Korean artist and musician Jin Won Lee (이진원), otherwise known as Gazaebal, began his career in New York. Working as a sound engineer alongside such illustrious artists as the Wu-Tang Clan and Janet Jackson led him to develop a keen ear for dexterous audio design, melodic flair and rhythm. But his true interest lay in uncovering the unique textures and synthetic qualities of electronic music. From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Gazaebal focused on developing himself as a producer, synergising a uniquely potent take on club music, releasing three albums and appearing on numerous collaborations.
An established figure in the realm of contemporary art, Jin Won Lee is well-known for his hybrid, highly technological practice. In 2008, together with Jang Jaeho, he formed The Tacit Group, a collective for computer-coded art. Presenting works that manipulate audio and visuals in real-time through programming, the group has performed at the FAMS Choice selection, Lincoln Center in New York, at the Seoul branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, among many others. As a solo practitioner, he initiated <UN/Readable Sound> in 2023, a project that examines sound as abstracted vibration. <UN/Readable Sound> brings together Jin Won Lee’s decades long investigations into sonic experimentation and the physicality of noise.
Outside the avant-garde, Gazaebal has enjoyed mainstream success, collaborating with Big Hit Productions founder and BTS songwriter Mr. "Hitman" Bang on remixes and arrangements for K-POP albums. They also formed the two-man group Banana Girl, with Gazaebal focusing on composition while Bang handled vocals, achieving a big hit with their 2000s track ‘Butt.’
Another crucial figure in Gazaebal’s life is his wife Nine who operates as his agent and business partner. Initially released in 1999 on Nine’s independent imprint dmstrax, the titular track ‘Talk’ first appeared on techno@kr, a compilation CD of Korean electronica. Together, they co-founded G Records, which was partly absorbed into Bighit Entertainment in 2005. Appearing as the inaugural record on Bighit, the original version of 'And So On' – featuring Bang’s vocal production – was not available for re-release due to licensing difficulties. But thankfully the multitrack was well preserved. Utilising these components, Nawon Ha (AKA Korean-but-Amsterdam-based artist Naone) re-imagines the song for Betonska Records.
A combination of un- and self-released material, Talk is an album that firmly belongs to the millennium while sounding utterly outside of space and time. A cosmic trance trip that draws on rock’s steely drive, wiggy acid basslines and warbling dub, the record is presented as a mix-friendly mini-album, with the 6 tracks ideally tailored to DJ-level quality and loudness. As much suited to the psychedelic rave scene of yesteryear as they are to present-day dancefloors, Gazaebal’s productions are defined by his idiosyncrasies. Melding the sheen of tight production and pop sensibilities with a flagrant DIY spirit, his music assuages the high-commercialism of the 2000s, resulting in a style that’s as definitely punchy as it is precise.