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  • Cy White

Rad Museum: GIRL


Okay, let me just start by saying some of the music on Rad Museum's GIRL EP is just downright disrespectful! Again, products of the former CLUBESKIMO collective (now largely part of DEAN's you.will.knovv creative) continue to quietly really bring nuance to some of the same tropes that proliferate South Korea’s R&B scene. While you won’t be hard-pressed to find the sound anywhere on the peninsula, what might come as a surprise is just how those same tropes are used throughout.

There’s an audible push and pull that creates incredible tension in some of the music. Track “MORE” (feat. Sik-k in one of his most interesting features of the year) slides in on a sensual beat that at the same time that it entices with the syrupy thick composition (complete with heavy bass), the beats and that same bass sits heavy in the chest. You’re forced to lean into the sound like a lover’s touch, then pull back to alleviate the pressure on your chest from the almost overwhelming bass.

This becomes even more prevalent in the following track, “GIRLS CURSE.” Sexy, unrelenting in its beat composition, yet still sitting in something a little sinister. “CALL ME BACK” manages to do the same: music that’s not necessarily unexpected, but the execution and placement of certain moments of discord and slightly slanted minor chords give it something truly special.

That’s what GIRL is. What Rad Museum offers here. An EP that makes what you expect slightly left of center. Something like the Uncanny Valley of R&B. It’s almost familiar, but there’s something there that’s not quite “right” (“ANOTHER MAN,” “MORE”). While the impact is a little inconsistent throughout (including misplaced uses of autotune that do nothing to really bring nuance to the songs it’s used in), GIRL works as an interesting interpretation of the genre.

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