Five Video Clips from South Korea

by Hyunjoon Shin

Since the rise of Psy's «Gangnam Style» – it became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views – the whole world now knows about Korea's vivid music scene. But there's a lot more to the scene than just «Gangnam Style»: Hyunjoon Shin from the Institute for East Asian Studies (IEAS) at Sunkonghoe University sent us five completely different music videos from South Korea that illustrate just how vibrant Korea's music scene is today.


Artist: Goonam
Track: Blood

The name of the band in this clip is «Goonam». Translated from Korean into English, this means «old man and woman riding a stellar car». This video is an incarnation of the retromania that occurred not only in the West, but in Asia as well. Featuring fake tradition with a staggering groove, the song presents a drunken melody that will encourage you to «shut up and dance».


Artist: Love X Stereo
Track: Fly Over

This is an electronic dance rock trio born from the ashes of punk bands. They are New Order in Asian indiepop. The band sings in global English with the dream of achieving international border-crossing appeal. Anyway, the sound is cute and wild at the same time.


Artist: Danpyunsun and the Sailors
Track: Ball

An «amateur» avant-garde singer-songwriter with attitude formed a band and experiments with the fusion or fission of anger and resignation, the abstract and the real, and (though a banal comment) the West and the East.


Artist: Kim Dae Jung
Track: 300/30

Kim Dae Jung, the man with the same name as the former president of South Korea. The bluesman's life has been as hard and painful (if not more) as the latter's. This is the blues; not the authentic genre, but the name for the emotion the song conveys.


Artist: Asian Chairshot
Track: Girl

Busan is kind like the Seattle or Liverpool of South Korea, though the geographical direction is the opposite. The music in Busan is rougher, wilder, and rawer than the music produced in the capital city (Seoul). Here we get the Korean version of Tool. It's like prog metal but without virtuosity.

Published on May 20, 2019

Last updated on April 07, 2020


Hyunjoon Shin is research professor in the Institute for East Asian Studies (IEAS) at Sunkonghoe University. Having received his PhD from the Economics Department of Seoul National University with a thesis on the transformation of the Korean music industry in the age of globalization (or: in a globalized age), he has carried out research into popular music, popular culture, cultural industries and cultural policy. He was also research fellow at ARI (Asia Research Institute) at the National University of Singapore in 2007 and taught at Leiden University in the Netherlands as visiting professor in 2008.
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