One of the most exciting rising talents to emerge from South Korea’s flourishing underground circuit – IZREAL – is breezing through career milestones at break-neck speed. Having already performed at some of the globe’s most prestigious events, debuting on the Resistance Stage of Ultra Music Festival (Bali and Korea), as well as performing at Bangkok Songkran and Seoul’s World DJ Festival, the burgeoning talent now unveils her debut extended player, ‘현진 (HYEONJIN)’. Out now via CONECTD MIX, the four-track EP is a masterclass in refined techno and gives fans a distinct taste of her artistic story.
A thoughtful producer with a clear storyline at the heart of each of her opuses, IZREAL’s inaugural collection narrates a story of introspection and personal growth, inviting audiences into her realm through the medium of music. In many ways “현진 (HYEONJIN)” is a reflection of IZREAL’s own personal story of becoming an artist and how she found the strength to break free from the restraints and doubts of entering such a competitive space. Woven within a contemporary and emotive techno format, IZREAL’s debut record is a true representation of her perspective as an artist, which will no doubt attract a wide-reaching international fan base.
The never-before-heard ‘In Motion’ opens the EP with strong cosmic synth-work, celestial soundscapes and hard-hitting percussive elements. Showing a level of versatility far beyond her years, IZREAL employs pop-leaning vocals that give this track its warming and relatable edge. Its succeeding cut, ‘Rainy Day’ enjoyed its official release back in October 2022, launching the South Korean artists discography in an emphatic manner. A real peak-time worthy gem, the mammoth techno cut is a prime example of IZREAL’s affinity for emotive breaks and grand apex moments.
‘Work On Yourself’ plays next, championing rave-ready synth riffs, acid influences and ambiguously gritty vocal chops. Conducive to dark, intimate nightclubs and festival mainstages alike, the March-released hit is an impeccable take on modern techno that leaves us wanting more from this budding producer. Rounding out the EP is the trance-tinged ‘Journey Into Now’. Laying a foundation of crisp, dynamic percussion and an alluring trance-inspired synth riff, IZREAL once again cements her unique sound profile as an artist.
IZREAL has worked fearlessly to extend her impact to audiences far beyond the local music scene and through her EP debut, she has vowed to become one of the top underground artists in the world. Wholly personal and refreshingly miscellaneous, her aptly named ‘현진 (HYEONJIN)’ is a thrilling opener to her back-catalogue which puts her unique, all-encompassing sound palate front and centre. Leading the next generation of South Korean techno stars, IZREAL’s brand new opus is just the beginning of what is sure to be, a long and very successful career.
IZREAL – 현진 (HYEONJIN) EP is out now via CONECTD MIX
Written by: Alejandro Serrano