♫♪  Seo Taiji - “Christmalo.win”

Only in Korea would one of the biggest pop stars release a single that seamlessly integrates polka rhythms, facetious “Asian classical” melodies, trendy pop rap vocal manipulation and laserstep breakdowns, a snatch of western schoolyard rhyme, slap bass funk, new wave guitar, a syncretic mythology combining Christmas and Halloween, and K-pop’s knack for making palatable sense of the country’s embarrassingly heavy nu-metal phase of yore. And only in Korea would that song skyrocket, within an hour, to the top of every chart in the nation. Seo Taiji — often credited with inventing K-pop in 1992, and hailed in the streets as “the president of culture” — has just released his excellent ninth album, Quiet Night, and “Christmalo.win” is his latest thesis for how best to weird up the monoculture.

He’s also 42. They say Korean makeup is a decade ahead, too.

• Seo Taiji: https://www.seotaiji.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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