Both signed to Seoul’s Electric Muse record label, one of the top indie imprints in the country, solo musicians Kim Mok In and Dringe Augh will be gigging together in Jeju this weekend at Elliot’s Chair.
Based in Seoul, Kim has played in Jeju twice before. He first performed on the island a few years ago as a member of the folk band Cabinet Singalongs. He also did a small concert on his own last summer at a local guesthouse.
“Of course, I’m excited to play there again – it’s Jeju!” says Kim. “This will be my first show there since releasing my solo debut, so I’ll be playing new songs from it. And I’m really interested in checking out the atmosphere at Elliot’s Chair. I saw some photos and it looks like a nice place.”
▲ Musician Kim Mok In
Kim issued his first full-length, “Song of Musician’s-Self,” in December. The disc was recorded in Seoul and in Kim’s childhood home in Cheongju.
“I used my old piano from my parent’s house,” Kim says. “My mother called for a piano tuner to come over before we started recording so that it would sound good on the album.”
A well-crafted blend of folk, jazz, and indie pop, Kim started writing numbers for “Song of Musician’s-Self” in 2009 as Cabinet Singalongs came to an end. He claims the shift from being in a band to being a solo act was a natural process for him.
“When our activities as Cabinet Singalongs were decreasing, as a composer I realized that I hadn’t released any new songs for a long time,” Kim says. “So I started a blog and began to update it with new demo tracks.”
“The viewpoint of my songs has become more personal. The lyrics have become more important too. I'm very focused on my theme and its expression. I’m drawing a new outline for my music. It’s still a little dim right now, but it will be clear soon.”
Kim and Dringe Augh first met when Augh recorded his 2009 “Individually Wrapped” EP and needed a piano player for some tracks. The album’s producer (who also doubles as both artists’ label boss) suggested that Augh use Kim.
“Dringe Augh’s style is very different from mine, but as a listener I really enjoy his music,” says Kim. “It was an interesting experience to work on his recording.”
“His sense of humor is very unique. As his music is so delicate, and he usually plays songs without speaking, many people think he’s a shy guy. But he is actually very witty. If the people are lucky, they will get to experience his wit in Jeju.”
Residing in the suburbs of Seoul, folk musician Augh adopted his stage moniker in the late 1990s. While Augh is his family name, he began calling himself Dringe as a university student. After playing electric guitar in a band while at school, Augh decided to self-record an acoustic solo EP in his home in 2001. He started his mandatory military service in 2002 and opted to stay on until 2008 at which point he resurrected his musical career. Keeping the name Dringe Augh made more sense to him after leaving the army.
▲ Musician Dringe Augh
“I spent six years with the Korean military, so I feel that I should hide my real name when I’m performing,” he says. “Also I like to keep my stage career separate from my private life.”
Although he seldom performed during his time in the military, Augh continued to practice guitar and write music. After issuing his “Individually Wrapped” EP through Electric Muse, he followed it up with his 2011 “Between the Tygh” record. Both efforts are filled with quality acoustic folk and have garnered positive praise.
“To me there aren’t many differences between the two albums,” says Augh. “Most of the songs were written around the same time.”
Augh is waiting for the green light from his label to begin work on his next offering. He has new material ready to go and will be sharing it with listeners in Jeju City. He hopes his music helps create a relaxed environment inside of Elliot’s Chair.
“This will be my first time playing in Jeju, so I was really excited when I heard about the show,” Augh says. “I like the idea of my music being background music. I hope people who come watch me in Jeju feel comfortable reading, playing a game, drawing graffiti, or reminiscing about the past while I’m playing.”
Kim Mok In and Dringe Augh play at Elliot’s Chair in Jeju City on Saturday, March 10. They will do shows at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets for each concert are 15,000 won. For more information, visit blog.naver.com/elliottjeju.
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