An introduction to Korean Indie scene by MTV Korea/IGGY.
“Bbang” means bread in Korean, but it’s also the appropriately warm name for an indie band incubator that charades as a bar in Seoul’s hipster neighborhood Hongdae. A little dingy, decked out in the artist-owner’s DIY projects like the hanging lanterns made of empty Coke cans, the unassuming spot is where legions of wannabe musicians have come to make their start. One of those acts grew up into the internationally touring hit band Jang Ki-ha and the Faces
. For musicians finding their voice, the place is a home away from home. “All of us are friends who perform there and every month the owner has these Bbang meetings where all the band members come and drink,” says electronic music artist Pika, who performs her one-woman show there every few months.
The Korean indie scene has always lived in the shadow of its glossy, behemoth relation but the recent chart appeal of scruffier acts like Jang Ki-ha and 10cm
is making people wonder. Could this be a new era, where quirky kids with lots of personality challenge the domination of Korean idol entertainment?
With their off-kilter sonics and trenchant lyrics, a younger generation of Korean artists are being heard, without having to succumb to the corporate machine that cherry picks the next decade’s stars when they’re still in junior high. Instead, these bands are building themselves up from humble beginnings in dark basement clubs and tiny labels, with the help of on-the-ground blogs like Recandplay.net and Weiv
(while Koreanindie.com spreads the word in English).
These web-savvy, globalized Korean kids, responding to inspiration from one another and feeding on the foreign music now at their fingertips, are putting out freak folk, electro rock, experimental electronic, and punk. From grindcore band Bamseom Pirates, who pretend to be right-wing radicals whose lead singer performs in a helmet that says “F*ck Communists,” to Byul.org, an artists collective who weave ambient pop symphonies when they’re not working as architects, the community is diverse and growing. These upstart, left-of-center acts promise to prove that as much as we love the symmetrical faces and house beats of Beast and 2NE1, they’re only one slice of the Korean musical pie.( read moreCollapse )
Sourse: MTV Iggy