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Noise and Cries (LP)

Label: Subtext, Unsound

Format: LP

Genre: Electronic

Preorder: Releases April 12th 2024

As part of Subtext's 20th anniversary, Subtext presents the debut album from bela as a co-release with Unsound.

bela was based in Seoul when they began to develop the framework for 'Noise and Cries (굉음과울음)'.Chewed up by a society that's slow to embrace those who exist on the margins, they and their close friends became fixated on the concept of death. "I wanted to cry, I Wanted to die," they recall. "The precariousness of living in South Korea hits different. I thought, let's share what is killing us." bela refused to lose hope, so they inventoried the sounds, experiences and emotions that had formulated their identity and wondered how this might form a different sort of South Korean musical expression. They considered the guttural death metal growls and industrial music they heard when they began to interface with Western culture as a teenager, the idiosyncratic folk rhythms that rattled away in the background of state events, the evocative, euphoric drones that had offered them solace, and the heady, cybernetic maximalism that's come to define contemporary queer club music.If this was going to be an album about death, bela knew wouldn't it be preoccupied with loss, but rooted in a deep desire to regain the will to live.

'Noise and Cries (굉음과울음)' is the first time bela has recorded their voice, and they metamorphose it from moment to moment, embracing a precarious vulnerability. Opener 'The Sage' references Jungtaryeong, two well-known arias from the Korean Pansori tradition - a folk form that is usually performed by a drummer and a singer. Screaming, whispering and rasping, bela twists borrowed words from the original arias, repurposing them to highlight the hypocrisy and brutality of patriarchal wisdom. These bellowed phrases contrast with an abrasive rhythm that bela based on the eatmore jangdan, an irregular, traditional beat that's been remoulded into a jerky, electro-acoustic call to action. Even if the gargled Korean wordplay can't be fully understood, the mood translate flawlessly. On 'Death Will I', they reassemble the damaged relationship between a queer child and their

Cat. number: SUB053
Year: 2024