First Terrace Records

Sunik Kim - Zero Chime

Sunik Kim zero chime packshot.jpg



Sunik Kim is a New York City-based Korean-American artist and saxophonist exploring the idea of a "Korean Music."

After some time away from music, Kim is re-emerging in 2019 with their debut album, Zero Chime. Kim's new work merges Korean 시나위 exorcism, blinding free jazz in the vein of Albert Ayler and John Coltrane, sculptural computer music and mid-90s jungle in search of an entirely new kind of rolling "energy music" that embodies a shamanic Korean spirit. Kim's work is grounded in a radical Korean politics, striving to convey as physically as possible Korea's largely disregarded—and ongoing—history of being oppressed, colonized and divided by imperialist powers.

Koreans have a specific and highly contentious word—han—burdened with this history. Briefly defined as "a feeling of unresolved resentment against injustices suffered...a feeling of acute pain in one's guts and bowels, making the whole body writhe and squirm, and an obstinate urge to take revenge," han is the visceral physical and emotional state of trauma stemming from the material Korean reality of decades of violent colonization, war, forced capitalist development, crushing economic sanctions and neoliberal austerity multiplied over generations, building in rage and intensity as they remain unresolved—as the United States still occupies the south with tens of thousands of soldiers and threatens the north with nuclear annihilation, as the Korean War remains active and the DMZ a brutal reality.

Zero Chime is a sound-weapon aimed at the West, made of and embodying han in as true a sense as possible, a shamanic Korean colony-music exorcising the ghosts of historical subjugation—and a brand new start.