When you’re able to sit down, on your own, and explore the depths of your own creativity, you may be surprised at what you’ll find. Collaborating with other people on artistic projects is always great because you’re able to bounce ideas off each other, but every now and again, simply delving into the creative recesses of your own brain can draw out some incredible inspiration. South Korean-Australian artist Peter Lee went through this process recently, and what emerged was a collection of songs that together form the debut EP of his Munan project, ‘Tranquillity’.
This EP blends together some of the most iconic genres of the 1970s, with the intricate production style of today’s electronic scene, to create melodies that feel both ethereal, and incredibly funky, at the same time.
‘Tranquillity’ opens with ‘Comes in Two’, a track that features delicate guitar licks, humming atmospherics, and a steady drumbeat creating a very relaxed tempo. The vocals on ‘Comes in Two’ are light and buoyant, and work with the atmospherics to produce an airy vibe that just makes you feel calm and carefree. The only things that balance out the weightlessness of ‘Comes in Two’ are the guitar licks, as they slice through the atmospherics and give the melody extra movement. ‘Comes in Two’ has a great juxtaposition of sound textures and ends with a moment of psychedelia, before slowly moving into ‘Luv Me’.
‘Luv Me’ opens with a hard beat and a strong bassline, before embracing warped guitars and a strong 70s-inspired groove. Synths swirl around the bassline and the vocals dance above the melody, as each note flows effortlessly into the next. ‘Luv Me’ feels easy, smooth, and full, with the guitars really filling out at negative space left in the melody with their vibrance.
‘Once Upon a Time’ doesn’t feel as full as ‘Luv Me’, but that’s also what happens to make it so wonderful to listen to. Soft guitars bounce above a series of samples before fully introducing the track with just a simple drum beat and light vocals to accompany them. ‘Once Upon a Time’ is a minimalist track, with the guitars leading the charge alongside the drums and vocals, with cool swirling atmospherics passing by periodically.
When crunchy guitars enter the picture, the melody doesn’t feel busier than it did before. Instead, the new guitar layer simply slides into the groove and adds a bit of extra texture to the otherwise smooth track. ‘Once Upon a Time’ is really funky, despite being so minimal. It really has power within it that isn’t obvious, but slowly becomes more prevalent as the track continues to play.
‘Unforgettable Feeling’ is also quite funky, but also has a lot of soul elements to it. The bass line on this track is deep, almost guttural, and works alongside drums, bongos, popping samples, and warped guitars to create a funk-driven composition with hints of psychedelia, soul, disco, and rock sprinkled throughout. It definitely sounds like a lot, but when you listen to ‘Unforgettable Feeling’, you can hear each element clear as day, and having them all work together on a track as unique as this, is really lovely.
‘Tranquility’ closes with ‘Mr. Taxi Driver’, a track with bouncing synths that carry a heaviness to them, despite the track also feeling colourful and bright. The drums and light percussion work to emphasise the heavier elements of ‘Mr. Taxi Driver’, while an echoing saxophone and subtle guitar licks lift the melody up into a more ethereal space.
‘Tranquillity’ is an EP that blends together funk, disco, jazz, psychedelia, rock, and electronic influences, to create a magical collection of tracks that are truly unique. There isn’t anything like this out in the world and Munan’s debut EP is able to not just celebrate the incredible music of the past, but also help us look forward to the music that’s coming in the future. Peter Dee is an incredible musician who has a wealth of knowledge, and by simply sitting down and letting his own creativity run wild, he’s been able to develop a wonderful EP that paints a beautiful picture of what true creative exploration can produce.