The winners of the Korean Music Awards were announced on 30 March. Anna over at Indieful ROK has the complete list. A couple of the winning acts were highlighted by LKL contributors as leading lights of 2009.
First, Anna herself voted Apollo 18’s Red Album as her Album of the Year: “the most amazing post-rock ever to come out of Korea” was her verdict. Apollo 18 was voted one of the Rookies of the Year for their Blue Album, released a couple of months later.
Meanwhile, Saharial voted Drunken Tiger’s Feel Ghood Muzik as her own pick of the year. The Korea Music Awards had the disk as its Rap & Hip Hop album of the year.
For myself, I failed to spot Seoul Electric Band’s Life is Strange as a potential winner of KMA album of the year despite it being in my CD collection; similarly Brown Eyed Girls’ Sound G (Dance & Electronic album of the year) was another constituent of my pile of unnoticed CDs, while Girls Generation has enough support from the Korean lawmakers that I don’t need to buy their work. But here is their song of the year, Gee:
In retrospect, a catchy little number, and much better than the orchestral version which was doing the rounds on YouTube.
What I find encouraging about the awards list is the breadth of music honoured – from the blatantly commercial to the emerging indie. And reading the awards list is a great way to get up to date with the things you should be listening to.
I know I’m not terribly well connected with the latest in K-pop, but I had never heard of the lady behind the pop song and pop album of the year, Lee So Ra (이소라). Having now checked her out on iTunes, I’d put her in the folk rather than pop category, but which ever box you put her in, she’s an artist I’ll be following in the future.