Sunday, December 28, 2008

Korean Psych Rock Week!

Congratulations loyal readers of the Shame Threshold!  It is time for none other than the kick off of Korean Pysch Rock Week!  This week I will review several Korean Psych Rock records that I have recently purchased and attempt to give a brief glimpse into the hero's and history of this overlooked musical sub-genre.

This video features the "Godfather" and matron saint of Korean Psychedelic Rock, Shin Jung Hyun and his fellow country woman Kim Jung Mi.  Both of which will be major focuses of KOREAN PSYCH ROCK WEEK.  At 7 seconds you can see the artwork and hear the sounds behind today's reviewed album.

Where better to start than with the "godfather's" first major album from his first major band.  The band-The Add4.  The Album- The Add 4' First Album (or sometimes referred to as The Woman in Rain-The Add 4' First Album).  The record, which was released in 1963 or 64 depending on where you get your information is very similar in sound to American Surf and Beat music from that era.  The Add 4 enlisted the instrumental sound of bands like say, The Ventures, The Surfari's, the Trashmen, and Dick Dale and the Deltones, but managed to lay down some swinging vocals and very catchy (despite my not being able to understand them) vocals.  In fact, as I write this review it is occurring to me that this album is not so much psych rock as it is proto-psych rock, in this case manifested as Surf Rock.  For fans of the aforementioned bands, Link Wray and the Wraymen, the Chantays, and early Duane Eddy I would highly recommend this album.

The album manages to stray away from strictly fitting into the surf rock genre, thus avoiding being labeled as a simple, derivative record. The album incorporates both violin and flute(which would be a major instrument in later Shin Jung Hyun manifestations) as well as organ tunes into it's repatoire.  As far as song length goes, the album really runs the gamut, with catchy 2 minute surf ditties to 12 and half minute long psychedelic surf odysseys (This particular song adding the only accompaniment by a female vocalist on the album).  The album straddles the distance between traditional surf music and regional psych/beat music (think Cambodian Psychout! or Cambodia Rocks).  A must have for fans of surf, asian beat, and proto psych rock.

Tomorrow look forward to a review of Shin Jung Hyun's 1974 Volume 1. record.

If anyone knows how to post music or music downloads onto their blog, please let me know so that I can post some samples of this music on the old blog.

1 comment:

tripmaster said...

in case you haven't gotten an answer to how to post mp3's, simply zip your folder containing all of the mp3's, and upload the zip file to a free file-hosting service like, or once the file is uploaded, it will give you the download link, which you can post on the blog...

although i realize korean psych rock week was long ago, i was hoping you might be willing to share a rip of that shin jung hyun instrumental cd you posted...i have some korean psych gems to trade with you too, if you're interested...