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Friday, 19 June 2015

New Death Note drama set to air in Japan this July

Ryuk says "A serialised drama? ... Interesting!!..."
Sometimes in the world of drama, new reboots can suddenly spring out of nowhere. Death Note is no exception, and will be airing on Japanese television this July. None of the original cast from the films will be included in this new drama, and it has been confirmed that the retelling of Death Note will be an original story and will include N.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Don't get lost in the kpop! | Check out these Kpop and K-indie recommendations

When you become a fan of Korean music, it's easy to get lost in the big old international fandom that is busy dealing with scandals, idol fanwars, the latest haircuts, etc, etc. But it might excite you that there is more to Korean music - even Kpop, than this! Far more! The big old International fandom - as gigantic as it is, often misses out a big proportion of the media, and music from S.Korea, mainly because these bands tend not to have idolising-intentions, nor stem from the big major companies.

And hands up guys, are we really that keen on these big corporations in music?
Doubley sure?

Korean Music you should check out!

In this post, I shall briefly mention some fantastic K-indie and Kpop bands that might have alluded your eye, while are still enriched in talent. They might sound a bit different, but don't forget, this is large part of Korean music too. Big pat on the back if you recognise any.

Quick Note: I've noticed the music I have posted below seems to go from quite elaborate funk to soft, mellow music, but hey, it shows variety I guess!

Glen Check

Whoa. There really isn't anything else to mention. They are seriously good.

Frenzy (프렌지)

Frenzy is Korean shoegaze indie band that seriously needs more love.
I wrote about them here.
There is no singer, but they are masters of sound.


The singer's voice will be higher than you expect, but it's easy to go along with. This is a synth-y, pretty funky band. The bassist has some groovy rhythms.

Standing Egg

A pretty chilled band. Got to say, I particularly like their music video for 'lalala', as featured above. Standing Egg is great to listen when you're feeling down, or just need some background music for work - they're very uplifting and easy listening.

Adulthood  (어른아이)

Adulthood is mellow and beautiful. The lyrics are often minimal, but sang in different ways when the singer repeats them.

Vodka Rain 

I really like this band. I don't know if it's partly because of their name, but it's defiantly because they are so cheerful and easy to love, really quirky, and just a delight to listen to.

Other mentionable bands:
Misty Blue
Busker Busker
Zitten 곁에
J Rabbit
Neon Bunny
Dear Cloud

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Final Symphony - Featuring Music from Final Fantasy VI, VII, and X! (If you have £30)

Woops, it's been a while since I've posted - but stumbled upon some news that might excite a few readers.

Music from Final Fantasy VI, VII, and X will be played at the 'Final Symphony' in London, May 2013, by the London Symphony Orchestra. It is hoped they will follow the same success as the award winning Symphonic Fantasies events last year and in 2009, covering various Square Enix titles such as Kingdom of Hearts, Chrono Tiger, and Secret of Mana.  Benyamin Nuss will be returning as a soloist to the orchestra, after preforming at the previous events exceptionally.

If you're not in the UK, they'll also be performing in Wuppertal, Germany. If this sounds like your kind of dream event, I would defiantly recommend doing a quick search to see if they'll be coming your way.

Tickets are expensive - from £30 to £65, and are already selling well particularly in Germany. This is an event only for the core fans of Final Fantasy, who are keen on the sound of a well organised orchestra.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

BIGBANG heads to.. Wembley???

Five years ago it'd be completely unheard of - a major Kpop band selling out in London?! But the Hallyu wave is at it's peek, and sure enough, BIGBANG managed to sell out a concert at Wembley stadium within 10 minutes.

In fact, it was so popular, there will be ANOTHER another concert at the same venue the day after! And guess what, that sold out to.

And how much were these tickets?


Yup, fans are crazy enough to fork out for massively overpriced tickets, because the option to miss the opportunity of seeing one of the biggest Korean bands was unacceptable. Is this the start of a happy future of kpop bands visiting the UK, or is this the highest peak the Hallyu wave can ever reach?

Lets consider the moment, when Korean music hit the UK media with the famous 'Gangnam Style'. Love it or loathe it - it reached number #1 in the UK charts, and has been the subject of international attention. Celebrities, politicians, and general media has been keen on associating themselves with the dance. What effect has this on the general public in regards to Kpop music? Well, there are two sides you can take for that question.

The Optimistic View
 Because of Gangnam style, people are more likely to look at other sources of kpop.

The Realist View
 Because of Gangnam style, people will associate ALL kpop with Gangnam style, and still won't break into the Kpop market.

Will Kpop ever be taken seriously? Predictions can only be made on sketchy grounds. Here's another; Do we want Kpop to be taken seriously by the public? Think carefully on this one.


Am I the only one cringing? No?
It's not that I want kpop to not be enjoyed with international success.
But this Hallyu wave is brewing an issue here that is quite unsettling.
Greed. The craving for blood. Total insanity.

Kpop fans are turning into monsters.
Ooo, did I just say that?
Please don't kill me yet and let me finish.

Lets take Britian for example.
Kpop obviously has a lot of fans for two Wembley Big Bang concerts. And that's great! The sheer mass of fangirl and fanboy brings the bands to the UK, bands I never thought I'd ever see.
But a lot of these fans don't really get kpop, and treat this as normal pop.
There is a reason why I don't like normal pop.
Okay, several reasons.
But the sheer idolism and fanbase is a massive turn off.

And while Korean idolism can be crazy, British idolism can be just as insane. Screaming at their idols in public, even hugging them - which is considered completely out of order in South Korea. You do not glomp members of Exo-K, even if they're you're bias. At least ask. These girls didn't.

A lot of people in the western world do not understand or get the culture behind the music, and that's well... Quite embarassing. I'm not Korean, nor have I been to S.Korea. At the end of the day, I don't even know much about the culture. But something doesn't sit right when I hear people talk to kpop as if they know and understand it well.

Am I just being touchy that my hidden gem has been discovered?

I'll leave you with this:
Do we need an understanding of culture to enjoy and appreciate music, and go to concerts? Or is it unfair to ask the public to mould themselves to the rules of other cultures, and that it is the arriving culture that must mould themselves to their audience? What do you think?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

An Cafe Concert - Big Success!

What were YOU doing on the 7th of December? If you weren't in Islington, you missed out on an epic concert!

Photo generously shared by "Emma"

Japanese Rock Band An Cafe rocked out in London, Islington on the 7th of December under the happy Oshare-Kei title "NYAPPY GO AROUND THE WORLD Ⅲ ~TADAIMA o(≧∀≦)o OKAERI o(≧∀≦)o~"

This was an absolute brilliant concert for many reasons. Firstly, the fans themselves have a generally wonderful, carefree attitude, and that pushing and shoving you can receive from other concerts just didn't happen, while at the same time fans weren't afraid to cheer, jump and dance along with the band members. I noted that fans were from a spectrum of backgrounds while the age ranged seemed to broaden from 14 to late 30s, and the dress code varied from casual to the familiar Visual Kei hue, and one very brave girl wearing a rabbit onesie.

The band members themselves were energetic, lively, and put so much effort into their music, it gave the atmosphere a fantastic dose of life and excitement. Their broken English was adorable - and the quality of sound was simply fantastic. Lead singer Miku responded generously to the crowd making the experience incredibly 3D. Each time someone shouted something in Japanese, he'd respond back - and, ah, when a male in the audience cried "I love you!" it was pure gold watching Miku's delighted face follow a response of "I wuv you too!"

Photo generously shared by "Emma"

One of the best things about the concert was that it was fairly small, so it was much easier to see the band members, and much more cosy and comfortable.

 An Cafe will defiantly be coming back next year, but dates have not been announced.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

MBC Kpop Concert in London

Competition to dominate the music industry in East Asia has never been more fierce, and now the battle has finally crashed into the Indigo2 arena in London, Greenwich. South Korean bands 4minute, Exo-K and Norazo will be playing to a sold out audience on the 23rd of June, with up to 364 potential fans to attend a gift event for their favourite musicians. Has South Korean music finally settled into Europe?

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Best Kpop Debuts Part One

I can't remember exactly when I began to think this, but it has been on my mind for a while. The big boys of Super Junior has been a fantastic band, but many of their songs are filmed in very similiar conditions, and their producers seem very careful to prevent them from doing anything new. This is the same case for many other well established boy bands, and a lot of girl bands like Girls Generation. Actually, this might be more of an issue with girl bands - how many songs have you come across that are the usual boy meets girl, for some reason they cannot be together, *insert heart felt dramaticness here*. Alright girls and boys, you've done this storyline very well now, lets have a bit of something new, yeah?

And then suddenly, my hopes and dreams were answered.

This has been a fantastic year for kpop male debuts, (last year the spotlight was on some fantastic female kpop groups!) and they have reached beyond my expectations. The bands that where the most successful where the ones that weren't afraid to be different and avoid the overcooked trends. Music companies in South Korea - please let this be a lesson to you and please give our older bands some love and attention too. (While you're at it, perhaps you could cut the whole slave contract thing and pay your performers a bit more too?) I am going to focus on my two most favourite debuts, B.A.P and Exo.



Ahoy, you've arrived to the land of blond boy band B.A.P, with their fantastic debut single, Warrior.
I love this song.
It's wonderfully manly, it has a different storyline, it has a strange looking bunny smashing up a car.... This video has everything! The song is incredibly catchy, and I love the attempt to make these boys look tough. It's quite hard for a Kpop band to look so macho these days - with all the makeup that is rubbed on their faces but B.A.P did a pretty good job of persuading me.
Also, the rapping in song is brilliant. I usually cringe when kpop songs feature rapping because it usually isn't very good,  but B.A.P is an exception - and they're brilliant. Fantastic debut.

Ah yes, I also found quite a cool dance cover which I think deserves a couple more views~


This is one big debut.
Whatever you may think of this, you can't dismiss that they didn't make an effort when it came to production. Exo is basically a band with two version versions, a korean version, and a chinese version. It's a little confusing, both both groups are fantastic. Exo-M is the chinese verson, and Exo-K is the korean version, and the later is the debuting band above. This band has a lot of trailers, and the company they're under made a huge fuss about them. Fans anticipated Exo's debut, but I don't think amyone expected this!
Compare it with their trailer to the right!
(This one is sung by Exo-M, but both versions are very similiar.)
The point is, the prologue single 'Where is the love' is a very different song compared to the 'MAMA'.

MAMA has a bit of everything in it - a catchy song, chanting, crazy video effects, an interesting but a little weird storytelling (in English) at the beginning... There is a crazy, crazy storyline in this music video that I can honestly say I don't really get, but not that it matters. The power looks cool and the song is very catchy.  I really like Exo's effort with this, and I'm really looking forward to see what they do next.

For further reviews, Eat Your Kimichi has an excellent review below:

The only negative thing about this review is that I personally disagree with the sudden 'screaming' from Kai, one of the members with his face covered in 'tattoos.' That is actually one of my favourite things about the song! Other than that, I enjoyed the review! What do you think readers?