It could be a nice quiz question: What do you know about South-Korean pop music? Chances are, your knowledge won’t stretch beyond Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’. That the country has had an adult music scene besides socalled ‘K-pop’, was recently evident at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games: The thirteen year old guitar-virtuoso Yan Tae-hwan performed his interpretation of Vivaldi, and the band Jambinai- an icon of the Korean indie scene- made the stadium shudder with its hit ‘Time of Extinction’. Eager to know more? Visit the ‘Modern Sound Korea’ music festival in Amsterdam on 29 April.
The festival is part of Modern Sound Korea Brussels, which will have its fourth edition in Belgium this year. During the festival, the emphasis is on innovative and stylish artists from several Korean scenes, from underground to modern or experimental classical Korean music (gugak). During the first Dutch edition, three acts will be featured: The Korean response to Oasis, Land of Peace, singer /guitarist Gonne Choi, and the trio Se So Neon as a headliner.
Land of Peace 랜드오브피스
Imagine yourself on a tropical beach, you feel the warm sea breeze through your hair and friendly sun rays on your skin. That peaceful feeling is what Land of Peace is trying to communicate. Influenced by British rock from the nineties, they use unconstrained sounds, interesting guitar compositions with straightforward melodies that emphasise their freshness and originality.
Gonne Choi 최고은
When listening to the music of Gonne Choi, it sounds as though you are transported to a place that cannot be located on a map – you can only find it in your heart. Her songs have a unique colour and atmosphere, which is related to the broad musical experiences from her youth. Not only did she master the gayageum, a traditional Korean instrument, and the classical singing tradition pansori, she was also the singer of the hard rock band at her university. That wide musical outlook makes it easy for her to play with the boundaries of genres like rock, folk, jazz and classical. This is evident on her EPs and albums too.
Se So Neon 새소년
Having developed from an earlier project of singer/guitarist So-Yoon and drummer Gang-To, Se So Neon were formed in early 2016, completing the current 3-piece line-up in September of the same year with bassist Fancy Moon joining the fold. They have explored their own brand of lo-fi and vintage sound ever since, with a wide spectrum of musical influences varying from blues, jazz, psychedelic rock to new wave and synth pop. Their live performances, incorporating enchanting vocals and impassioned guitar playing of SoYoon, sophisticated and groovy basslines of Fancy Moon as well as unique drumming of Gang-To, attracted a great amount of attention, which led them to sign to local indie powerhouse BGBG Records. They released their debut single “A Long Dream” in June 2017, quickly followed by the 6-song EP “Summer Plumage” in October to critical and popular acclaim. Their EP release show at Sangsang Madang Live Hall in November 2017 was an instant sold-out and included a surprise guest appearance by Hyukoh, Asian indie sensation and avid supporters of Se So Neon, without prior announcement. Se So Neon took its name from an old Korean children’s magazine of the same name, which So-Yoon accidentally found in a book about 1980s design at a local independent book store in Seoul. ‘Se’ stands for both the adjective ‘new’ and the noun ‘bird’, while ‘So Neon’ stands for the noun ‘boy’
Land of Peace: 19:30 – 20:00
Gonne Choi: 20:15 – 21:00
Se So Neon: 21:15 – 22:00
Tickets are €14 each (incl. €1,50 ticket service costs) and on sale now