Kim Jung-mi (김정미) “Haenim” (Towards the Sunlight) from the album Now (1973)
“Spiritual scholars often debate the nature of souls, but I think this obscure gem from Kim Jung Mi acts as a great litmus test.” http://thedecibeltolls.com/the-year-end-list-2011/
First track from an almost lost album from 1973 with backing and production by Shin Joong-Hyun. The content of the quote above is reflected in many of the on-line reviews of this album (recently re-issued). An album which seems to resonate with a great many people for reasons somewhat unknown. I’m one of those people.
Dynamic Duo ( 다이나믹듀오) + Jung-in (정인)”Gone” (live) (2009)
Just a recent-ish Korean music track I particularly like, especially because of the complimentary vocals by Choi Jeong-in (최정인). I first heard this one night in Dongdaemun (in Seoul) when there was some kind of fashion festival going on and it was ultra crowded with people.
Secret (시크릿) “Shy Boy” (2011)
At the real risk of being beaten to death by enraged Korean teenage girls … I have to admit that I am generally unimpressed with contemporary Korean K-Pop music. I can’t seem to get my head around why absolutely all the groups do the dancing in unison thing and why these (by now done-to-death) dance moves seem to engage/impress Koreans so much.
Having said this – I like this track. The vocals are pretty good actually.
No Brain – 넌 내게 반했어 (live) Circ. 2007
Thought of as one of South Korea’s pioneering punk bands. Over-all perhaps a mainstream punk sound but I tend to like quite a lot of their tracks. Some of their film-clips are pretty funny too.
Kim Jung-mi (김정미) “바람” (Wind in the trees) from the album Now (1973)
Second track off ‘Now’ album. Written and backing by Shin Joong-Hyun.
PSY (Park Jae-Sang) – 축제, 싸이 공연 (live) (2011)
All his film clips are pretty funny – Gangnam Style, etc. I’ll make an exception to my dislike of the ‘dancing in unison’ thing in this case. Of course … the backing synth sound is lifted from Axel F.
San Ul Lim산울림 – 아마 늦은 여름이었을거야 (It Might be Late Summer)
The first track is from the 1977 album Vol. 1 Ah Already. A great bio of the group can be found at (link): San Ul Lim. I particularly like this track. Other tracks I have heard are more-so in the prog/psych tradition and are good but prog/psych is actually not a genre I’m personally greatly into.
The second is What Am I to Do, a San Ul Lim song within one of the very final scenes of the film Peppermint Candy (박하사탕) (2000), directed by Lee Chang-dong who also did Secret Sunshine (밀양) (2007) which is one of my favourite Korean films. Although not obvious in this clip, this final scene has great gravity in the context of the preceding (in the film)/following (in the narrative) events depicted in the film. The film deals with the impact on Korean society and individuals of the Chun Doo-hwan dictatorship period (and to a lesser extent the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis).
The original album version of this track has a fuzz guitar break and is on the 1978 album Vol 2 As Laying Carpet on My Mind (translated).
Akdong Musician (악동뮤지션) (Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Soo-hyun)(late 2012/early 2013)
Akdong Musician are from Uijeongbu, north of Seoul up towards the NK border. They’re 14 and 17, and came from Mongolia. As I understand it most of their songs are self-written including these 2.
Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix / Gayageum ver. by Luna
Crayon Pop doing Bar bar Bar at Sydney Opera House – (best version IMO)
9Muses – Gun