Just months after their first visit, Estonian electro trio I Wear* Experiment is returning to Seoul for shows in Seoul and Busan this weekend.
The group is set to release its debut album, “Patience,” on which Johanna Eenma’s graceful vocals lay pop melodies over electronic backing that varies from cinematic harmony to thumping club music.
The record will get a local release, as the group recently signed with Korean label Leeway, after performing at the Zandari Festa music showcase in Hongdae in fall. It was the band’s first time in Korea and they were pleasantly surprised.
“Before coming to Korea we tried to keep our expectations low, as we had no idea how the audience would react to our music,” said member Hando Jaksi.
“But after our first concert we were overwhelmed by how many people came and how positive the reaction was. It was really amazing. And the second show amazed us even more.”
I Wear* Experiment (Renee Altrov)
Jaksi said it was through Zandari that they found a Korean label.
“Our management has worked hard, we gave the best show we could and also we had a little bit of luck in having the right people in the right place at the right time.”
IW*E began releasing music in 2013, with some early success when their song “Memories” was chosen as the music for the president of Estonia’s Christmas e-card.
The group finished recording “Patience” a year ago. Since then, it has been a hectic year of touring, including competing as finalists for Estonia’s Eurovision Song Contest entry.
Asked which song stood out on the new album, Jaksi was reluctant to pick a favorite.
“That’s a difficult question. Almost like which of your children (do) you like the most?” he said. “For me -- I’m really happy for the song ‘I’m Loving It’ because I’ve managed to capture very strongly a moment in my life in the lyrics.
“Also playing it live is great as we can just play the groove and get lost in the universe for five minutes and I can play bass there -- which I love.”
A remix of the title track is in the works, but Jaksi said that his own creative focus was on the future.
“I would not like to change anything on the album because this period of our lives is finished and a new one has started,” he said.
“We are already recording new songs and I’m very happy with the almost 20 song ideas we have already.”
But as suggested by the band’s name -- the asterisk indicates the listener’s freedom to interpret the music their own way -- what this music will be like is far from fixed.
“What will be the musical direction and where will it go in the future, I really don’t know,” said Jaksi.
“Every new song we make is an experiment and how it will turn out, nobody knows. Only thing I can say is that sound-wise it will be better than the ‘Patience’ album because we have learned so many new things while recording.”
IW*E will play in Seoul on Friday at the Freebird Cosmic Live in Hongdae. The show runs from 7:30 p.m., with support from Silica Gel and Asian Chairshot.
The Busan show starts at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at Vinyl Underground, with 57, Leaves Black and 3Volt supporting.
Visit doindie.co.kr for details and reservations.
By Paul Kerry (firstname.lastname@example.org)