Songlines reviews some Korean releases

by Philip Gowman on 3 August, 2016

in Fusion music, Jambinai, Jazz, Korean traditional music, Pop rock and indie

As if to warm us up for this year’s K-music Festival, Songlines July issue reviews three recent Korean CDs:

A Hermitage

The one of most interest to past attendees of the festival will be a review of Jambinai’s latest release, A Hermitage. Songlines were strangely lukewarm about it. Not so Consequence of Sound: “Experimental outfit blends traditional Korean music with sky-cracking post-rock.” We can look forward to some tracks from this album when Jambinai come to London as part of K-music 2016.

Yeominrak

Next is a fusion CD by E-Do called Yeominrok (이도 – 여민락). I loved it, as did the review on World Music Central:

Every once in a while I get the musical version of a kick in the pants and Korean musical ensemble E-Do’s Yeominrok, out on the Pony Canyon label, is that kick in the pants, smack to the kisser, punch to the gut and audible gobsmack all rolled into one. A brilliant, edgy, quirky blend of traditional Korean musical sensibilities, jazz and rock, Yeominrok is thrilling musical journey.

Baeshi Bang

Finally a concept which sounds completely mad: “a French quintet offering modern jazz-influenced instrumental covers of the songs of a Korean crooner”. But, says the reviewer: “Baeshi Bang distil the style of 1960s Korean vocalist Bae Ho and the era he occupied, in which the lush arrangements were tailored as precisely as the singers’ immaculate suits. Retro is skilfully interwoven with modern throughout.” You can sample it on iTunes or Bandcamp.

The Jambinai album was in my iTunes cloud well before Songlines hit the shelves, and E-Do and Baeshi Bang have now found their way there too.

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