Lately I haven’t been listening to anywhere as near as much Korean music I used to. Partially I believe it’s burnout constantly looking for something new to talk about and post. This also lead me to cover releases that I might have passed because they didn’t have enough for a true post. Now it’s about 70% other music with 30% coming from South Korea. One thing I do actively search for is Korean musicians who aren’t in South Korea.
Finding or being referred to new musicians is always fun and there is a much smaller pool of artists with this definition. These artists are the ones that live differently from their contemporaries in South Korea. I thought it would be good to give them a highlight because they’re also making great music, but are likely hidden from most mainstream media because they don’t attract the headlines as others.
Holy Hum is at the top because I’ve been listening to his latest album All Of My Bodies a lot recently. From Canada, Holy Hum originally came across as a drone and experimental musician composing music that a lot of people probably might not enjoy. But with All Of My Bodies, it’s the perfect place to jump in and see what he’s about.
I thought that she was Japanese, but her album Psychopomp had a recording of her mother speaking in Korean. While Psychopomp was more indie rock, her next release Soft Sounds From Another Planet is more experimental but just as amazing.
One of the Hip-hop artists that I follow diligently, he’s one of the most prominent artists who has gotten attention from bigger artists and yet he still hasn’t seen the spotlight. You can’t deny he has all-around skills which makes it even more bizarre he can’t get in the public eye more.
Year of the OX
I saw Year of the OX on tour with Dumbfoundead and I was amazed. The pair make intense tracks which is confined by their recordings. But live, it’s another whole story.
I love Tangerine. They reached out, introduced themselves, and I listened to their releases on Bandcamp. They moved down to Los Angeles and should be able to get some attention, not because of their heritage, but the fact they make excellent songs.
Run River North
I didn’t get into Run River North until Drinking From a Salt Pond, but since then I’ve been hooked. The band’s history is interesting with the band almost breaking up between the first and second albums.
Another email introduction, DISQO VOLANTE combines genres to make a very unique style. It’s not something easily described and it’s best to listen to him.
Even though Big Phony is based in Seoul, he’s from the United States. He’s probably one of the early artists that I discovered who I thought was originally from South Korea. Finding out he was from the US didn’t change anything, it actually made me more interested in how he was influenced to make the music he composes.
One of the newest artists to reach out, she’s made a big impact with Lineage. I’m curious where she’s going to go from that release.
Jazz-hop. This is the genre that I was introduced to by Kero One. It’s a highlight for any bad day.
Producer who makes insanely slick tracks. I don’t know how every new single tops the one before it.
Obviously this isn’t a comprehensive list whatsoever. So if you know of any others, let me know.