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파란노을 (Parannoul) - To See the Next Part of the Dream Music Album Reviews

파란노을 (Parannoul) - To See the Next Part of the Dream Music Album Reviews
The lo-fi shoegaze project from the Seoul musician is a rare find. The ambitious and alluring music expertly captures the feeling of a sound so uncannily familiar that it truly feels like a dream.  

The anonymous mastermind behind 파란노을 (Parannoul) has refused to reveal their name, their exact age, or whether anyone else is even involved with the making of To See the Next Part of the Dream. When I asked for this information, they demurred, admitting they’re too embarrassed to identify themselves on the internet or even tell their parents they make music. But the internal circumstances that inspired their phenomenal second album are indispensable and included in its de facto press release on Bandcamp: they’re an “active loser,” “below average in height, appearance and everything else,” a stunted adult with “singing skills [that] are fucking awful” chained to their adolescent fantasies of a middling career in indie rock.

The only subjective fact: they’re a student writing music in a Seoul bedroom. Despite the internet’s endless possibilities for personal reinvention, Parannoul is an alias, not an alter ego. To See the Next Part of the Dream is not an antidote to its creator’s paralyzing misery, but a monument that honors its enormity—“I wish no one had seen my miserable self/I wish no one had seen my numerous failures/I wish my young and stupid days to disappear forever,” they sing on the opening “Beautiful World.” If that feeling scans as melodramatic, To See the Next Part of the Dream ensures it’s every bit as overwhelming as they say it is.

In the music, there is no happiness to be found in the present or the future, only bittersweet memories of youth wasted on the young and the good times that never were—specifically, the early 2000s. To See the Next Part of the Dream is littered with time-stamped references like Welcome the NHK!, Goodnight Punpun and, more disturbingly, All About Lily Chou Chou, a pitch-black cult favorite that layered gauzy cinematography atop a brutal story of high school kids committing unspeakable acts of bullying. Like many shut-ins who’ve internalized the shame in their singing voice or instrumental prowess, Parannoul primarily works in shoegaze and bedroom-pop. The guitars are almost always either coppery acoustics or saturated fuzz, with nothing in between. The low-end is imperceptible and though they sing brutally despondent lyrics in Korean, the vocals are mixed low enough to function as texture for listeners assuming the usual sweet nothings of shoegaze.

Parannoul sees themselves as a fan more than a musician, and the clarity of their reference points inspires awe-inducing dream dates: The Radio Dept. covers “Vapour Trail”! Ulrich Schnauss joins American Football! What if Phil Elverum started the Microphones as a Smashing Pumpkins tribute act? Parannoul’s Bandcamp recommendations respectively tout Brave Little Abacus, Weatherday, and Car Seat Headrest for their “inspiration, production and passion.” But for all of its decades-old influences, To See the Next Part of the Dream takes an inherently modernist approach to shoegaze, reliant on advances in home-recording technology that have eliminated barriers to entry in a genre long obsessed with straight-to-tape purity, bespoke pedals, and an album that infamously bankrupted its record label. Your favorite shoegaze album of the past couple of years might have come from a band who openly admits to using off-the-rack guitars and DAW presets to create sounds bigger, bolder, and brighter than anything a major label could’ve financed even ten years ago.

But that’s not what Parannoul does. Their formative years include M83’s Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, which emerged as the 21st century’s first truly innovative shoegaze album by exclusively using synthesizers to replicate their analog analogues. To See the Next Part of the Dream is its inverse: all of its acoustic instruments could pass for tones triggered by MIDI pads or synth keys. It really does sound like someone routing their guitar directly into their computer to avoid waking up their parents. “Beautiful World” and “Youth Rebellion” are fascinating transmissions from shoegaze’s Uncanny Valley, its fuzz tones all neon glow and pixelated grit, erasing any remnant of fingers meeting steel. The drums are redlined to near-constant digital clipping and are as textural as they are rhythmic.

Audiophiles will go insane pointing out what Parannoul gets wrong and any attempt to remix or remaster To See the Next Part of the Dream would negate its entire emotional thrust. In every single note, there’s a reminder of what this album actually captures: the point where inspiration meets limitation. The music isn’t intended to replicate the sound of four people who pooled their money to rent a studio and hire a professional mixer. To See the Next Part of the Dream thrives on artistic decisions that likely wouldn’t have survived committee thinking: “White Ceiling” frantically adds layer after layer over its ten minutes without ever peaking, and why would a song about the punishing repetition of existence do that? But when “White Ceiling” finally ends at exactly ten minutes, there’s a sneaky sense of joy in the accomplishment of reaching that ten-minute mark; 9:58 just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

These are the flickers of joy that push To See the Next Part of the Dream towards the possibility of a brighter tomorrow: cycling through synth presets until something catches your ear, stumbling upon a countermelody and demanding it find a place in the mix, discovering the soothing effect of letting a single distorted riff cycle for several minutes. For someone who fixates on their inertia, Parannoul is obsessed with momentum, patching in hints of house music, twee-punk, and krautrock that ensure these lengthy tracks never drag.

Amidst more obvious genres, Parannoul lists “emo” as one of their tags on Bandcamp. Beyond their earnest candor and gooey sentimentality, the title track is their only clear tie to its sonic signatures of braided acoustic guitars and tricky time signatures; at least until they’re buried under magma-bright synths, leaving “To See the Next Part of the Dream” like a Pompeii in the Midwest prairies. But it’s no surprise that To See the Next Part of the Dream has found its most vocal boosters in the greater emo universe—as the fifth wave (give or take) has begun to assert its presence, last year’s Bandcamp breakthroughs like Glass Beach and the similarly anonymous Weatherday have become its leading lights: auteurist and omnivorous acts that debuted with hour-long opuses. “This album can be said to be the answer to my dream,” Parannoul writes, a bold statement of an intent that’s strangely free of ego. Parannoul aspires to be like the first Korean indie musicians they remember hearing, difficult and amateur acts doomed to obscurity and wiped from the internet, but not before implanting a “stupid and anachronistic” dream in their mind. If Parannoul aspires solely to be remembered and not to be adored, they might not have much of a choice for long.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
파란노을 (Parannoul) - To See the Next Part of the Dream Music Album Reviews 파란노을 (Parannoul) - To See the Next Part of the Dream Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, April 01, 2021 Rating: 5

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