Before I Die by Park Hye Jin

The club’s have been closed for a while but if there’s a DJ we wished we’d been able to catch during lockdown, it would have been Park Hye Jim whose house and techno sets are absolutely stunning. 

Before I Die, however, is her debut album and it’s more focused on her rap talents than her techno skills, in the main, and here, maybe for the first time, she tries to exercise her gift for lyrical storytelling. 

It’s a deeply personal work which tries to encapsulate the loneliness and isolation that she’s felt as she moved around the globe over the last 3 years trying to establish a home. You can hear it on “Let’s Sing, Let’s Dance” when she offers, “I sing on sad days.”

There’s plenty here to dance to, mind you, and the mixture of Korean and English lyrics give the work a strong sense of identity. 

What’s missing, however, is a sense of whole. You’ve got plenty of great tracks, but they don’t come together to deliver a completely satisfying album experience. It feels more like a taster of greater works to come and for now, we’re happy with that. 

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