K-Pop Beyond The Charts: Experience The Time-Bending Electronica Of LudiSTELO's ‘Blossom’ From Their Latest Album 'Flashpoint' [VIDEO]
K-Pop Beyond The Charts is a weekly review column highlighting Korea's modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.
Music moves from left to right, from start to finish. What matters is how the artist chooses to fill that time--with chords, melodies, noise or silence.
On their latest single, "Blossom," from the album "Flashpoint," released on Jan. 20, Seoul-based electronic rock band LudiSTELO use the fluid hand of time to their advantage.
There's never a moment of interruption to the energy throughout this saturated, lush song. There is a clever thread of a melody that connects the song's start to its ending.
On "Flashpoint,"the band's second album, LudiSTELO successfully fuse the worlds of EDM and space rock. "While guitars play a heavy role in their sound, LudiSTELO also pay tribute to electronic heroes Chemical Brothers on their cover of that UK duo's track "Swoon."
LudiSTELO seem to give both worlds equal credence.
Comprised of members Sangiin, Ash and Juyeon, (a band without last names--another thing linking LudiSTELO to the world of Korean electro pop) the group seems to have a fixation on the interaction between space and time.
Galactic themes crop up in song titles such as "Greeting of the Universe" and "Cosmic Wave," and their videos and imagery flow as if issued from a psychedelic paintbrush. "Blossom" is emblematic of this fascination with the natural stream of sound.
The song opens with a snaky riff that plays an important part in the compositional development. The riff has a circular rotation to it, seemingly kept in perpetual motion by an intermittent drum fill that urges it onward. This opening riff moves through much of the song, establishing itself as either the most prominent element or as subtle counterpoint to the other components. It's the gasoline in the song's engine, keeping it moving.
LudiSTELO' s embrace of technology is never more clear than it is on "Blossom," represented with gliding synths and jangling digital effects that hang over the guitars like ivy.
Throughout the electronic mayhem, the band's humanity is expressed in the vocals, which have a distinctly British flavor to them. In fact, they often bring to mind "Setting Sun," another Chemical Brothers song featuring a guest appearance by that elder hooligan of Britpop, Noel Gallagher.
The key guitar motif on "Blossom" is only displaced for a moment, to make room for the monstrous EDM mosh moment that serves as the song's chorus. The continuity is interrupted in a flurry of tension-filled half-time stomping, a welcome break within which the musicians still maintain the song's energy.
By the song's close, LudiSTELO uncork the clever gesture of morphing the guitar into a synthesizer, allowing the opening line to be revisited in digital form. This allows the listener to come full circle, albeit in a once-removed sort of way.
As EDM has grown into an eternal tease, dangling the moment of catharsis over the audience's head, it's refreshing to see a group embrace the idea of forward momentum that brings the listener along for the ride.
Watch the music video for the LudiSTELO song "Blossom" from their latest album "Flashpoint" RIGHT HERE
Jeff Tobias is a composer, writer and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As of late, he has been researching arcane systems of tuning and working on his jump shot.
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