Live Club Bbang Compilation 3: History of Bbang
B-Record/Pago Music, 2007
4 years ago, I wrote about the second compilation album Lawn Star by musicians who were playing at the club Bbang (빵), and I concluded: “This is a record which is likely to be an example of meaning rather than a record which makes meaning.” This line triggers two thoughts: one is that I was snobbish at that time. The other is that I think I have to say that again.
Many things have happened around Bbang in the meantime. First of all, it moved from Shinchon to Hongdae. It is still dark and small but not as much as it used to be. The musical spectrum of indie rock has expanded, and now it is not possible to write a review by mentioning influences by foreign styles and/or foreign musicians. This record also reflects the changes. Listening to it, it is obvious that many attentions are paid to psychedelic and electronic.
Of course, there are something unchanged. The “traditional indie rock styles” represented by modern rock and folk are strong in this record. Along with that, the introspective energy, which became the identity of Bbang, hasn’t gone away. Musicians, who participated in the last record, listed their names again. Anyway, this is more than welcome.
Now it’s time to ask questions. What can audiences get from these songs which are melancholically located in the middle of the same moodiness, other than the pleasure of identifying the trends in the contemporary indie scene? The reality is, there are records decorated with public relations phrases such as “pretty sensitivity you cannot find anywhere” but filled with music which has no other meaning than having the tune completed; conflating dysphemism with frankness is regarded as innocence; and a musical product which is disproportionate to artistic self-consciousness are masked as a heroic tale. When they are faced with the situation when the fanclub-minded advocacy of being the first time or being indie is not working, how many of them can survive?
For my part, I should answer, “there are not many.” In this record, there are good songs and bad songs, and songs which make me curious what it is all about. There are songs well made but boring; songs roughly made but impressive. There are songs which match to the career of the musicians and which do not. All these are the destiny of any kind of compilation records, thus my negative answer is not due to this.
The reason is more realistic. There are fewer songs which are worth repeated listening in this record than are not, and I cannot pick any song which I would recommend to my friends. This is why I do not specify any musician and/or title. In this sense, this record has less to be advocated than the last one. It is an irony because the volume doubled, but this is my honest conclusion. Again, this record is an honest mapping of what the indie scene is right now in a good sense or bad.
P.S. But it would be delinquency of my duty if I do not recommend tracks. You can find them below. Personally, I think these tracks prevent this record from being a ‘recording,’ but the judgment is yours. I hope someone can find a jewel.
Eoreun Ai (어른아이), Gamgi (감기) (since 2000)
Mujungryeok Sonyeon(무중력소년), San(산)
Siwa (시와), Hwayangyeonhwa (화양연화)
Yi Yeong-hun (이영훈), Doraboni cheongchunieotguna (돌아보니 청춘이었구나)
Jeonjayang (전자양), ControlTowerLover
Pika (피카), Open Your Eyes
Gunamgwayeo raiding stela (구남과여라이딩스텔라), Jieonaen yaegi (지어낸 얘기)