This page is to be expanded over time. (Probably will take until 2014 for me to do some research on what is being pressed. There is a vinyl pressing plant active in Gyeonggi-do which is looking to move into K-Pop vinyl.)
Anyone non-Korean who lives in South Korea and observes the place in some depth is likely to at some stage engage in conversations (either in person or on-line) about things K-Pop. I’m somewhat indifferent to the endless contemporary K-Pop I hear (and see) as part of my everyday life here. Much (but not all) of it comes across as highly manufactured, it often lacks accomplished musicianship, seems to often lack quality musical and lyrical composition, the vocals rarely project a sense of ‘virtuosity’ and the ‘talent’ icons just seem bland from my perspective. The music industry in South Korea seems to be run by people who are a cross between Stock Aitken Waterman and Morris Levy (seriously – Morris Levy would feel right at home here). And I really don’t understand the ‘dancing in unison’ thing that South Koreans are obsessed with.
However, despite all the lameness – odd K-Pop artists and tracks (songs) are great, even if they are drowning in the sea of media-glitter and ultra-choreography that is the K-Pop industry.
Lee Soo-man’s 이수만 of SM Entertainment Group released a number of vinyl albums in the 1970s/80s. He is of course one of South Korea’s leading Entertainment Industry players. His SM Entertainment Group stable includes Girls Generation and others leading the current Korea Wave. When I find any good academic or blog articles on Lee Soo-man and other industry players, I will post links to them here. When I can I’ll try to track down his own early LP product and listen and judge how his own recored music may contrast to the music his company generates now. I will also post links to on-line sources of information about the history of the Korean music industry.
Incidentally, most contemporary western popular music doesn’t resonate with me much either. In my opinion the high points of popular/sub culture in the last decade have been mostly found within cable television in series such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Game of Thrones and so on. This is what engages me much more than music these days.
This page is being reserved for two things. 1. Links to interesting English language web-articles or scholarly papers related to the Korean Music industry. 2. Information about any contemporary KPop artists that release music on the vinyl format anywhere in the world. (Best to check back on this page in 2014 or so.)
My favourite K-Pop music link below:
My favourite K-Pop music group at the moment (2013) Akdong Musician (see link above for another clip):
K-Pop Vinyl Records: