SsamZie Sound Festival @ Olympic Park (30th Sept '06)
- intro -
Why Korea? The reason is pretty simple. We know nothing about the music scene in spite of the fact that Seoul is just around the corner from Fukuoka and only an hour and a half flight from Tokyo. We have a lot of information on the country's movie and dance music mega stars, but never hear anything about whether Korea has a healthy or unhealthy rock scene. Then we had an idea, "Let's just go there and discover something!"
For the last couple of years, Smashing Mag's editor, Hanasan, has been visiting Seoul with relatively young writers to see what the city is like. The first time was to cover a Japanese band called Ghost, which featured one of our photographers (Nachi) on bass, when they got the chance to play at a tiny venue there in 2004 with Cocore and Nastyona.
Two months later, Hanasan returned to interview Cocore as they were scheduled to appear at Fuji Rock that summer. He also spoke with Sugardonut, who had performed at Fuji Rock the year before and Nastyona as he fell in love with their music during his first visit.
Hanasan also covered the Gwang Myeong Music Valley Festival last year with Toddy, one of our writers, which was a showcase of the history of Korean Rock music. There we witnessed the Korean equivalent of Bob Dylan,Hahn Dae-Soo, and the incredible guitarist Lee Byung-Woo as well.
Admittedly, part of the attraction of going to Korea for us was getting to eat some amazingly cheap and delicious Korean BBQ. However, Korea's economy has grown stronger over the last few years while the Japanese yen has been getting weaker, so we didn't find the prices to be as low as others have said they were. Regardless, the Korean cuisine was fantastic and it was still a major attraction in Seoul, but it was the incredible discovery of great guitarists such as Kim Hong Tak and Shun Jun Hyun who created Korean rock music in the early 70s that was the highlight of our trip. When I first listened to their music, I freaked out! Korean rock was far wilder than Japanese rock at that time.
Well, what discoveries are waiting for us this time? With Taisuke, who visited Korea on a high school excursion ages ago, but knows nothing about Korean rock, Hanasan flew to the kingdom of Kimchi (wonderful Korean hot pickles) from Narita. There we saw The Emeralds, a familiar band at the famed South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and Nicotine and Ellegarden from Japan as well as tons of unknown, but surprisingly great Korean bands. We now are trying to open a door for Korea's fascinating rock scene here in hopes that others will enjoy the wealth of musical talent that the country has to offer as much as we do.
SsamZie Sound Festival - intro - (JAP / ENG)
The Line Up
moonlight a fairy a hard desperate full base home run / Cool Age / Golden Pops / Cockrasher / Cocore / The Emeralds / Starbow / Prana / Loro's / Vanilla Unity, photo document & Transfixion, Biuret, Nicotine, Fortune Cookie, Sugardonut, Lee Sang Eun (Lee-tzsche), Lee Ji Hyung, YB (Yoon Do Hyun Band), No Brain, Ellegarden, PIA, Hajji and TJ with Sim Soo Bong, Schizo＋Hyun Jin Young, Morning of all ＋ Kim Jang Hoon
Uri Nakayama (10th Oct. @ Yoyogi Zher the Zoo)
Clammbon, Ron Sezsmith, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Chris Pierce, Cool Wise Men, Zion Train, Brinsley Forde (7th to 8th Oct. @ Asagiri Arena)
Michael Franti & Spearhead (5th Oct. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
Faiz Ali Faiz, Kayhan Kalhor, DuOud with Abdulatif Yagoub, Gnawa Diffusion & Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe (2nd to 4th Oct. @ Tokyu Bunkamura Theater Cocoon)
Asylum Street Spankers with Uri Nakayama (17th Sept. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Fumio Ito and Gen Ueda, Magnolia, Keison, Caravan, Pocaskajan, Eye Don't Nose, Hige, Moon Riders, Ban Ban Bazar, The Blues Power with Monsieur Kamayatu, Kodama & The Dub Station Band, Marcos Suzano, Takashi Numazawa with Haruka Sakota, Leyona, Taiji All Stars, Kemuri (18th to 19th Aug. @ Rising Sun Rock Festival)
Sleep Walker (11th Aug. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
Soul Flower Mononoke Summit (15th Jul. @ Tokyo Kinema Club)
Sleep Walker (23rd Jun. @ Shibuya Club Asia)
Soul Flower Union (11th Jun. @ Shinjuku Loft)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (10th Jun. @ Shinkiba Studio Coast)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (9th Jun. @ Nagoya Diamond Hall)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (7th Jun. @ Namba Hatch)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (6th Jun. @ Hiroshima Club Quattro)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (5th Jun. @ Fukuoka Drum Logos)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (3rd Jun. @ Zepp Tokyo)
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals (2nd Jun. @ Yokohama Blitz)
Allen Toussaint (1st Jun. @ Harajuku Blue Jay Way)
Mishka (27th May @ Yokohama Osanbashi Hall)
Rico Rodriguez with Cool Wise Men (5th May @ Esaka Muse Hall)
Down Beat Ruler feat. Bagdad Cafe The Trench Town & The Ska Flames with Rico Rodriguez(3rd May @ Ebisu Garden Hall)
Ska Cubano (2nd May @ Roppongi Hills Arena)
Banda Bassotti (8th Apr. @ Zapata, Genova)
Banda Bassotti with Talco (7th Apr. @ C.S.A. Paciana, Bergamo)
Banda Bassotti (4th Apr. @ Piazza Mercato, Marghera)
Banda Bassotti with Brigada Flores Magon (1st Apr. @ Villaggio Globale, Rome)
Banda Bassotti (29th Mar. @ Auditorium Flog, Firenze)
Japanese Shamisen Extravaganza feat. Mika Uchizato, Keisho Ohno, Umekichi, Yasukatsu Oshima & Takeharu Kunimoto (23rd Mar. @ McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, 2nd Mar. @ Yoshi's Bar, Oakland / 22nd Mar. @ Schubas Tavern, Chicago / 18th Mar. @ Joe's Pub, N.Y.C.)
Shamisen Nite, in SXSW Festival, feat. Mika Uchizato, Keisho Ohno with JK Soul, Umekichi, Yasukatsu Oshima& Takeharu Kunimoto with the Last Frontiers (17th Mar. @ Creekside at Capitol Place,Austin)
Japan Bashu Party, in SXSW Festival, feat. Keisho Ohno with JK Soul, Takeharu Kunimoto with the Last Frontiers & Umekichi (16th Mar. @ Japan Bashu Party in SXSW, Austin)