K-Pop Beyond The Charts: Welcome To The Eclectically Wild World Of Coreyah's 2014 Track 'Born Wrong' [VIDEO]
K-Pop Beyond The Charts is an occasional review column highlighting Korea's modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.
In a 2013 interview with the publication Beyond Hallyu, the members of the South Korean group Coreyah described their music as "different, bizarre and mesmerizing."
While their reckless eclecticism certainly sets them apart and their driving rhythms have the capacity to mesmerize, I submit that their all-inclusive sound isn't really so bizarre.
On Coreyah's single "Born Wrong," released back in July, the group has a sound just that is just right for 2015, a patchwork of musical styles from across the globe. And while this high-energy track is immediately engaging, it does not even begin to sum up Seoul-based band's potential.
While their sound is rooted in traditional Korean instrumentation and influence, Coreyah claim to garner inspiration from contemporary pop, Balkan gypsy music and African guitarist Ali Farka Toure, among others. The call and response rap battle of "Born Wrong," along with Coreyah's folky rhythmic drive, recalls another postmodern collage artist, indie darling Beck.
As one of the first American artists to display diverse interests without regard for genre, Coreyah share Beck's devotion to wanton abandon across all idioms.
And speaking of wanton abandon, "Born Wrong" boasts an impressive rhythmic verve for a song without any sort of traditional drum set. But the rough-hewn combination of acoustic and electric guitar along with the geomungo zither and janggo drum do more than their share to keep the energy moving.
When Coreyah employs the use of a tungso, (a traditional Korean flute with a buzzing whine), it brings to mind the goose-like sounds that Don Van Vliet, known to many as American blues weirdo Captain Beefheart, would wring out of his clarinet. To use this wild patchwork as a canvas for rapid-fire rapping is to cement this music as purely modern, as opposed to some precious attempt at "world music."
Coreyah illustrate that music has always been a celebratory act, regardless of its geographical source.
With the advent of the Internet, boosted further by the boon of YouTube, musicians have been able to gain an incredible amount of access to one another, past and present. It should surprise no one that a Korean group in 2015 would make a kick-ass single that sounds like OutKast collaborating with a bluegrass troupe.
Coreyah have already taken their well-known road show to Europe and their eyes are now set on traveling to India and Brazil. Let's hope they can fit in a trip to the US some time in the near future.
Watch the video for Coreyah's 2014 single "Born Wrong" RIGHT HERE
Jeff Tobias is a composer, writer and musician currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As of late, he has been researching the history of sound art and writing letters to disgraced hockey players.
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