Randomness #27

It’s been much longer than I planned since I got to writing one of these randomness posts, even though I really enjoy doing them. It started with a week-long vacation in New York, where the hotel wifi policy effectively discouraged me from any sort of productive online activity. New York was awesome, but either very cold or full of snow/slush/salt. I met a lot of very good people, had far too much super delicious food (it’s available everywhere! at reasonable prices, even!), and generally just a very relaxing time.

Coming back to Sweden I failed to resume my habit of checking YouTube daily and generally just focused what little time I had after office on other things. But I did finish watching Heart To Heart and just as I hoped it recovered quickly after episode 12. It now not only ranks high as one of my favorite Korean dramas, but also holds the top position for Korean dramas without a disappointing final episode. And, thanks to the great work of Tearliner it is also my favorite Korean drama ever with regards to the music.

 

Recent Listening

While in New York and the weeks after, I listened excessively to Flash Flood DarlingsVorab and Tesoro. The subsequent interview is one of my favorites yet, in spite of 8 years of interviewing some of the most awesome people I’ve ever listened to. I also made album closing track “In The City” the Korean song of the month for the Music Alliance Pact and was happy to see it picked up for Australian MAP blog whothehell.net’s Mapcast of March 2015.

Finishing up all the KMA stuff last month, I also finally got around to listening the joint EP effort from First Aid and WAUKN in F.W.D. I gave “Kotin” a listen as soon as it was nominated for Best Dance & Electronic Song, but didn’t take the time for the entire Air release until this month. While overall very enjoyable, I find the vocals a bit peculiar but at the same time that’s part of the appeal. The one instrumental track in the middle of it, however, is really awesome any way you turn it.

 
Continuing on the electronic music theme, though I don’t usually post about non-Korean music I’ll need to make an exception this time: A Hungarian friend now living in Sweden has done a lot to help me appreciate various kinds of electronic music, especially with jazz influences, over the last few months. He also makes music both by himself and as one half of Lucid Drums, that just released a self-titled album. The album is generally awesome with lots of cool samples from old Eastern European vinyls and I’ve ended up doing some quite excessive listening also to this one.

 
Of course I’m always happy to find new music to love, but these excursions, courtesy of my friend, into a realm of music I’m not all that familiar with have made me pay attention to sounds, beats and progressions that I would otherwise ignore or even dismiss as something I’m not interested in. As it happened, I ended up listening to MOT‘s non-linear with all these new factors in mind. I’ve loved it to pieces since I first laid ears on it in 2004. It’s one of my all-time favorite albums and I must’ve listened to it several hundred times by now. Yet, listening again I could hear something new in every single song–little details here and there, or a completely changed perspective. As a result I’ve come to love each individual track even more. Now I don’t understand how I could not hear these things all those times before.

 

Random News

Moving back to more familiar territories: fantastic, innovative, amazing, interesting and always special Bulssazo has a vinyl out for 3rd full-length album *뱅쿠오: 오늘밤 비가 내릴 모양이구나. / *첫번째 암살자: 운명을 받아 들여라. The album as such was first released on cassette in 2011, but as always with Bulssazo releases it sold out quickly and has since gone out of print. The vinyl edition was released via Beatball on March 24th and is limited to 666 copies. There’ll be a Bulssazo show at Mudaeruk on April 4th which, as any other rare Bulssazo show, is likely something not to be missed.

You might remember how I was obsessing over Monoban and particularly the song “Dandelion” during spring last year. The trio put out digital single The Ocean on Tuesday this week and will proceed to release first full-length album 청산 on March 31st. It’s got album versions of both “Dandelion” and “TuTuTu” from last year’s EP alongside 7 other tracks. Some more guitar + cello + cajón action to look forward to very soon, that is.

 
MBC’s previous hit show I Am A Singer (나는 가수다) returned to Korean TV with a third season in the beginning of February. Monni went on for the 2nd round, but unfortunately got eliminated right away. Right now the members of Cherry Filter are trying their luck in the 4th round, but the band finished 7th in last week’s episode in spite of a very strong vocal performance from Youjeen. Timing prevents me from launching another I Am A Singer commentary series at the moment, but hopefully I can get around to completing the I Am A Singer 3 indie spotting post before it turns too irrelevant.

 

Blog Stuff

Although I’m all ok lingering in obscurity and do little to change that, I was both surprised and excited to find that since about a month ago Indieful ROK is one of roughly 800 music blogs listed on Hype Machine. It’s a huge honor to have been picked, especially as I didn’t even submit for inclusion. I took it as a reason to finally get myself a personal Hype Machine account and have, among other things, tracked down all available songs I’ve picked for the Music Alliance Pact since 2008 and marked them as favorites.

Since yesterday I’m back in Korea on vacation, and with my family from Sweden coming over as well tomorrow the time to spend on anything blog related will be pretty small. Instead I’ll, as usual, do my best to enjoy the country, the food, the music, and hopefully gather some impressions to share in the next post. Meanwhile Twitter will likely be the best place to follow what I’m up to while here. I’ll try to do better with the updates.