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K-Pop Beyond The Charts: NABI And Sean Lee Produce Soothing Synth Pop Sounds On 'Don't Know Y' [AUDIO]

By Jesse Lent | March 26, 2014 09:14 PM EDT

K-Pop Beyond The Charts is a periodic review column highlighting Korea's modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.

Some producers say that if a pop song can't hook you in the first 20 seconds or so, it's over.

But if the first 20 seconds of a song are clearly the best part, as is the case on the NABI and Sean Lee track "Don't Know Y," released earlier this week, that isn't great either.

That's not to dismiss the track; there is some solid singing, rapping and playing on "Don't Know Y." But the intro is on another level, a retro psychedelic atmosphere that I'd like to inhabit for at least a few minutes longer.

Unfortunately, the song then quickly snaps out of that dream, laying into a more upbeat, adult contemporary feel.

The only lingering aspect of that beautiful trippy dream the song opens with, are the several keyboard tracks, which use retro synthesizer sounds to maximum effect as they beep and squeal with "Reading Rainbow"-like delightfulness.

That is until they cut out entirely for the (perhaps ill-advised) jazz break.

NABI, Sean Lee, the songwriters and the musicians on this track all show tremendous promise. What is not top-notch is the production.

Let's start with the drums. Any producer worth their salt focuses there first.

Not only is the drum sequence anemic and predictable, the rhythm tracks are way too soft in the mix for a dance song (and those programmed tom-tom rolls aren't working either).

Although it is undeniably worth checking out "Don't Know Y," warts and all, with the proper production this song could have been a beast.

Listen to the new NABI and Sean Lee song "Don't Know Y" RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  Nabi, Sean Lee, NABI and Sean Lee

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