Cocore, Kyoto Jazz Massive, and Hollow Jan
in Next Floor 08
@ Hangang Park, Seoul (28th Jun. '08)
Clubbin' It By The River
Presented by the Korean Club Culture Association in conjunction with popular monthly music event Club Day, Next Floor was a two-day celebration that featured a bevy of South Korean acts and international groove makers. Situated alongside the Han River in the Nanji district of Hangang Park, the scenic site boasted two stages and food and beverage stalls from the more than 20 Hongdae-based establishments that participate in Club Day.
Friday featured live music from 6:30 p.m. till 5 a.m. Things kicked off at 2 p.m. on Saturday and ran just as late. Bigger name acts played on the massive Next Floor Stage, while Hongdae's indie contingent seemed right at home on the intimate, appropriately dubbed Club Stage. Popular locals such as Kingston Rudieska, Galaxy Express, and Windy City kept early arrivees entertained in both areas with spirited showcases.
Seoul's Hollow Jan ended the Club Stage's afternoon portion with their high-octane, anthemic hardcore. Vocalist Lim Hwan Taek looked like a man possessed as he lowered his head and fell to his knees while unleashing passionate, anguished screams. 2006's Rough Draft In Progress was crowned ‘Best Rock Album' at this year's Korean Music Awards and it was easy to see why after seeing the band tear through 40-minutes of tightly wound, loud material.
Opening with "Dvaita," the small, appreciative crowd gathered yelled along with Taek while pumping their fists and head banging to the pounding emotional music being turned out by guitarists Lee Seung Min and Lee Kwang Jae, bassist Jung Dong Jin, and drummer Park Sang Chul. A circle pit formed near the base of the stage and smack in the middle of it was a man dressed in a suit and tie. Jumping around to help rid himself of the frustration from being a Saturday salaryman he eagerly waved his necktie in the air to frenzied closing numbers "Tragic Flaw" and "Empty." Hollow Jan will be touring in Japan in September as part of Crazy Fest 2K8. Full details can be found here.
Kyoto Jazz Massive followed on the Next Floor Stage and had little difficulty making use of the large performance space. Although at its core, KJM is a two-piece DJ and producer team comprised of Shuya Okino and Yoshihiro Okino, Next Floor attendees were treated to a "full live" performance from the Japanese act which included a drummer, bassist, keyboardist, percussionist and two singers who wowed all with their amazing voices. Filling the park with a fantastic fusion of electronica, soul, jazz, and pop, the band were an instant hit with the crowd who eagerly swayed and danced along to each composition presented.
Fans packed around the Club Stage for an appearance by indie stalwarts Cocore. Singer and guitarist Woosung Lee mentioned to me beforehand that the band were scheduled to sound check for 20 minutes and play for 40 minutes. Wanting to maximize their stage time, their plan was to perform for the straight 60 minutes and work out any technical problems that arose along the way. Sticking true to their word, after a brief mic and instrument check the band got the quickly growing audience riled up with the infectious "Only U" from 2006's Fire, Dance With Me.
Pausing briefly after the energetic opener to hash out a few minor sound issues, Lee and the rest of the Cocore brethren spent the next hour delighting attendees with material drawn from throughout their decade plus career. Unreleased live staples such as the excellent "Spaceman Blues", which featured guitarist Myungsoo Hwang on vocals and flute, and the fun "Move Ur Ass" went over extremely well and should rightfully become proper fan favourites when Cocore's fifth full-length surfaces this coming winter.
Lee, Hwang, bassist Jaegwon Kim, and drummer Jiwan Jung made no effort to mask their joy of being river-side on a beautiful summer night with a kick-ass party unfolding at their feet. Easily the most excitable of the group, consummate showman Lee twisted and bounced around before collapsing to the ground while playing and later dove into the audience during "GoYeopJae."
Despite having gone well over their allotted time, attendees were screaming for more as epic set closer "Moon Patrol" faded out. Looking to appease the crowd, the stage manager okayed a one-song encore. People went nuts at the group launched into "Rock N Roll Anyway" from 2003's Super Stars. Cocore had little difficulty matching their intensity with Lee climbing atop the bass drum and Jung standing up and pounding the living daylights out of his wildly teetering kit.
Rain started to fall a few minutes after Cocore finished. A few enterprising spectators set up a small canopy on the grass in front of the Club Stage and stayed huddled underneath it while enjoying Swing Bros. Everyone else bought rain slickers from one of fest's wiser vendors and happily sloshed around to the plethora of late-night beats provided by the likes of DJ Shai, Blank & Jones, and Pendulum.
report by shawn and photos by eshe
Clubbin' It By The River : Cocore, Kyoto Jazz Massive, and Hollow Jan in Next Floor 08 (28th Jun. @ Hangang Park, Seoul)
Music Is A Universal Language : Tenniscoats with Vidulgi Ooyoo (7th Jun. @ Liveclub Ssam, Seoul)
This Is Music : Love Camp 2008 feat. Oriental Lucy, The Plastic Day, Sagitta, Yukie Sato and more (31st May. @ in Hong Chon, Kangwon-do, Korea)
Fuck Being Rock Stars : Bulssazo (24th May. @ Bowie, Seoul)
Rocking Out In Style : The Moonshiners (16th May. @ 500, Seoul)
Classy Digs + Awesome Acts = Memorable Night : Oriental Lucy with The Plastic Day, Sagitta (26th Apr. @ 500, Seoul)
Saturday Night Fever : Gumx (15th Mar. @ Club Spot, Seoul)
Next Stop: New Orleans : Harry Conick Jr. (13th Mar. @ Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul)
On Fire : The Rocktigers (9th Mar. @ Sangsang Madang Live Hall, Seoul)
Get The Party Started : Cocore (29th Feb. @ Club DGBD, Seoul)
Out Of This World : Björk (19th Feb. @ Olympic Hall, Seoul)
No Rust On This Machine : Rage Against The Machine (9th Feb. @ Makuhari Messe Kokusai Tenjijo)
A Cause For Dance : The Afet Collective (8th Feb. @ Harajuku Studio Cafe)
Music Makes The Perfect Gift : Swinging Popsicle (26th Jan. @ Baekam Art Hall, Seoul)
At The (Co) Core, It's Still Rock N' Roll : Cocore (19th Jan. @ Blue Spirit, Seoul)
Good Ol' Fashioned Hardcore Workout : Terror and The Geeks (5th Jan. @ Skunk Hell, Seoul)
Shirt N' Tie Affair : Oh! Brother and Cabinet Singalongs (22nd Dec. @ Velvet Banana Club, Seoul)
The Blues : The Zoobombs (10th Oct. @ Starlight, Waterloo, Ontario)
Girls Just Want To Have Fun : The Pipettes (9th Aug. @ Harajuku Astro Hall)
For Those About To Rock : Metalchicks (16th Jun. @ Shibuya O-Nest)
Great Expectations : Asakusa Jinta (12th May @ Yoyogi Zher The Zoo)
Interview : Everybody Dance Now : The Afet Collective (22nd May.)
Thank You For Not Being White : Think About Life (3rd May @ Harajuku Astro Hall)
Too Good To Resist : Bleach with Midori, Electric Eel Shock, Detroit7 (23rd Apr. @ Shimokitazawa Shelter)
History Repeating : Flogging Molly (16th Apr. @ Shibuya AX)
The Self-Proclaimed World's Third Best Punk Band : Converge (7th Apr. @ Shinkiba Studio Coast)
Don't Forget Your Manners : Converge (16th Mar. @ Shimokitazawa Club 251)
They Don't Build Them Like They Used To : Yo La Tengo (19th Feb. @ Shibuya O-East)
Smoking Hot : Isis with These Arms Are Snakes, Boris (29th Jan. @ Shibuya Club Quattro
Hot In Herre : Calexico with Iron & Wine (27th Jan. @ Shibuya Club Quattro
You Can Always Come Back Home : Deerhoof (20th Jan. @ Shinjuku Loft)
The Untouchables : The Roots (15th Jan. @ Shibuya O-East)
Dream A Little Dream : The Album Leaf (13th Jan. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
Here Today ... Gone To Hell : Arab Strap (11th Dec. @ Shibuya O-Nest)
Mo' Mo' Mo' Mo'some : Mo'some Tonebender (2nd Dec. @ Shibuya AX)
Good Things Come In Threes : Bleach with Ni-Hao!, Watusi Zombie (5th Nov. @ Yoyogi Zher the Zoo)
Glitter And Mop-tops : The Zutons (2nd Oct. @ Shibuya AX)
Twisting Minds And Tanning Behinds : Asylum Street Spankers (17h Sept. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
DVD review : I Know I'm Not Alone : Michael Franti & Spearhead (4th Oct.)
Melodic Metal Monday : Dark Tranquility w/ Galneryus (1th Sept. @ Daikanyama Unit)
Give Me Something I Can Dance To! : Fangsanalsatan Extra feat. The Stars, Boris, Guitar Wolf (22nd Jul. @ Shinjuku Loft)
Melting Everything In Their Path : Melt-Banana (9th Jul. @ Yokohama Club 24)
Never Too Old To Party : Shonen Knife (8th Jul. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)