Club Contact

The new MP3 blog from London's club Contact. The idea is to allow people to hear new music they wouldn't have otherwise found but, if anyone has any copyright issues with a particular song, i'll take the link down. Songs are only available for a limited amount of time.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

For all my much-vaunted musical fearlessness, there's still one pop star i truly love that i've never had the guts to play when i DJ, the somewhat abrasively-voiced Lee Jung Hyun.

Both Japan and China are currently in the middle of an infatuation with all things South Korean, “inky gayo” (K-Pop) is no exception. I was delighted to find that the magnificent Lee (now signed to Avex, home of Ayumi Hamasaki) was doing particularly well when i was out there this time last year. Her fierce early single Ba Kkwo still gets huge amounts of airplay a couple of years after its release and her records sell well across the country. Three of her songs turn up as Mandarin covers on Sammi Cheng’s greatest hits and at least another four or five have been recorded by other Chinese singers.

On the rare occasions Korean pop has been looked at in the Western media it has generally been seen as the poor cousin of its neighbour Japan or as a source of (frequently hilarious) stories about its monumental corruption, but, in Lee, it possesses one of the greatest pop stars alive today. Her slightly ropey “Spanish-influenced” Passion aside, all her records are awesome - an outstanding mix of pure pop, techno, rock, hip-hop and electro wrapped up as genuinely strange concept album packages about Egyptology and extra-terrestrials. I (Heart) Natural and Magic To Go To My Star are particular highlights.

As a sidenote, i understand Korean records are supposed to be vetted by a government morality committee to make sure they have no offensive lyrics prior to being played on the radio. As the country has one of the lowest rates of English literacy in the industrialised world, you seem to be able to swear as much as you like in our language though. The backing vocals to Ari Ari sound distinctly dodgy to me.

Buy Lee Jung Hyun stuff

Lee Jung Hyun - Ari Ari

Lee Jung Hyun - Ba Kkwo


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