Monday, May 20, 2013

Big E, Little E, E,E,E,E,E,E,E,E,E

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
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...

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