vocals used, dreamingly humming away, which I thought sounded a bit out of place, but alas. This is neat, delicate music, very pleasant. I love to read part 1 (see elsewhere for part 2). If I could do that all day, plus listening to music (without the obligation to write about it) and drink coffee (and hopefully still sleep well at night), then that would almost perfect; maybe watch one movie every evening.
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