Han, Dae Soo had soul

Beautiful is not a word I would use to describe K-pop. It’s catchy. Its groups can writhe in sync, and now it is exported all around the world as respectable as any other commodity. But beauty isn’t something that beats in the heart of K-pop.

If anything, what pumps inside K-pop is brute discipline, ambition and extraordinary effort unknown to mankind. Even if you think it’s just nursery rhymes with heavy back beats, you got to respect it. Out of that bizarre respect, (Warning, Shameless plug) I wrote story “Dreams Obstructed” about it not too long ago.

And too often, in a country that with words like Jeong and Han, this place does have a soul. So, where is the music with?

I don’t know about where it is now, but I was researching for a book I’m working on and found some of it in the 70s:

Han, Dae-soo


Shin, Jung-heyon

First, listen to Han Dae Soo:

Here is the words translated in English thanks to Tony’s web. The bold is mine.

The Wind and I

Boundless, boundless wind
Rustling through the trees on a rugged mountain
Ah the wind of freedom
The one who danced over the hill like waters
A nameless, faceless, emotionless one
I too vow such a life for myself
As the wind’s, as the wind’s

Across the waters
More beautiful than the tip of a mountain in twilight
Ah the wind, my sweet one
Journeying with time as it moves free of all senses
A nameless, faceless, emotionless one
I too vow such a life for myself
As the wind’s, as the wind’s

That description, is just haunting and beautiful. I don’t know why I dig this folksy sound, but I do. It also is cool to note he was banned in Korea and fled to the states.

Now Shin, Jung-heyon, is a straight up awesome psychedelic rocker.


I’m there, it’s 1970’s. It’s got that groove. And you know what? This guy was thrown in prison not long after refusing to write a song for the dictator Park Chung Hee. (Well, he was thrown in prison on Marijuana “involvement”)

I don’t know where the soul is in Korean music now. I’m sure it’s out there, I just don’t know where to look. If you do know, drop me a line. Help me find some soul.

Before there was K-pop, there was prison rock