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The title of this compilation, ‘Our Town’, and the by-title, ‘Jazz Fusion, Funky Pop & Bossa Gayo Tracks from Dong-A Records’ plainly outline the character of the album. Perhaps a more ‘current’ description of the album would be to call it a ‘Dong-A Records City Pop Collection’. The tracks cover the historical heyday of the label – from 1989 to 1993 – an era by which time Korea’s gayo scene had matured to the point of making significant strides forward in terms of both quality and quantity. Amid a previously pop-dominated music market, gayo music had carved out a newfound and varied sense of status, putting out records that were enthusiastically purchased by young listeners. Upcoming Korean musicians who’d absorbed the vibrant and plentiful influences and sensibilities of 80s pop, rock, and jazz were starting to reach new levels of sophistication in their music, thus setting them apart from the gayo acts that had come before them without thinking to confine or limit themselves to notions of ‘Korean-ness’. In any case, their music was uncommon in Korea at the time. The sensibilities of these songs, which in many aspects were ahead of their time, sometimes served as a refreshing inspiration for listeners while escaping popular notice at other times. And now, after nearly a generation has passed, the tunes of this compilation have not lost their appeal. Throwbacks to some, and the object of exciting discovery to others, the tunes selected here remain cool and hip.

Various - Our Town: Jazz Fusion, Funky Pop & Bossa Gayo Tracks LP


1. BITGWA SOGEUM (LIGHT & SALT) 'The Fairy of Shampoo'

2. HAN SANG-WON 'Seoul, Soul, Soul'

3. YASHA ‘Snow-fighting Kids’

4. JEONG WON-YEONG 'Bygone Days'

5. KONA 'The End of Summer'

6. JANG PIL-SOON 'Before You Know It'

7. KIM HYUN-CHUL 'One Evening, On My Way Back from Hweng-gye'

8. SONG HONG-SUP 'When Tomorrow Comes'

9. LEE JUNG-SUN 'Dancing Child'

10. OH SEOK-JUN ‘Since You Left’

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