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namhanman, a Korea-fan

Namhanman meets Korean popular culture. Namhanman is based in Budapest, Hungary. Contact: namhanman@gmail.com /// Célkeresztben a dél-koreai popkultúra (kiváltképp a filmművészet). Hírek és villámkritikák a Koreai Köztársaság (Daehan Minguk) mozgóképtermésének gyöngyszemeiről.

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2011.08.02. 17:58 namhanman

Gugak 2.0 -- Introducing Modern Korean Traditional Music

In this post I would like to introduce three Korean fusion bands that aims to reinvent Korean traditional music (gugak).

The first one, SOREA (소리아) has been presenting newly arranged traditional beats and melodies since 2005 in order to popularize gugak. They had many successful performances across the globe from Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan) to Europe (France, England, Germany). SOREA's only mini-album (Monsterious Story) was  released in December 2009. Recently one of their songs (Restart the Show) was selected as the title theme for Kimchi Chronicles, a PBS documentary series on Korean food (hansik).

Below I present you the song (In Panic) that made SOREA famous, featuring the Korean B-boy group Extreme Crew. Also, check out their amazing cover of SNSD's Genie.
 


Miji
(미지) is the Girls' Generation (SNSD) of traditional Korean music: an all-female ensemble group with a considerable talent, Miji combines traditional, classical and pop music to create a unique sound. They are under the patronage of LOEN Entertainment, the same record label that manages IU. Their debut album (The Challenge) came out in January 2010, since then they released only one single  (Unbelievable) featuring SG Wannabe's Kim Jin-ho. Below you can watch the MV of K.new:
 


Lastly comes my personal favourite band which is the least hyped of the three: Infinity of Sound (aka. IS) is formed by triplets Kim Jin-ah (playing gayageum), Kim Seon-ah (playing geomungo) and Kim Min-ah (playing haegeum) who made their debut in 2007 with Step One. They have also released two mini-albums (In Dreams Vol. 1 in 2009 and In Dreams Vol. 2. in 2010) blending the acoustic sounds of the traditional Korean instruments with their own vocals. I chose a live performance of the sisters playing the song I'm Your Cat from In Dreams Vol. 1 in which they are experimenting with electronic music:
 

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