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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Gangnam & Shibuya, From K-Pop to J-Pop

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Tuesday's trip on Sound Travels was to Asia for a micro theme; K-pop and J-pop. Why not? Never even came close to playing it on our airwaves before and I was thinking about it a bit and decided to give it a spin. In many ways, this high energy form of Far Eastern pop sounds a bit alien next to the Avett Brothers and Bon Iver songs in our rotation, but the spirit of global music is diversity, so I play all of it...

Started the way with a K-pop cut from some rising names in Korea; Akdong Musician. Bizarre names only tell part of the story, Akdong Musician is a South Korean band consisting of siblings Lee Chan-hyuk and Lee Soo-hyun. Akdong Musician is famous for their win in the music audition television series K-pop Star2. 

 

 

J-pop, the Japanese version of its Korean counterpart, actually began at about the same time (mid-90's) and some claim it comes from K-pop. Either way, the sound is nearly identical from a stylistic perspective and it makes sense when you understand Korea and Japan's symbiotic past. From the J-pop side, I played a tune from a group called Perfume...

 

 

Of course I had to get PSY in this with his mega-hit "Gangnam Style" a nod to Seoul's hip Gangnam District and the most watched youtube clip ever at 1 billion views, #1 hit in 20+ countries and famously parodied by everyone, including sitting presidents and prime ministers. Yeah, prolly gotta play that...

 

 

Then at the end, another tasty slice of R&B electro-pop from a J-pop group called Capsule, which seems to be on everybody's favorites list.