Geomungo Factory are a four piece group playing Geomungo, a traditional long zither with six strings. The group play five different geomungos, plus gayageum, in original pieces over a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures, from delicate to jarring, with an experimental edge. Have played at WOMEX in 2012, performed in the UK in 2013, and this CD has been well reviewed by western media, although until now has remained rather elusive.
1. Jirirariru (Everybody Stand Up!) 2. Jeong-jung-dong (Movement on Silence) 3. Geomungo & Tango 4. Byeolgeumja (The Starry Night) 5. Dream of the Tree 6. Sky, Wind, Star and Poem 7. Nightmare of Blind Sound (Groundless Fear) 8. To a Free Bird (Fly to the Sky) 9. Illang Illang 10. Hwan-yu (Cycle of the Sound)
Korean traditional instruments, including haegum, piri and geomungo, meets electronic post rock with some more reflective moments. Performed at WOMEX 13 in Cardiff. Nine tracks.
KIM DAEHWAN, YOSUKE YAMASHITA, KAZUTOKI UMEZU
Black Roots (Heuk-Gyeong)
Japanese/Korean collaboration pits on the Korean side, fantastic percussionist Kim Dae Hwan and haegeum (fiddle) player Kang Eun Il with Japanese modern jazz greats, pianist Yosuke Yamashita and saxophonist Kazutoki Umezu. They tackle My One and Only Love, two Coltrane compositions, Afro Blue and Naima, My Favourite Things and Korea's most famous folk tune, Arirang. Comes with English liner notes. Quite simply, brilliant.
Haegum- Korean two stringed fiddle- played by a master musician, in a contemporary setting. Solo haegum in semi-improvisations, accompanied by guitar, and Korean percussion. Wonderful.
1. Lonesome Thinking (10:48) 2. Sadness (7:13) 3. Arirang Medley (11:19) 4. Haegeum Sanjo of Ji Young-Hui School (10:50) 5. Birds' Singing (6:57) 6. Korean Folk Song Medley (14:01)
Korean traditional instruments played in improvisation and various combinations. Baek In-Young has taken his music around the world, performing in more than 20 countries.
1. Autumn Moon and Long River - Jinyang (2:52) 2. Autumn Moon and Long River - Joong-mori (3:09) 3. Autumn Moon and Long River - Semachi (2:24) 4. Autumn Moon and Long River - Dong-Salpuri (2:35) 5. Autumn Moon and Long River - Moojangdan (2:07) 6. In the Field after the Harvest (16:00) 7. Improvisation I (10:44) 8. Improvisation II (10:17)
The Elegance - Themes on Classical Music
Noh Eun-Ah is one of the new generation of haegeum players, the Korean traditional two-stringed vertical fiddle which is used in a variety of traditional genres. Haegrum accompanied by various other instruments, from other Korean instruments to piano. Rather wonderful. Click on the link to listen to all tracks.
1. Haegeum Tango - Dance of the Moonlight (6:01) 2. Bulnoha (11:07) 3. Toad - Korean Folk Song (6:05) 4. Darangsh (10:37) 5. A Pretty Deer (11:52) 6. Image for Haegeum and Piano (6:55) 7. Haegeum Solo with Saenghwang and Percussions (8:42)
From the Evening Tide till the Coming Dawn
Seventh album from Seulgidoong who combine Korean traditional instruments and styles with western elements and backing. Have become popular in Korea since they formed in 1985, and have performed around the world. Click on the link to listen to all tracks.
1. From the Evening Tide till the Coming Dawn (3:00) 2. Field Dance (4:14) 3. Undo Excitement (6:45) 4. Song for You (8:57) 5. Trip (3:49) 6. The Way to the Hometown (3:08) 7. Passing Rain (6:23) 8. New Boat Song (8:01)
Korea Super Percussion
Mainly Korean percussion instruments such as changoo with various Korean flutes including Piri, and a type of Korean violin, make this one of the most interesting Korean CDs ever produced. If you enjoy Japanese taiko drumming, you should enjoy this. Fills a gap in modern roots music for one of the more under-represented Asian countries.
2nd - The Neo Sound of Korea
It's been a long time since there was an album by Puri, one of Korea's best groups, who play traditional Korean piri (reed instrument) and percussion instruments to make a contemporary Korean roots sound. Their first album is probably our best ever selling Korean title, so this is a welcome follow up. The big change to the group is the addition of Han Seung-Seok, who is a pansori singer and Jeong Jae-Il who comes from a pop background. Some of the tracks therefore feature traditional Korean vocals and western guitar, piano and keyboards alongide the Korean and other world percussion instruments. If you're looking for a Korean group who are pushing the boundaries of their tradition in an interesting way, look no further than Puri. Seven tracks. 1. The Space 2. Binari 3. Jaryong Shooting an Arrow 4. Dahdri 5. Docheongung 6. Reminiscence 7. Daechuita. Click here to email for availability
CHUNG-AN CULTURE BAND
Excellent album of traditional Korean vocals and instrumentation with some western elements. 13 tracks, 2 CDs. 1. E-eo Island 2. Elegance 3. The Memory 4. Korean Syndrome 5. One Side Love 6. Salmon to the Sea 7. Nine Cloud Dreams 8. You and I 9. Number One 10. Chaff with the Wind 11. To My Love 12. Travelling 13. Gyeon-Wu & Jie Nyeo. Click here to email for availability
IS INFINITY OF SOUND
Three young singing sisters who also play traditional instruments. Their voices are pretty much pop sounding, while the Kim sisters also play kayagum (zither), yanggum (dulcimer) and haegum (fiddle). The excellent Wong Il (Puri) plays the piri (oboe) and various percussion, and there's also accordion and piano (from Peter Schindler). The music has an experimental edge to it, with hip-hop rhythm and repetitive string phrases. A welcome new direction for Korean music.11 tracks including Spring, used in a Korean drama. Click here to email for availability
East meets West collaboration as long time Koreaphile singer Linda Shamrock performs with various Korean musicians on changgo drum, kaegeum (zither), plus sax and oud. She sings in a kind of avant garde jazz style, and sings standards including Over the Rainbow and Strange Fruit plus original songs. 10 tracks. Click here to email for availability
KIM SUK CHUL, TETSU SAITO, KAZUE SAWAI, AN SOOK SUN, LEE KWANGSOO, FUMIO ITABASHI
Part of the Korean Traditional Crossover series and another meeting of Japanese and Korean musicians. This one features on the Japanese side, bassist Tetsuh Saitoh, koto player Kazue Sawai, and pianist Fumio Itabashi performing with the excellent Kim Suk Chul on changgo (drum) and ching (gong), Lee Kwang Soo on kkwaenggeari (small gong) and changgo and ajaeng (zither) player Lee Tae Beak. Click here to email for availability
KIM DAE HWAN
Kim Dae Hwan is one of Korea's most renowned western style percussionists. On this album he plays with haegeum player Kang Eun Il on three long improvisational pieces. 1. Black Rain Part 1 2. Black Rain Part 2. 3. Encore. Extraordinary. Click here to email for availability