“The Frame” is the debut ep from South Korean veteran Nikö Blank, capturing the most increasingly growing genre of 2017, Future-Bass, in a nutshell. As thought-provoking as it is artistic, this work of art prompts the listener to question their perspectives on reality. Each piece tells its own story, confronting the listener with a new parallel to the reality they face daily, confronting what they think is real and what lies beneath the surface of their world. After a string of remixes topping the Hype Machine charts time after time, Nikö Blank finally decides to bless the indie electronic scene with some memorable tunes.
It starts off with ‘1,2,3, Hello’, the first piece of the frame. Creating tension with orchestral strings and drums, it’s hard not to be blown away by the thick chords following into the chorus. A great song for those stressful days before finals, the song is Nikö’s way of saying hello to his audience.
Blank’s intro is followed by a single released before the ep, ‘Do U,’ featuring soulful vocalist Jacob Luttrell, laying a majestic top line over the instrumental. As the song progresses into the chorus, it’s hard not to want to vibe with the chords and drum patterns as they carry waves into your ears. As the single providing a frame of perspective to the ep, ‘Do U’ shows listeners that Niko is following his unique path and revealing it to the world.
‘____’ follows with a soft piano chord progression and easy to listen to percussion. With some innovative chord patterns in the chorus, Nikö is thinking outside the box of typical Future-Bass music. This track is reminiscent of early Flume and Hermitude tracks for its distinct arrangement and melodies.
The next two tracks, ‘Ride,’ featuring Rush Davis and ‘Maku’ continue to reveal the myriad of perspectives Blank is covering. With soft flute-like sounds and tropical vibes, ‘Ride’ is my favorite song from the ep. As the track progresses, it allows listeners to dream of tanning in the beaches of the Maldives with a margarita in hand. ‘Maku,’ on the other hand, is the perfect finisher to the ep for its suspenseful introduction and no-holds-barred drop. The chopped vocals and ambient pre-chorus prepare fans for a dive into an abyss of thought. Down the rabbit hole you go as Nikö’s production brings you closer and closer to a satisfying crescendo.
“The Frame EP” is available everywhere now via MiSCHiEF BOY RECORDiNGS.