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Imugi - EP Review: It's OK To Be A Lil Alien

05 Apr 2022 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth

Auckland-based Imugi is comprised of beatmaker/producer Carl Ruwhiu and songwriter/vocalist Yery Cho. With regular releases since 2017 and some big shows and festivals under their belt, Carl and Yery have carved out a space for themselves in the New Zealand music scene, and don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon. Except maybe from strength to strength!

Ruwhiu and Cho boldly open the EP covering kiwi artist @Peace Where I Come From, and how cool is that? And it’s an incredibly well-done cover. They have created a deliciously spacey and fruity dream-pop version of an already great track. Floaty, smooth, and heavily tremolo’ed synth in the intro makes the whole song wobble and shimmer like a mirage. It’s super nice with the female vocal, and they have definitely added value to the track with the extra echo lines, melody adaptations, and the addition of a rap. They also have one of the choruses as where ‘we’ come from, which adds a whole extra layer of depth of meaning to the song, bringing in a community/unity togetherness feeling. Well done on this Imugi, I personally think you have improved on the original by putting your own flavour and personal touches on it. I like it a lot!

Bittersweet Feat. PollyHill is also cleverly done, with the more gritty verses sweetened by the pop-happy chorus. It literally makes the song feel bitter and sweet at the same time. Reminiscing lost love and how we deal with the healing process, while still treasuring those memories, is certainly a bittersweet process. Nice little dash of perfectly-placed harmony in the chorus, which shows these guys just have such a great understanding of good production on a track. It’s no wonder they have been so successful from the get-go.

Which leads to the final track on the EP, TTYL, which is a lil skippity RnB feeling groove. The modulated synth wobble creates such a funky vibe in the chorus. If you had this on in your headphones walking down the street, it would add instant swag to your step. This track has already had over ten thousand plays on Spotify since the EP was released on 17th March, so it has obviously been well received.

TTYL closes out with a fun and clever little phone conversation between some kind of cosmic telemarketer and someone, perhaps Ruwhiu? I tell you what, it is so refreshing to hear a kiwi accent on the track!! One of my pet peeves is how very Americanised a lot of kiwi artists seem to sound. I get it, it seems the natural accent to sing and rap in, but I’m just glad Imugi kept it real in this instance. Big ups on that!

What can I say, the production is slick on this whole EP. It’s very polished and professional, and the songs are cute and cool. And we would expect nothing less from this now well-seasoned synth-pop duo, who are clearly really hitting their stride in 2022. Let’s hope this is an exciting year and lots of opportunities open up for acts like this in New Zealand this year.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Imugi

Imugi are the silky electronic duo that released their first EP titled Vacasian in 2017, a trip through the diasporic-Asian-girl-psyche and the healing it takes to go from self-consciousness to self-awareness. Dragonfruit furthers that narrative.

With roots in South Korea and Aotearoa (New Zealand), Imugi explores the multi-faceted, wholesome identities and complex issues that migrant women of colour face, through a mix of styles ranging from R&B, synth-pop, funk and spoken word.

The poppin’ duo have played many acclaimed shows from St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival New Zealand 2019, Rhythm & Vines Festival 2019/2020, Red Bull Music Presents. International support includes - Confidence man, Cosmo’s Midnight.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Imugi


It's OK To Be A Lil Alien
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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