WRITTEN BY ANDREW KIM
Hi Woozy World,
It’s Halloween next week! I’m so excited to be dressing up as Sherb from Animal Crossing and virtually hosting a Zoom party for all of my friends. Tune in next week to see how it goes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Shivering in me timbers,
The Dragon Warrior
Album, released October 18th
Genre: Contemporary Electronic, Ambience, Lofi, Hip-Hop/Rap
WYBH crew’s Fisherman has released his first full-length project titled The Dragon Warrior and it’s everything his long-awaited fans have been craving from the Korean record producer. Featuring frequent collaborators Ku One Chan and jiwoo and fresh new faces such as rappers Kim Ximya and Khundi Panda, the album pushes Fisherman’s dreamy, fantasy-like production to its forefront to create one of the most beautiful, well-crafted projects to drop this year.
I’ve been a huge fan of Fisherman ever since I first heard his production on Giriboy’s “hogu,” an endearing track detailing the life of a bit brainless, love-struck simp. Filled with beautifully drawn-out synth waves and a mischievous xylophone cooing in the background, the song literally radiates innocence: it sounds like a six-year-old’s naptime dream of his marriage with his kindergarten crush. It was the first time I was fully enveloped by a song’s warmth and emotion: its fantasy-like production was sending my mind to a place it hadn’t been since my childhood. The production and composition of this track’s instrumental were mind-blowing then and still blows my mind today. (Literally, my description isn’t doing the song justice: go check out the music video for “hogu” to hear what I’m talking about)
Fisherman definitely held a talent and sound that I’d never heard on a song until “hogu.” Ever since then, I’ve been keeping an open eye and ear for any news of newly-dropped music from this amazing producer. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the projects that he dropped on occasion, such as 2017’s collaborative EP with singer Ku One Chan Format, 2017’s Cheongdam, and 2019’s Well Being. These projects only confirmed my absolute adoration with Fisherman’s soul-stirring, dream-like production, yet these seven, eight-song max projects were only growing my hunger for a full-length project. Finally, a year after dropping his Well Being project, Fisherman returned with his career magnum opus: a two-sided 19-track LP titled The Dragon Warrior.
The Dragon Warrior shows a maturation in Fisherman’s ethereal sound. No longer is the production just filled with basic, pretty-sounded synths: this project has Fisherman exploring the electronic genre with elegant, gossamer-thin sounds that has never been heard on a Fisherman project. This is exactly what I was hoping for: an flourishing evolution of the sound only Fisherman can make. This project truly shows that Fisherman is a genius in his craft and flaunts his musical brilliance with no shame.
This album is ethereal, euphoric, and electric: an absolute masterpiece from Fisherman. His extra-terrestrial-meets-synth-bubbles sound is perfectly displayed right down its absolute core on The Dragon Warrior and ultimately proves his status as one of Korea’s most idiosyncratic and genius producers. Do yourself a favor and check out this amazing project and producer today!
EP, released October 18th
Genre: R&B/Soul, Ballad
Korea’s R&B posterchild Crush gifts his audience with one last project before his military enlistment with the five-track EP With Her. Fully packed with collaborations with Crush’s female contemporaries, With Her is a well-crafted, bittersweet EP that perfectly embodies the singer’s signature production and showcases his stunning chemistry with some of Korea’s best female vocalists.
The EP starts off with his reunification with Girls Generation’s Taeyeon with “Let Me Go”, a soulful breakup ballad. Their vocal chemistry has been highlighted with their past collaboration with 2016’s “Don’t Forget” and the two musicians come together four years later to update their fans with a harmonious collaboration that tugs on heartstrings all over the globe.
Next is a personal favorite off this EP: “Tip Toe” with AOMG’s Lee Hi. A fun and lively track, “Tip Toe” is definitely geared towards a larger audience with its trendy R&B sound. Crush’s inclusion of Lee Hi is smart and appreciated: her husky voice croons in an unexpected high vocal range, a performance we have yet to hear from Lee Hi. Since her departure from YG Entertainment, it’s great to see Lee Hi have fun and use her newly found freedom to make great tracks such as this one.
Veteran singer Lee Sora’s appearance on this EP was shocking, to say the least. During her peak activity in the late 1990s and early 2000s, she dominated the nation with her ethereal and unique vocals and to see her make her musical return with Crush on “Love Encore” is much admired. Without much explanation, her vocal performance is above par and her chemistry with Crush is stunning. Personally, Lee Sora’s huge presence on this track does outshine Crush, but that’s what happens when you invite an absolute legend to feature on your EP!
The last two tracks are “Step By Step” and “She Said,” featuring Ghood Music’s co-head Yoonmirae and Ghood Music signee BIBI respectively. “Step By Step” is a typical smooth R&B track that is reminiscent of the 1990’s soul sound, with Yoonmirae’s robust vocals giving the track great volume and flavor. “She Said” is a velvet-soft closer to this EP with extremely sultry lyrism and vocal performance from Crush and BIBI. Overall, this EP is a highly impressive project with a boastful cast line-up that is not to be missed!