Unfortunately, the concerns that currently plague the world have reached an unbearable level, making dance music of many varieties almost futile to release and fully enjoy when considering the obviously negative impact of the pandemic on clubs everywhere. But then there are artists like LA-based, Korean-born 박혜진 Park Hye Jin , proving on her fatalistic-titled debut Before I Die, that there is indeed still a place for dance music in this ungodly year. There's no denying house is best experienced when swarmed by other warm, perspiring bodies toppling one another to the rhythm undulating drum and bass, no matter how much society tries to move into distant, faux-immersed virtual spaces.
In the past three years,박혜진 Park Hye Jin has moved from Seoul to Melbourne to London to Los Angeles. Before I Die, her first full-length, which she made entirely during the pandemic, excavates the feelings of isolation and vulnerability triggered by those transitions: the injustice of feeling wronged, the ache of familial longing, the loss of her sense of self. Where 2018's breakthrough EP If U Want It and 2020's How Can I EP focused on dreamy house production with forays into experimental club, juke, and techno, Before I Die expands into trap, industrial techno, and downtempo alongside her typical atmospheric house productions.