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26 12월, 2007

Music For my Soul

As mentioned and groused before on this blog, music on the great Western front seems to be on the decline. The lack of imagination seems to be the prevailing trend in all sorts of genres. Of course there is the occasional unmistakable breakout of amazing talent such as Amy Winehouse and...come to think of it, that pretty much sums it up, with maybe the exception of (maybe) The Gossip. Instead people like Take That, with their stonkingly good first single from their comeback album, Westlife with their Michael Buble rehash and even the flippin' Spice Girls seem to have oodles more talent and are back with a vengeance here in the United Kingdom. Spice Girls might be stretching it. So  again thanks to the conduit of Javabeans and her fab website, an introduction me to a group known as Clazziquai occurred by happy happenstance about eight months ago, and boy is the music just absolutely gorgeous.

It originally started of as a one off side project  in 2001 for DJ Clazzi with brother and sister singers Christina and Alex Chu and was called the Clazziquai Project, received little notice from the critics, but created underground hype on the net. Their first album in 2004, Instant Pig was their come out party, garnering them critical and public success and their music was used in films (How to Keep my Boyfriend) K-dramas (run away success My Lovely Sam Soon) and advertisements, and they soon became a well known band. By this time however Christina had now become an unofficial member and was instead replaced by vocalist Choi Horan. To date they have released 3 full albums Instant Pig (2004), Colour Your Soul (2006) and Love Child of the Century (2007), as well as various remix albums including the latest Robotica (2007) which has 6 new tracks and remixes of 7 older songs.

Clazziquai's music is firmly in the camp of non hip hop, wannabe or otherwise, though this doesn't preclude them from working with hip hop acts like Tablo from Epik High amongst others. DJ Clazzi wanted to create a fusion of Jazz, House and Trance amongst others, creating this uniquely cool sound, and it works superbly. One of the best tracks is Gentle Giant, a charming, nursery rhyme like song that manages to be engaging and off-beat at the same time.

Here's a video (fan made, actually created for the K-drama Thank You) for  Gentle Giant. The little trill that Alex does while singing "falling" always gets me

My apologies. I will eventually learn to upload audio tracks and so not put you through all this hassle, but till then, enjoy.


All their albums are entirely entertaining and just a joy to listen to, a  versatile hash of bossanova to funk, and electronica. For those looking for an alternative to the current indie music (which really can't be defined as indie anymore because its mainstream and indie one would think was the defined as anything done with a small budget in someone's garage) I highly recommend this group just for its sheer sense of fun and great musicality too. The only drawback is that they are Korean (even though Alex is Korean/Canadian, but he might be from the French-speaking bit, who knows) and  their English lyrics sometimes make no sense (e.g. lets get dance/moving in a right time).


Another video, this time from their most recent full album, Love Child of the Century (2007), entitled Lover Boy.

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