Kpopalypse is back with another episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Let’s check out some more nugus!
Although I’m definitely someone who is interested in k-pop primarily for the music, the fact is that if I lived in Korea, I probably wouldn’t follow k-pop at all. Why? Because I probably would have gotten sick of it by now. Growing up with k-pop idols easily accessible everywhere and everybody I know constantly raving on about it plus the media being incredibly concerned with it probably would have driven me to seek out something different from what was around me. There’s no doubt that a large part of the appeal to k-pop is the fact that it’s something that I don’t see around me on a daily basis. To be clear, this isn’t about “hipsterism” or whatever, it’s more about controlling my own levels of access so I don’t overexpose myself and burn myself out. If I’m getting a little bit sick of saccharine-sweet k-pop boy/girl groups, it’s easy for me to switch off from that world as there’s very little chance that anybody I personally know is going to come bounding up to me talking about some new group, very little chance at all that I’ll hear it on commercial radio, no chance that I’m going to hear it in advertising on any local TV stations, it’s rarely going to get featured on any news programming – k-pop is easy to avoid when I want to avoid it. This ability to keep the exposure to a controllable level is what separates k-pop from other leisure activities like professional sports, which in my culturally-bereft excuse for a country one can’t help but be constantly exposed to even when actively trying to avoid such exposure at all times.
However even if I was someone who was living on South Korea and thus couldn’t escape the constant barrage of boy and girl pop, I’d probably find the below songs sufficiently musically different enough for it to not make any difference. This episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is devoted to some songs which are musically some pretty fuckin’ different shit to what’s popular right now, regardless of where you live, what scene you’re in, or which groups you stan. The type of drugs you consume are probably the only aspect of your lifestyle which is likely to heavily influence your impression of the following songs.
Usual Nugu Alert rules apply:
- Less than 20,000 views on official YouTube clannels
- Not widely favourited by your average BTS stan
- Relevant to Kpopalypse
Let’s do it.
Cacophony – Comme Un Poisson Dans Le Ciel
Actually I’m cheating a bit here – Cacophony aren’t as nugu as you might think, and have had quite a few videos over the years, however they’re still wanting of recognition and most of you are still more likely to have heard of the guitar-shred project from Marty Friedman and Jason Becker with the same name than you are of this group here. As it happens “Comme Un Poisson Dans Le Ciel” (which means “like a fish in the sky”, apparently) is some reasonably good trip-hop with some nice bass and a cool instrumental section, which is only outdone but the nut-burstingly surreal visual design. Freeze-frame this music video at any point and you have conceptual material for any crappy 1990s shoegaze band’s random artsy album cover, but the highlight for me has to be the “bedazzled flower gimp”, a fashion trend which I really hope takes off in Korea’s no doubt extreme underground BDSM scene. I reckon if Jang Joon Young received a visit from this candle-wielding gimp lady before he went down to the hidden camera shop, that would have probably been all that it would have taken to straighten that boy out.
YouTube views at time of writing: 2281
Notable attribute: shortest lamp power cord in South Korea
Nugu Alert rating: high
Nightoff – As Always As We Are
Speaking of shoegaze bands, here is one, and even though I usually despise this type of music, these guys are actually not bad at all and definitely one of the best examples of this style that I’ve heard. The song works because it’s mesmerizing enough with the repetitive vocal line to sound more structured than the usual pointless noodling that these groups tend to do, and there’s some cool retro psychedelic synth lines going on as well that reminds me of all those early pre-Dark Side Of The Moon Pink Floyd albums that the radio won’t play. The visuals here are also something really special, with great visual clarity and several unexpected moments that you definitely won’t see coming, but what is it with the fish again? Even the font looks good, some clearly savvy people were responsible for the creation of this and it’s just a shame that it’s been produced in a country where nobody gives a flying assfuck about this type of music.
YouTube views at time of writing: 3966
Notable attribute: most rock’n’roll appearance of a Rocky & Bullwinkle shirt that you’re ever likely to see
Nugu Alert rating: very high
Texas Karaoke – Texas Man
…and speaking of music nobody cares about (don’t you just love these Nugu Alert segues) it’s gotta be rough times playing in a three-piece rockabilly group in a country that doesn’t give a shit. I should know, I’ve done the same thing. I don’t like to talk about my own musical projects much (because I consider it a shitty thing to do to pull a bait-and-switch on people primarily here for k-pop) but I will briefly mention that I was in a band once that was pretty much just like this one except with more distortion, swearing and tits. It was good times and my girlfriend keeps wanting me to reform that group but we’ve kind of all gone our separate paths a bit… maybe one day I will again, when I have some more time up my sleeve and feel like offending some more cunts. Anyway, this band have got a cool sound and some great hot guitar solos – pity you don’t actually see any of them get played and the guitarist just strums chords throughout – maybe the lead guitarist left the group after the song was recorded but before the video was shot, or maybe he was in a gutter with a needle in his arm, who knows. At least the Shure Super 55 use is on point, which is what I would expect from a band that actually plays proper shows instead of fucking miming all the time like your bias.
YouTube views at time of writing: 514
Notable attribute: nice barnacle-arrangement of tambourine-stuff on the hi-hat, drummers take note
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for this episode of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Kpopalypse will return at a future date with more nugus!