Last Friday night I sojourned at the Cakeshop Seoul, located in Seoul's main foreign district -- known as Itaewon -- in order to attend an album launch party for one of my favorite and most bizarre Korean indie groups, known as EE (이이) Total Art.
|Big E and Little E, Hyun-joo (right) and Yun-joung (left)|
Comprising the husband-and-wife duo of Yun-joung Lee, an active force in Korean music for many years, and Hyun-joon Lee, a DJ and installation artist, the group defies description as a sort of conceptual art/music/DJ hybrid of a group whose musical style seems to change with every album release. (Lee is pronounced ee in Korean, which is why the group is called EE -- which is read as E-E.) Perhaps the oddness of the group can be summed up in that I found it a challenge to find someone to accompany me to the party, after having shown their music videos to a number of my friends -- they apparently found them "too weird." Regardless, it was this "weirdness" that had initially drawn me to them, and I love them for it. Frankly speaking, I've never seen another group quite like this one in Korea, or elsewhere, and when I saw on their Facebook page they were throwing a party, I had to go!
|This is not my pic. I lifted it from puma.com.|
The Cakeshop Seoul is a fairly small venue, essentially a small club that offers a cool alternative setting to most of the clubs in Korea, with a more eclectic and thus more appealing (to me) mix of DJs and music genres. The party that I attended had a few guest DJs as well, also from EE's record label, Foundation Records, who were all pretty awesome in their own right. I have to say, though, that Smells, one of the Foundation DJs who has collaborated with a number of other notable indie artists, set himself apart that night with some awesome mixes of funk and soul music. Really cool!
|Their new album, Unprdctv Prdct.|
The DJ who followed Smells was Hyun-joon himself, whom I didn't recognize, as he had cut off his signature long, flowing locks, until Yun-joung appeared behind him and belted out two of the group's headline tracks from their latest album, "Miss Amazon" and "GAWEEBAWEEVO," in her signature and totally natural high-pitched, childlike singing voice. Because the place was so small we were literally right beside her as she sang, and she came into the audience and started dancing like a maniac as she sang! It was a pretty awesome experience. I expected her to return and to reprise some of their older songs, but unfortunately they left after some time, which I didn't notice until after the fact. For that reason I didn't get a chance to say hi, which I find regrettable. It was okay though, since it wasn't really a formal concert or anything and the DJs were stellar and the cover price very reasonable. Still, I hope I get another chance in the near future to see these wild cards again! Love you, EE! I'm not sure I can explain what you're doing, but keep doing it! I've taken the liberty of posting links to some of their music videos below! Check 'em out if you're a fan of avant-garde musical projects. WOO!
And if you liked them, here's their...
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eetotalart