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In the meantime, Badkiz cover a Badkiz song.

(This is a very subtle post that only [livejournal.com profile] davidfrazer will appreciate fully.) (Also see our conversation regarding Badkiz' impact on Korean Taekwando outfit K-Tigers, and the impact of Melbourne bounce on each.)

Way To Go

Sep. 25th, 2016 04:10 pm
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New Crayon Pop.

Advance single "Vroom Vroom"

About perfect: Light splashy Italodisco, a boat ride past small islands. Writer and (I think) lead singer Way adds enough ache to give this a promise of passion, a hint of adventure.

Album teaser, Evolution Vol. 1

First 8 tracks, I guess; 17 are due, 10 all new. Track 2 has interesting promise, as if it's early-mid Sixties girl group morphing into soul, or early Eighties Britain burnishing up that sound so that it glistens. Or something different; it's only several seconds. Track 6 is on a different Sixties borderline, like the Animals grabbing at teen tragedy and creating a venomous adult wail — not that I expect Crayon Pop to get close to venom, or to full slaughterhouse wailing. Probably will just be nice woman dancing into the distance, leaving small pangs of dust to glint in the sunlight.

Title Track Single "Doo Doom Chit"

Track gallops and kicks right out of the gate. So much for my impression from the teaser that it'd go down a tad too easy.* In fact it's so pushy and crowded I'm having trouble disentangling it. The beat seems to be battling the atmospherics, while Crayon Pop prance steadfastly forward. Strong, but I don't know if I know how to hear it.

Anyone want to tell me how you're hearing it?

h/t David Frazer for the alert, and the post title.

*"There's a powerful monomaniacal repetition at 9 seconds in that lasts for two-and-a-half seconds ('Shaky shaky shaky HAH!' or something like that) which potentially upends or punks up the song in a good way. The rest at first listen goes down a tad too easy, though I like the flimsy discarded-cardboard drum-like sound that propels the track."
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Always meaning to post more, and also need to comment on a shitload of things (three Mark Sinker threads need more input from me — Inuit tech, Oasis, hallway-classroom [UPDATE: Sinker links added] — not to mention what I owe Mark behind the scenes). In the meantime, here are links to four five blogposts from Paul Krugman on the use of models. Krugman's saying that to understand anything about economies you have to make simplifying assumptions, simpler often being better as long as (1) the models still tell you something useful and (2) you know when life is telling you to turn 'em off or rethink 'em. Subtheme is that, according to Krugman, many conservatives do this absolutely backwards, that is, refuse to turn off the microeconomics model as the supposed source from which all macroeconomics must derive, while at the same time decrying macroeconomic models that could save billions of people suffering and millions of lives if policy makers would act on them.

Dare To Be Silly

Too Much Faith In Models, Capital Taxation Division

Economic Realism (Wonkish)

Jean Tirole and the Triumph of Calculated Silliness

The State of Macro, Six Years Later [UPDATE: Added this link here (it's the "Subtheme" link above) because Krugman states his concerns more emphatically than he had in his previous post]

The New Economic Geography, Now Middle-Aged [UPDATE: Added this link here, and here's where I originally discussed it]

Also, there was this, from me:

Neither rational nor irrational

The discussion with Mark, if I ever have time for it, would include my own justification for my simplifying assumptions (hallway-classroom, for instance; also, the Rolling Stones and call-and-response, also jocks-burnouts-and-sometimes-freaks) and where he and I need to create more of them.
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Question that applies to the past and the present: were there/are there many disco boybands and disco girl groups? Except I'm meaning "boyband" and "girl group" a bit more narrowly than I normally would: I'm thinking of the music dating back to the gospel quartets that went secular and was taken over by teens and doo-wop and then the late '50s/early '60s girl groups and permutated through the Impressions and Motown into the Jackson 5 and New Edition and then into New Jack Swing. I have huge gaps in my knowledge, but my sense is that this type of group vocal singing (as opposed to other types of group vocal singing?) made it into funk and '80s black pop much more than into disco and freestyle and house. Obviously there are vocal groups there, too, many I wish I knew better; but not ones that I'd put into a line that goes from doo-wop to Bell Biv DeVoe and the Backstreet Boys and ilk.

Or am I all wrong? Did that sort of boyband or girl group appear much in disco? I kinda feel the Bee Gees might belong here, though despite hitting huge, they seem a bit apart from everyone else, not quite in any line of development (but notice Infinite sounding like the Bee Gees below). I probably ought to count Trammps and Tavares too.

As for the present, K-pop draws hugely on the Jacksons and New Jack Swing while keeping disco and freestyle in its living language. I'm thinking especially of the work of writing/producing duo SweeTune (Han Jaeho, Kim Seungsoo), for instance with boyband Infinite and girl group Nine Muses.


Nine Muses Figaro and Infinite Be Mine )

Actually, not sure if Nine Muses are in enough of the "black vocal group" style I have in mind to count, but "Figaro" is a great track. And I barely have anything definite in my mind. Hoping some visitor to this lj will take over the discussion.

Here's a tentative playlist for Infinite, not in any order except how I think the music would flow best. Is kind of a best-of except my knowledge of Infinite is hardly infinite, in fact is barely adequate. And of course not all of it uses disco beats or horn and synth flourishes.

Infinite playlist )

"Back" (by Rphabet, not SweeTune)

Exculpatory verbiage )
koganbot: (Default)
Even with S. Korea having canceled spring on account of the ferry disaster (as Subdee says), I'm woefully behind on K-pop, and my listening elsewhere has been too random and intermittent even to be called scattershot. But anyway, int'l dance cheese goes strong at its most opportunist (Chainsmokers, Orange Caramel, Badkiz [the "Party Rock Anthem" influence still potent in Seoul], PungDeng-E, Arcade Fire, Mia Martina), whereas the boring int'l amalgamated danceR&Bglaze&crud that's been weighing down charts worldwide since 2009 somehow manages to sound touching in the hands of a Shakira and a Rihanna who've had all their distinctive characteristics removed. Danity Kane go retro, referencing Teena Marie; equally retro Dal★shabet, who still can't sing for shit, nonetheless find themselves immersed in great freestyle riffs. Ole punk manages not to be dead in the hands of poignantly desperate and angry Kate Nash and Courtney Love. T-ara, Jiyeon, and Puer Kim veer smoove and After School master smoove. Few boys' mouths, as is usual on my lists these days; fewer still who sing. And as the biz still invests almost nothing in us oldsters, funky fresh young Crayon Pop represent on our behalf.


1. Wa$$up "Jingle Bell"
2. The Chainsmokers "#Selfie"
3. BiS "STUPiG"
4. Kate Nash "Sister"
5. Courtney Love "Wedding Day"

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6. Orange Caramel "So Sorry"
7. Tinashe ft. Schoolboy Q "2 On"
8. Nicki Minaj "Lookin' Ass Nigga"
9. Crayon Pop "Uh-ee"
10. After School "Shh"
Future through Shakira )
Bass Drum through Rascal )


1. After School Dress To Kill [Avex Trax]
2. Kali Mutsa Souvenance [Shock Music]


Nov. 8th, 2013 02:42 pm
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Song of the week is Lim Chang Jung's "Open The Door," a seemingly square, florid, impassioned trot that goes hilariously LMFAO in the chorus. The song's actual history runs opposite: was originally, last year, a forgettable would-be int'l-style dance track that I'd heard but forgotten by the Wonder Boyz (incl. LMFAO squiggles but w/out the zest we get when we Open The Door). So what's new this time are the trot beats, which with the hamming bring the song to immediate life. The squiggly LMFAO parade-streamer synths are the topper that they couldn't manage to be in the first version.

"Open The Door," by the way, makes this my third straight K-pop post to feature a Shinsadong Tiger track. He seemed to be having an off-year until all of a sudden he's not.

I'm late on it, but I highly recommend GI's "Gi," extending GI's tradition of ridiculous song titles. (Very first single was called "Beatles" despite having neither lyrics nor sound that refer to our lovable moptops (other than, I suppose, by having a beat). Band's name stands for Global Icon, and the Beatles are a global icon, if that's a connection.)

Also noted, Tren-D's "Candy Boy," in an unabashed Italodisco style. I especially like the instrumental B-side:

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(I've included the Austral-Romanian tag because, while "Open The Door" isn't quite on the continuum that I've imagined, it's a second-cousin to the style.)
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The surprisingly fierce battle for Silly Song Of The Year has a new, unexpected leader: Lee Jung Hyun's "V." People who've been following electronic dance music in Korea from the beginning (i.e., no one who reads this blog) know that Wikipedia has its head heading up buttward in saying that in 1999 Lee introduced techno to Korea and to Asia.* Nonetheless, it is fair to say that she is held in esteem as an actress and singer, at least by our trusty Wikipedian. And she is held in esteem by me as well (who first heard of her last week), as she leaves the wobble and the wash behind for a trot two-step with 1940s razzle-dazzle vocals filtered through a helium balloon. Orange Caramel, are you paying attention.**

Here is where she commenced her assignment as ambassador of techno:

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Credible twerks )
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I've finally made a YouTube playlist for the Austral-Romanian Empire.

For my Austral-Romanian thesis, go here. Tracks are:

1. In-Grid "Tu Es Foutu" (Italy 2002). I'm starting in Italy — and therefore in French — rather than Australia, since Mat identifies "Tu Es Foutu" as a progenitor of the no speak americano syndrome.

2. Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP "We No Speak Americano" (Australia 2010)

3. Da' Zoo "La La La (Hot Girls)" (Puerto Rico 2011)

4. Bueno Clinic "Sex Appeal (Max Farenthide Remix)" (Poland 2010). Hyomin brought me here.

5. Gangkiz "Honey Honey" (Korea 2012). For reasons I don't get, this track engendered instant rejection and massive hatred in the YouTube comments.

6. Orange Caramel "Lipstick" (Korea 2012)

7. Solbi "Ottogi (Korea 2012)

8. E.via "I Know How To Play A Little" (Korea 2012). Interpolates you-know-what, but the rhythm is no speak americano with a Romanian twist (though I don't know if that's where she got it from).

9. DJ Sava ft. Raluka "Money Maker (Extended Mix)" (Romania 2010)

10. Celia "D-D-Down" (Romania 2011)

11. Alexandra Stan "Mr. Saxobeat" (Romania 2010)

12. LPG "The First Train" (Korea 2009)
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Solbi's "Ottogi," yet another "Lipstick"-like half-trot bridging the silly rhythms of Americano speaklessness and Romanian saxobeats. I missed this when it surfaced last August during the T-ara hysteria. Most notable for 4minute's Jiyoon on the rap:

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And a witty Latin house version:

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Okay, three data points constituting a trend, Miss A, putting "Time's Up" on their new Independent Women Pt. III EP, become the latest K-pop group to mix trot beats and Austral-Romanian int'l rhythm moves.*

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(Also, unrelated to trot or to Romance Australianisms, the lead track and single is "I Don't Need A Man," and the second or third track (depending which listing you see) is called "If I Were A Boy." That and the EP title probably don't remind anyone of anything, but I thought I'd mention them.)

*Of the ten tracks** on my Austral-Romanian mix, Gangkiz's "Honey Honey" probably and Orange Caramel's "Lipstick" definitely include a trot feel. "Trot feel" is not something I can specify, especially when the tracks aren't explicitly trot; but these two instances include emphasized offbeats and a way of pushing the tempo, even when it's not that fast.

**Of course I included an eleventh track, LPG's "The First Train," which is trot but isn't very Austral-Romanian, and was there for reference.
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Something amazing has happened this year with Orange Caramel's singing, though I can't put my finger specifically on what. All I've got is adjectives. Last year Orange Caramel had two terrific songs ("Bangkok City" and "Shanghai Romance"), each dragged down a little by vocals that I'd describe as "adequate": going for cuteness but sounding blah, not distinctive, a bit heavy for the material (analogous to how back in 2010 Orange Caramel had been too old for the kiddie clothes they'd been stuffed into). Now this year, on their latest two hits — "My Sweet Devil" in Japan and "Lipstick" in Korea — they're light and alive, just know where they are, zip right onto and dance right off of the lyrics. (See what I mean? Adjectives. Metaphors.) I can't tell if it's the singing itself, or just that they've been given the right songs and arrangements. But the arrangements on "Bangkok City" and "Shanghai Romance" were fine, are what made those two tracks zip along as well as they did.*

"My Sweet Devil" deserves attention on its own, but today I'm talking about "Lipstick," not for the singing per se, but for the rhythm (which of course includes the singing). In my mind, "Lipstick" is the fulcrum, or the apex (or something), of what I'm going to call the Austral-Romanian Empire. I figured this out when, over at the Jukebox, most everyone else was identifying "Lipstick" with "Mr. Saxobeat" and Europop, while I was hearing trot and "We No Speak Americano." Now, however, I'd say that "Lipstick" is drawing on all of those. Not that Orange Caramel have ever played a true trot, but they've been veering towards it, especially on the two "Asian"** singles, "Bangkok City" and "Shanghai Romance." Trots tend to move light and quick, emphasizing the offbeat almost as much as the downbeat, adding embellishments while running right along. In contrast, the Romanian beat sounds more like it's circling in on itself, a clippity-clop to trot's trot. (Or a clip-cloppity. Anyway, busier. It isn't as if there's a specific trot beat, or a specific Romanian rhythm — though maybe there is, and I'm just not perceptive enough to locate it. Maybe you can do a better job.)

The Austral-Romanian spectrum )

Dance Mix )

I Know How To Playlist A Little )

Footnotes )


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