Korea Spotlight @ Reeperbahn 2018
Life & Time
Life and Time have released only one full-length album but are already attracting attention and acclaim from critics and fans alike. Consisting of young jazz drum protégé Im Sang Wook, Park Sunbin from THE KOXX and Jin Sil from Loro’s (both bands having won Korean Music Awards for Best Modern Rock), they have been much hyped in the Korean music scene ever since they formed.
In 2017, Life and Time won 1st place at the Asian regionals of HARD ROCK RISING. They have also collaborated with various fashion brands and art projects. In 2016-17 they worked on their new remake project [CHART] which revealed the merits of old Korean rock classics. Since day one, Life and Time have given flawless performances at their own concept-driven concerts. Their unique combination has brought fans back to their shows again and again.
Following their first album [LAND], which focused on nature and the city, Life and Time are producing a new album which talks about our ‘Life’ and our ‘Time’. This new production will take the listener to a higher level of musical nirvana.
SE SO NEON
Se So Neon is a three-piece band that formed in 2016. The band's name 'Se So Neon' used to be the title of an old youth magazine in Korea. 'Se', which stands for both the adjective 'new' and the noun 'bird', and 'So Neon’ which means ‘youngster’, combine to create multiple meanings such as ‘new bird' or 'new youngster'. These are the words that shape the band's brand.
Se So Neon delivers the energy of rock through a lo-fi filter. Androgynous vocals and slightly out-of-tune guitars meet groovy drum and bass lines, immediately creating a distinctive sonic palette that combines rock, blues, and synth pop. The band continues to explore new ground in terms of their sonic approach, spanning the musical spectrum from blues, jazz, psychedelic rock to new wave and synth pop.
The band debuted with a single ‘Long Dream (긴 꿈)’ in June 2017, followed by the release of their first EP ‘Summer Plumage (여름깃)’ in October of the same year. This 6-track EP played a vital role in receiving popular acclaim. Their EP release show at Sangsang Madang Live Hall in November 2017 was instantly sold out and included a surprise guest appearance by Hyukoh, an Asian indie sensation and avid supporter of Se So Neon.
This February Se So Neon won Rookie of the Year and Best Rock Song of the Year at the 2018 Korean Music Awards and released their new single ‘Nan Chun (난춘)’ in April. This year, the band has expanded their geographic scope by performing shows held outside of Korea starting Taiwan in March, followed by Belgium and the Netherlands in April, Japan in May, and Hong Kong and Thailand in June.
LOVE X STEREO
Launched in 2011 by former skate punk rocker Toby Hwang and fugitive astrophysicist Annie Ko, Love X Stereo is a dazzling Seoul electro rock duo whose dreamy kaleidoscope of stellar synthpop anthems have enraptured music festival audiences across Asia and North America. With the epic release of their double EP series ‘We Love We Leave’ in 2016, Love X Stereo headlined at SXSW’s perennially packed ‘K-Pop Night Out’ showcase, and was nominated by music critics as one of the best dance/electronic albums of the year at the 2017 Korean Music Awards. This year, they will be skipping the release of a traditional album in favor of releasing 37 brand new tracks and music videos all throughout 2017-2018 via Patreon
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO are an award-winning quartet that formed in Seoul, South Korea in 2011 and quickly began attracting attention with their infectious brand of dance-rock. By 2012, the group were already earning invites to local large-scale outdoor festivals like the Ssamzie Sound Festival and the Korea Live Music Festival – an impressive feat considering they had yet to release any music. Summer and fall of 2013 saw them gracing the stages at more Korean fests including Greenplugged Festival, Jisan World Rock Festival, and Grand Mint Festival and created excitement for the release of their full-length debut album, “Shut Up and Dance.” Issued in October 2013, the offering’s 14 cuts were filled with a highly danceable blend of rock, post-punk, and pop.
“Shut Up and Dance” was met with praise from Korean music fans and critics. The album helped ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO capture top place in December 2013 at the Hello Rookie finals, a competition that highlights Korea’s most promising up-and-coming bands. And in February 2014, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO won “Rookie of the Year” at the Korean Music Awards. They were also nominated for “Modern Rock Album of the Year” and “Modern Rock Song of the Year” at the ceremony. That March saw the act making their first foray overseas for concerts in the United States at the renowned South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Texas and CAAMFest in California. They returned stateside in October 2014 for gigs at New York’s famed CMJ Music Marathon and the Los Angeles and San Francisco editions of Culture Collide. Prior to the latter event, LA Weekly praised ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO and labeled them one of the “Top 5 Bands to See at This Year's Culture Collide.”
In June 2015, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO traveled to France for a handful of club shows and an appearance at Midem Festival. July 2015 saw them playing at South Korea’s top musical outing – the Ansan M Valley Rock Festival – and in August the group headed overseas once again to perform at Russia’s V-Rox festival. In November 2015 ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO issued their “Life Is a Dream, We'll Wake up and Scream” EP. The EP was recorded in Paris with producers Romain Tranchart (formerly of the act Modjo) and Gregory Louis.