Saturday, January 23, 2010

Music to Discover: 27

So last week I said I would branch out little more in terms of the genres of artists featured here.
I bring you, a hip-hop group, from Korea.
(All caps, my bad.)

Epik High (에픽하이)

(image from

Epik High is a South Korean indie hip-hop/indie pop-rap trio. Based in Seoul the group consists of Tablo (Vocals), Mithra Jin (Vocals), and DJ Tukutz(Turntables). Epik High was rather unknown at the start of their career because of the lack of popularity of Hip-Hop in Korea at the time. Once they released their second album, High Society, they began to receive mainstream success. Upon the release of their third album, Swan Songs, Epik High has become one of the most popular hip-hop groups in South Korea. The trio has released six studio albums and one ep. The group is currently on hiatus due to DJ Tukutz's mandatory military service. Currently Mithra Jin and Tablo are working on their solo projects.

( information from

First, before I start talking about Epik High I would like to clear something up.
I know I have not featured really any hip-hop artists before here on Chromatist but this is NOT because I dislike hip-hop. I actually really like hip-hop, it is just a lot harder for me to find more undiscovered, quality hip-hop or rap artists to feature.

Epik High is really one of the best hip-hop groups I have heard in a long time. I am amazed that they have not been more discovered in the U.S.

Epik High is also one of those hip-hop groups who really just bend genres, much like the artist Santogold, (I know, it should be "Santigold" but she will always be Santogold to me). Epik High will do very hip-hop style music but they will often blend this with pop, electro, and dance influences.

Amazingly, Epik High can also make really beautiful songs. These songs often break the barrier that lies between hip-hop and epic power ballads. Despite the fact I don't understand a word of Korean, I can still feel the emotion in the vocals. I just know that these ballads as I will call them are not the kind of "ballad" that follows along the lines of:

"Shorty, I love you"

(image from

As well as being able to craft emotional and intense songs, Epik High can really rap. The lyricism and how articulate and well crafted the vocals sound is something to gawk at. Judging by the translations I have read of several of their songs, many of the subjects they rap about are heartfelt and intelligent. This cerebral kind of hip-hop is the kind I favor. Artists that would rather talk about their shoes, their bling, or how fly they are don't hold a candle to well thought out and meaningful lyrics. With all of these factors included, Epik High just sounds smooth, glassy. Like a frozen lake, beautiful, edgy, vitreous.

Lastly, the content of their music and their music videos is sometimes tragic. This range from tragedy to passion to happiness is wonderful.

Epik High is a must listen even if you don't like hip-hop or understand Korean, give them a listen.

If you like...
-Drunken Tiger
-Brown Eyed Girls
-Wonder Girls
then check out Epik High.

Check out their songs.
-One minute One Second
-Love Love Love

One Minute One Second
Epik High

Remix of The Day
Marina and The Diamonds- Hollywood (Fenech Soler remix)
Marina and The Diamonds (whom I LOVE) has yet to be featured, she will though, don't worry. This song by her is funny, cynical and a pretty accurate representation of the fascination of the "American dream" offered by Hollywood. She is great. This remix preserves this cynicism and humor and permeates it with an intense, synth-tastic, dance prerogative.

"I'm obsessed with the mess that's America."

Also, has anyone see the lineup for the returning Lilith Fair?


The usual suspects like The Indigo Girls and Sarah Mclachlan are combined with the likes Heart, La Roux,The Gossip, Kate Nash, Marina and The Diamonds, Tegan and Sara, Metric, Norah Jones, Sia, Cat Power, Colbie Caillat, Ingrid Michaelson, Chairlift, Ann Atomic and A Fine Frenzy.



And Operator Please has a new song on their myspace. It sounds a lot like "Tight Fit" by New Young Pony Club but it is still quite good.
Check it out.

That is all.

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