Monday, August 19, 2013

Alex's Top 5 Monthly Playlist (Korean Edition)

Hey, guys, sorry for the delay. I was dealing with a number of things concerning school and job searching. One thing I've wanted to do on this blog but haven't is talk about music a bit more, because I listen to a lot of Asian music and friends of mine have asked me from time to time for recommendations. So I will take this time to let you guys know about some awesome tracks that I have on replay. Though I have to admit that all of these tracks are Korean right now, I do listen to a lot of Japanese music too, and I'm also trying to expand my tastes into China and Southeast Asia as well. But for now here's five Korean tracks that I've been coming back to again and again this month! (I have to stress that most of these are not new songs, only that I've discovered them recently.)

5. 긴금 상황 ("Emergency") -- Drunken Tiger (Tiger JK)

While certainly not one of JK's best tracks, this is the first track off his One Is Not a Lonely Word album, which was produced shortly after he split with longtime partner DJ Shine back in 2004. I love this track mainly for its flow and backbeat with the organ sample; it just sounds cool and it's a great workout track because of its consistent beat. I also like the Movement references (the Movement being a large collective of well-known Korean hip hop artists who regularly collaborate together). It's just a solid track for when you're on the move, and it's also proof that Tiger JK could hold his own after the split! WOO!  

4. "Click Me" -- Zion T

When I played some Zion T tracks for my mum she pointed out that he sounded a lot like Bruno Mars or some other guy who sings poppy R&B ballads with the voice of an adolescent. I've never been a huge fan of Bruno Mars (I've liked the odd track) but I'm a pretty big fan of Zion T, and its not because he sings in Korean. Zion T has a diverse range of styles and at times exhibits some really interesting composition choices on his tracks, and his vocals are just interesting enough to set him apart from others in his genre. Though "Click Me" is certainly not his most unique track, it is really solid and his smooth vocals contrast really well with Dok2's (the rapper's) hard rhymes. I listen to it practically daily. His music videos also exhibit some great use of lighting and photography, which gives him bonus points in my book. Have a listen!

3. "Bon Voyage" -- The Koxx

If there's a few things I LOVE about the Koxx it's their whimsical style, those minimalist repetitive guitar riffs, and the front man's powerful yet controlled voice. This song is a perfect example. I just can't stop listening to this track, and the video is pretty awesome too. . . that's really all I can say about it. I just love this track! Proof that good alt-rock lives in Korea.

2. "If You Want Me to Stay" -- Kumapark

My first exposure to Kumapark was watching them play live at All That Jazz, a famous jazz venue and bar in Itaewon, and I instantly fell in love with them. This song was originally a Sly and the Family Stone track from back in the day, and you know what? This version blows the original out of the water, in my opinion. This jazz fusion group mixes classical jazz vocals and instrumentals with DJs and vocoders, making for an awesome unique sound. Check it out!

1. "Ego" -- Kumapark

Surprise, it's them AGAIN! For some unknowable reason I can't post this video on my blog, despite its obviously existing on YouTube, so instead I've provided a link to it. I've been listening to this track just about every day for the past three weeks! Why? Well, I like jazz and I love the sax solo and the bridge just sounds so awesome! When I hear it, "I feel like melting, melting, melting, melting, ooh ooh!"  

Anyway these are the tracks I've been spamming this month. Hopefully next month will be a bit more diverse country-wise. Stay tuned! 

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