Sunday, September 26, 2010

50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 46. Deli Spice

First, a public service announcement -- This review will be available on Library Mixer. The Korean's Library Mixer reviews will also have additional thoughts from the Korean about the band's individual albums and songs that will not be featured in this particularly series on AAK!. To join Library Mixer, check out this link.

[Series Index]

46.  Deli Spice [델리 스파이스]

Years of Activity:  1997-present? (Last album at 2006, with no announced plans for additional albums.)

Members:
Kim Min-Gyu [김민규] - Vocal
Yoon Joon-Ho [윤준호] - Bass, guitar
Choi Jae-Hyeok [최재혁] - Drum

Oh In-Rok [오인록] - Drum (former)
Yang Yong-Joon [양용준] - Keyboard (former)
Lee Seung-Gi [이승기] - Keyboard (former)

Discography:
Deli Spice (1997)
Welcome to the Deli House (1999)
Sad But True ... [슬프지만 진실...] (2000)
Drrrr! (2001)
Espresso (2003)
Bom Bom (2006)

In 15 Words or Less:  Pioneer of modern rock in Korea.

Representative Song:  Always Keep the Engine Running [항상 엔진을 켜둘께], from Drrr!


항상 엔진을 켜둘께
Always Keep the Engine Running

휴일을 앞둔 밤에
Night before the weekend
아무도 없는 새벽
Early morning with no one around
도로를 질주해서 바닷가에
Dash down the road, to the beach
아직은 어두운 하늘
Sky is yet dark
천평궁은 빛나고
Libra is shining
차안으로 스며드는 찬 공기들
Cold air seeps into the car
기다릴게
I'll be waiting
언제라도 출발할 수 있도록
So we can leave no matter when
항상 엔진을 켜둘께
I'll always keep the engine running
너와 만난 시간보다  많은 시간이 흐르고
After more time than the time I spent with you passed
그 바닷가에 다시 또 찾아와 만약 그대가 온다면
I visit that beach again, and if you come too,
항상 듣던 스미스를 들으며
Listening to Smith that we always listened to,
저 멀리로 떠나자
 Let's run far far away.

기다릴게
I'll be waiting
언제라도 출발할 수 있도록
So we can leave no matter when
항상 엔진을 켜둘께
I'll always keep the engine running

기다릴게
I'll be waiting
언제라도 출발할 수 있도록
So we can leave no matter when
항상 엔진을 켜둘께
I'll always keep the engine running
돌아오지 않더라도
Even if you don't return
난 여기에 서 있겠지
I will probably stand here
아마 엔진을 켜둔채
Probably leaving the engine running
기다릴게
I'll be waiting
언제라도 출발할 수 있도록
So we can leave no matter when
항상 엔진을 켜둘께
I'll always keep the engine running 
돌아오지 않더라도
Even if you don't return
난 여기에 서 있겠지
I will probably stand here
아마 엔진을 켜둔채
Probably leaving the engine running

Translation Note:  For those of you who don't know, Smith is an American band from 1960s.

Maybe they should be ranked higher because...  Korean representative for one of the most prevalent genre of music in the world -- which includes such enduring, iconic stars as U2 and R.E.M. -- could go a little higher.

Maybe they should be ranked lower because...  It is not clear if more daring songs of Deli Spice ever had much impact on the public. Can a band be influential if people only listened to the softer songs of its album? Plus, Korea's indie scene is only so big.

Why is this band important?
By the late 1990s, Korea's pop music culture was in a highly partisan mood. The commercialization of K-pop was well under way, filling the television with cheap dance music and banal soft rock. Responding to this mainstream trend, the counterculture demanded genealogical and doctrinal purity, deliberately taking the decibel of hard core rock to unprecedented heights.

Deli Spice presented the third way. Its music is sophisticated without being pretentious. It is elaborate without being unapproachable. Its lyrics are mostly about love and affection, but at times slightly disturbing lyrics would be carried on a light tune. (For example, Laika was Sent to Space [우주로 보내진 라이카] on Esperesso describes how the first space dog Laika slowly dies without air in a confined space.)

While such music (dubbed by some as "modern rock") has always been around in the world pop for a long time -- U2 and R.E.M. have been around for ages -- Deli Spice is likely the first band in Korea that made this type of alternative rock popular among regular music fans. The fact that Deli Spice made indie music of Korea veer away from its self-destructive tendencies makes it one of the more significant bands in K-pop history.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@gmail.com.

5 comments:

  1. that song was OK but that was like the WORST video EVAR!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, they were like breath of fresh air when the industry was filled with idols back then.

    I disagree on their Representative song though, their best song is 챠우챠우 and I think most will agree.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auwmjWFje2M

    ReplyDelete
  3. DS's most popular song is definitely 챠우챠우. But most representative of the band's career? The Korean will stay with his choice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My favorite Delispice song is "고백" from Espresso and the best known Delispice song is definitely the frequently covered "챠우챠우".

    I definitely think "항상 엔진을 켜둘께" is representative of Sweetpea led songs, especially after their third album. I think their first three albums are a little better represented by the "고양이와 새에 관한 진실" for the more swirling production sound that was prevalent in that phase of the band's career.

    ReplyDelete

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