The nominees for the 13th Korean Music Awards were announced last week. The weeks leading up to the actual awards show I’ll be introducing the nominees from the “total” categories, starting with Album of the Year.
Black Medicine – Irreversible
With roots in some of Korea’s first generation death metal bands, Black Medicine formed in 2005. Guitarist Lee Myung He started out in Scondrel all the way back in 1991 and have since also played with Sadhu. Vocalist Kim Chang Yu held the same position in Seed during the later half of the 90’s. Claiming to be Korea’s first doom/stoner/sludge metal band since formation, it took a full decade before first full-length album Irreversible was released end of July 2015.
Irreversible is also nominated for Best Heaviness Album.
E Sens – The Anecdote
Rapper E Sens has been the center of controversy a number of times over the last few years. In August 2015 he became known as the first rapper to put out an album while in jail with the release of his first solo full-length album The Anecdote. With ‘honest, often bitter autobiographical lyrics‘ 7 out of the 10 tracks have been slapped with a 19+ rating.
The Anecdote is also nominated for Best Rap & Hip-Hop Album whereas the song with the same title is nominated for Best Rap & Hip Hop Song. E Sens was previously nominated for Best Rap & Hip Hop Song with “꽐라” in 2008 and was featured on Primary’s “독” which was nominated for Best Rap & Hip Hop Song in 2013.
Kim Sawol – 수잔 (Suzanne)
Kim Sawol became a name to reckon with already in 2014 when she released the stunning EP 비밀 (Secret) together with Kim Haewon. Come October 2015 Kim Sawol released her first solo album, 수잔 (Suzanne). All songs have been written by Kim Sawol herself and the album has been co-produced with Kim Haewon, resulting in a familiar style of compelling folk music made all the more enthralling by Kim Sawol’s sensual vocals. To lend further weight to the album, jazz saxophonist Kim Oki, Windy City bassist Noh Seon Teck, Filomela flutist Lee Kihyun, and Salon d’O violinist Jang Soo Hyun and cellist Ji Park all contribute their talents to the various arrangements.
수잔 (Suzanne) is also nominated for Best Folk Album whereas album lead track “머리맡 (Bedside)” is nominated both for Song of the Year and Best Folk Song. In 2015 Kim Sawol together with Kim Haewon won Rookie of the Year and Best Folk Album for 비밀 (Secret). The same year the duo had nominations also for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Folk Song.
The Monotones – into the night
The Monotones is the new band of The Moonshiners leader Cha Seungwoo, also counting drummer Choi Wookno (Summer Here Kids, Seogyo Group Sound, Pink Elephant and more) and vocalist Joe Hun to the members. The band’s sound draws inspiration from punk, rockabilly, and rock’n’roll. into the nights is The Monotones’ first full-length album, released mid-November 2015. It was produced by Toby Hwang from Love X Stereo.
into the night is also nominated for Best Rock Album whereas the song with the same title is nominated for Best Rock Song.
Deepflow – 양화 (Yanghwa)
Rapper and producer Deepflow released his debut album in 2007. He’d begun featuring in others’ music already years before and have remained busy since. Deepflow’s third full-length album 양화 (Yanghwa) was released mid-May 2015. Named after the bridge that crosses the Han River between Hapjeong and Dangsan (besung also in last year’s Best R&B & Soul Song winner) it tells about the struggle of being a rapper in Hongdae. A plethora of other hip-hop artists are featured on the album, from DJ Soulscape and Vasco to Nucksal and Satbyeol.
양화 (Yanghwa) is also nominated for Best Rap & Hip-Hop Album whereas album track “작두” is nominated for Song of the Year and Best Rap & Hip Hop Song. Deepflow himself is nominated for Artist of the Year. Deepflow was previously nominated for Best Rap & Hip-Hop Album with Heavy Deep and Best Rap & Hip Hop Song with “Welcome To The Club” in 2012.
Method – Abstract
Metal band Method released debut album Survival Ov The Fittest in 2006. Fourth full-length album Abstract was released mid-September 2015. In the 3 years that had passed since the previous album the band had recruited Ninesin drummer Kim Wankyu. Abstract was produced by Crash‘s Ahn Heung Chan and mastered by renowned sound engineer Jens Bogren.
Abstract is also nominated for Best Heaviness Album while Method are up for Artist of the Year. Method was previously nominated for Best Rock Album in 2010 and 2013 with Spiritual Reinforcement and The Constant respectively.