Indoor Plant Life I - kioni.bandcamp.com/album/indoor-plant-life
Ambient artist Chuck Soo-Hoo chose his pseudonym, Ki Oni, as an homage to a Japanese monster movie creature of the same name — a tree with a human face that spews flower pedals from its mouth. It’s a decent metaphor for Soo-Hoo’s music, which inhabits a liminal zone where the human world and the natural world are intertwined, and even the strangest atmospheres have a certain prettiness.
“Indoor Plant Life” is particularly concerned with this confluence of human artifice and nature – specifically as expressed in one of its most discrete avatars, the humble houseplant. Soo-Hoo says that after so many months in the isolation of a multi-year pandemic, he felt a deep connection to these domestic lifeforms, right down to his roots.
“Not being outside reminded me of my grandmother, who, at a certain age, became afraid of leaving her home,” Soo-Hoo says. “She would remain on the main floor, watching the outside through the window from between my mother’s plants.” It was a sentiment that Soo-Hoo found all-too relatable during a global pandemic when the world outside always felt at least a little dangerous.
This new edition of “Indoor Plant Life” combines “Indoor Plant Life I” and “Indoor Plant Life II,” companion albums of two pieces each, written and recorded during different phases of the pandemic. Together, the albums present a compendium of domestic calm, blurring the line between the moving and the static, the interior and the exterior, the natural and fabricated. Each piece is a quiet life form, separated from the wild world by one thin pane of glass.
The digital release of “Indoor Plant Life” includes an additional track, Plant Life V.
Soo-Hoo splits his time between working at dublab, L.A.'s freeform radio station, and co-hosting Contact Wave, the station's resident ambient and experimental music program. He has previously released music on Inner Islands, Atlantic Rhythms, Doom Trip, Geographic North, Never Content, A Red Thread, KMAN 92.5, and Pyramid Blood.
Bio by Chris Kissel