Lowdown 30
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Lowdown 30

Seoul, Seoul, South Korea | INDIE

Seoul, Seoul, South Korea | INDIE
Band Rock Blues




"Lowdown 30 '1' : Korean Album of the Year (#1)"

Voted by music critics of one of Korea's most important/influential music blogs as the #1 Korean Album of the Year. - MusicY (12.30.2012)

"Lowdown 30 '1' : Korean Album of the Year (#4)"

Voted by music critics of one of Korea's most important/influential daily newspapers as the #4 Korean Album of the Year. - Hankyoreh News (12.16.2012)

"Lowdown 30 '1' : Korean Album of the Year (#7)"

Voted by critics as the #7 Korean Album of the Year by Korea's #1 Search Engine/Portal Site, Naver. - Naver Music (12.27.2012)

"Lowdown 30 '1' : Korean Album of the Year (Honorable Mention)"

Welcome back to our 2012 In Review series! This is the one category that personally means the most to me – and as such, the only one that I’m constantly thinking about all year long. That means I often have a fairly solid idea of what the pick will be long before I actually start working on the series. But that wasn’t the case in 2012 – not only did this year’s Album of the Year come out late, but it also wasn’t as clear-cut of a choice as last year’s winner, Why We Fail by Yi Sung-yol, was. Even with the increased parity, here are the albums that I felt were heads and shoulders above the rest this year.

As always, honorable mention picks are sorted by alphabetical order of names. Again, there are only three picks, since I’m only listing entries that were seriously considered for one of the top two spots at some point.


Lowdown 30 – 1 (also Best Rock/Alternative Album) - HelloKPop.com (12.30.2012)

"Lowdown 30 'Pieces of You' : Korean Alternative/Rock Song of the Year (Honorable Mention)"

Honorable Mentions

Lowdown 30 – Pieces of You. [No studio version on YouTube.] You think the instruments really could do all the talking… and then Yoon Byung-ju makes a good thing great. - HelloKPop.com (12.20.2012)

"Lowdown 30 '1' : Korean Alternative/Rock Album of the Year (#1)"

Welcome back to our 2012 In Review series! Another great harvest of rock music came out of what is arguably the country’s deepest, strongest scene outside of pop. There were bands that really pushed the envelope in sound design and experimentation, and there were others that refined a good thing until it was masterful. Narrowing down the honorable mentions (especially on the songs side) was difficult simply because of the relative parity in this scene, but a few stood out above the rest.

Again, please remember that the Album of the Year and Song of the Year (and their runner-ups) are not included in the genre categories. That means that there could be a rock (or any other genre) album that isn’t being honored on this page because it’s the album of the year. As always, honorable mention picks are sorted by alphabetical order of artist names.


Best Rock/Alternative Album 2012

Lowdown 30 – 1

Simply put, Lowdown 30 opened a new horizon for Korean blues rock with this sophomore album. Painstaking attention to sound is apparent at every corner, from ?? (Solitude)‘s distantly ringing, amorphous background tone to ?? (Change In Blackout)’s hypnotic twelve-note riff. ?? ?? (Pieces of You) and ???????? (Plastic Erotic Module) escape genre constraints with writhing hooks and fuzzy riffs on infinite loop. The band even went and actually rebuilt ???? (Asphalt), a grungy, auto-wah-fed blues metal track that was already so good as to be our Best Rock/Alternative Song 2011. This is one of those rare albums where each track is a surprise; if that wasn’t somehow enough for you, Yoon Byung-ju‘s chameleon-like voice add even greater dimensions to the wildly diverse instrumentation. A profound understanding of blues, punk, and its derivatives permeate Lowdown 30's cross-genre approach, and with a hearty dose of experimentation, they craft a breed of sound hitherto unheard. - HelloKPop.com (12.20.2012)

"[Jisan Vally Rock Festival] Comback of the Rock Era"

Introduction of rock bands participating for 2012 Jisan Valley Rock Festival . - Ilyo Seoul (06.19.2012)

"[First Half of 2012 Report] Albums Too Good to Miss"

Lowdown 30's second album '1' is chosen by Naver Music as one of 2012's albums that is too good to miss. - Naver Music (07.05.2012)

"[Artist of the Month] Ongoing Hard Rock Band Lowdown 30"

Lowdown 30 is selected as the very first artist for Hyundai Card's Artist of the Month series. - Hyundai Card Super Series (08.09.2012)

"Lowdown 30 Releases MV To ‘Asphalt’ Feat. Joosuc"

And how thankful I am to be able to hear this great song on Thanksgiving day! Asphalt is Lowdown 30‘s grungy (in the best of ways) new single that needs to be played at venues where only the coolest of kids hang out. The MV is too badass for words; I’m not even going to try to explain it. Just listen, watch and make your Thanksgiving a bit more kickass.

- Far East Vibes (11.24.2011)

"Lowdown 30 First Out for Seoul Seoul Seoul"

Blues rock band Lowdown 30 are preparing to release their second full-length album on March 8th but will also participate on the Seoul Seoul Seoul compilation to be released only a couple of days earlier. Their contribution to the compilation is “Seoul Night” remixed by Walrus bassist Sion and it’s released on February 13th as the first of four digital singles preceding the full compilation.

- KoreanIndie.com (03.01.2012)

"Lowdown 30's Second Full-Length Album Released"

Pushing the release date of their second full length album forward a couple of days, blues rock band Lowdown 30 were ready to offer 1 already today, March 6th. Among the ten tracks there’s the original version of “Seoul Night”, first released in a remix by Sion a month ago for the Seoul Seoul Seoul compilation, also released today. Also on the album is “Asphalt”, released as a digital single in November then featuring hip hop artist Joosuc.

Here is the music video for “Asphalt”: - KoreanIndie.com (03.06.2012)

"2010 Korean Indie Music Overview"

First of all, 2010 was a very good year for Korean indie music. I had not even noticed until I started putting together this list, when I kept rediscovering one solid album after another. Not just great in one genre or another, the Korean music scene is more diverse than I can remember it ever being, with great hard rock bands, acoustic, postrock, dance and whatever Jambinai is.

Anyhow, this is far from a complete list, but it is a list of some of the Korean music I found most interesting in 2010. Hopefully the music scene can keep up the momentum and turn it into more mainstream success soon.

Lowdown 30 – Another Side of Jaira EP

Growling blues rock, like the Black Keys. Not all the songs work, but the best are gravelly, heavy fun. The first song Jungdok is especially good.

http://londonkoreanlinks.net/2011/01/10/lkl-critics-choice-2010-mark-russell/ - KOCCA Korea Creative Content Agency (01.04.2011)

"Olleh Music Indie Awards Nominees for May 2012"

There were no Indie Awards handed out from Olleh Music in April, but there will be in May. The nominees have been revealed and voting will go on from May 1st to May 14th.

May Indie Award Album Nominees:
- Glen Check (Haute Couture)
- Noisecat (Sunday Sunset Airlines)
- Lowdown 30 (1)
- Annyeongbada (Pink Revolution) - KoreanIndie.com (04.30.2012)

"Nominees for 9th Korean Music Awards Announced"

Today the nominees for the 9th Korean Music Awards were announced. Out of all the awards in Korea it’s considered the most prestigious among musicians and a majority of the nominees are indie artists rather than idols. The winners of the awards will be presented on February 29th.

The full nominee lists for category albums is long, but hopefully we’ll be able to bring a bit on information on each on the Korean Indie main site within the next month or so. For now, here are YouTube playlists showing all the nominees for the category songs.

Best Rock Song nominees; including songs from Downhell, Lowdown 30, Apollo 18, Yellow Monsters, Chang Kiha & The Faces, Cho Deok Hwan:

http://www.koreanmusicawards.com/2012/artists/gro24.html - KoreanIndie.com (01.18.2012)

"Inbox: Lowdown 30 - Jaira"

The first time I heard about Lowdown 30, it was on Mark Russell's 2010 music picks for London Korean Links and didn't think of them again until some live renditions of their music showed up on PlasticTV's YouTube channel earlier this year and then I was fascinated. Here was a Korean band, playing a style of grungy blues rock that I never would have expected outside of the US and UK, carving a sound that's related to Ohio's The Black Keys and doing it well. My interest piqued, I had to go and see about getting their debut album and I'm quite pleased with the results.

Lowdown 30 specialize in a kind of sweaty, grungy kind of buzzing guitar blues rock that sounds perfect for a sweltering club on a hot summer night. The band manages to really capture a specific sound clearly influenced by classic blues rock bands from Cream through Stevie Ray Vaughan. And what's more impressive is just how well lead vocalist Yoon Byungjoo really captures a kind of blues in his own voice, which isn't deep, nor especially gritty, but yet carries a strained intensity well. The album opens up with the steamy, murky buzzfest of "??? ??" before cutting into the more rocking "???" and finally settling on the mid-tempo, more positive shuffler in "???". I will admit that in terms of blues rock sound, Lowdown 30 doesn't really break any new ground, but they approach the classic sound so effectively that the music never seems tired, filled with appropriately bluesy rocking instrumental solos or, in the case of the two tracks in the middle of the album, instrumental tracks, which really shows off the band's understanding of the music that they're pulling off.

In "??", Yoon's voice is put through a filter, further giving the track a bit more of a dirty edge to go alongside the hot guitarwork. What's more, Yoon actually handles some of the bits and pieces of English he uses in his music well and once the band reaches the grinding "I Saw the Devil Last Night", the lyrics are all in English, indicative of the band's ties to their influencing music. While the album isn't especially long, clocking in at under forty minutes, the band makes good use of that time, varying up their tracks between the slow burners and more rocking tracks, pulling them all off well. In fact, if you weren't paying attention to the Korean lyrics, you might even think that the band were native to the US or UK, simply because that's how well the band has adopted the blues rock sound. Even more, every track is well crafted, performed with gusto and recorded pleasingly, hinting at how hot their live performances probably are. And maybe that's a sign of a really good album for this band--Jaira makes you want to see Lowdown 30 live. Hot stuff. 8/10. - Init_Music (06.09.2012)

"Jisan's Don't Miss"

Following it s a selection of some of the don't miss acts set to perform at the Jisan Rock Valley Music Festival.

Friday, July 27


Every noraebang book in Korea has “Creep.” This is the first time Radiohead’s come to Korea and it’s going to be a major event. It would be hard to find a band more emulated in young music styles here. Since the release of “Pablo Honey” in 1993, the band has steadily grown into one of the biggest bands in the world. They’ve released eight regular albums, the last being “The King of Limbs.” They are arguably the most sought-after live performers for Korean fans. This is going to be a big deal.

James Iha

Playing guitar with the Smashing Pumpkins from 1987 to 2000, James Iha released his first solo album, “Let It Come Down” in 1998. The record was not just warm and powerful and completely different, but also confirmed Iha’s talent as a songwriter. Since then he’s been involved with many other projects, including A Perfect Circle and Tinted Windows.

Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Elvis Costello is a chameleon and a shape-shifter. He can absorb any pop-song style and give it his own spin. Usually articulate. Often insightful. Always fun. The London-born “pop encyclopedia” has been making music since the ‘70s and isn’t slowing down. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the greatest musicians of the modern era.

Lowdown 30

Heavy on the alternative rock Lowdown 30 is a three-member rock band that formed in 2000. A little like the Black Keys with a bass player, they focus on blues. With the successful release of the debut album “Jaira” in 2008 and follow-up EP in 2010, they receive plenty of praise from both critics and fans

Black Dog

Black Bag was founded in 2008 and made their name in the live clubs around Hongdae. They then released a self-produced EP and performed at various music festivals. Black Bag released an official EP on Jan. 11, 2012, and also passed the second round of KBS’s “Top Band.”


Through their first full-length album “Hunch,” released in 2010, Achime not only showed potential, but also started building a solid fan base. After taking some time to organize the internal side, the band released the EP “Hyperactivity” in May 2011. They’re melodic and joyful. Should be a lot of fun.

M. Ward

When Portland, Oregon’s Matt Ward isn’t playing with Zooey Deschanel as the him in “She and Him,” he’s writing his own folk songs. M. Ward likes to rock. He’s been on the “Monsters of Folk” tour with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and his live shows get pretty fun.

The Black Skirts

The Black Skirts is a one-man band made up of singer-songwriter Holiday Cho. Since the release of his second album, “Don’t You Worry Baby (I’m Only Swimming)” in July 2011, the band has been on the up-and-up. Heavily influenced by veteran punk bands Crying Nut and No Brain, the Black Skirts will bring the rock. The punk rock, that is. - Groove Korea (07.10.2012)

"First Record Fair Due in Seoul Saturday"

The first ever Record and CD Fair in Seoul will be held at Platoon Kunsthalle in Nonhyeon-dong, southern Seoul, Saturday, with a variety of vinyl records and compact discs available for sale and for viewing.

On the first and second floor of the venue, some 40 local labels will set up booths to sell vinyl records and CDs - from rare limited edition albums and imported ones to local indie band albums. Participating labels include Luova Factory, Beatball Records, Leaplay Music, Pastel Music and record shops such as Purple Record and LP Love will also participate in the fair. Some out-of-print records and limited editions will be available at the first Seoul Record Fair.

Khiov Music & Packaging, a company producing LP miniatures, will display their mini vinyl replica CDs along with the original vinyl records by artists such as Bob Dylan and Miles Davis.

A series of performances celebrating the event continues throughout the day. Singer-songwriter Lee Jung-sun will perform folk and blues with band Lowdown 30. A special exhibit will feature Lee’s albums, both on vinyl and CD. Indie bands Goonamguayeoridingstella and DJ Soulscape as well as Jennifer Waesche, Mighty Coala and Essence will also perform.

Lee Bong-soo, president of Beatball Music, said the record fair will be a test for the potential of CDs and LPs, with CDs looking set to vanish in Korean mainstream music by being pushed out by digital music.

"It is meaningful that such an event is being held in Korea before CDs disappear here," Lee said.

The fair coincides with the mood to restore vinyl records in Korea. "I heard that a factory in Gyeonggi Province is preparing for a revival of vinyl manufacturing," he said. "Ironically, LP is rising as an alternative to CD, with its analog charm."

Lee said the Seoul Record Fair will awake music lover's interest in vinyl records. "People might have thought collecting LP is an upscale hobby of the elderly, but when they encounter LP, they will be fascinated."

Beatball Music will also release a collaboration work based on the animation of a creative studio Sticky Monster Lab titled "The Loner," Saturday.

The fair opens at 10 a.m. for early bird ticket holders and 12 p.m. for the general public. Admission costs 10,000 won at the door. For more, visit www.recordfair.kr (Korean) or call (02) 322-0804. - The Korea Times (November 15, 2011)

"[Album of the Year] Lowdown 30's Second Album '1'"

Lowdown 30's second album '1' is chosen by Daum Music as [Album of the Year]. - Daum Music


2012 1 [LP]
2012 Seoul Seoul Seoul [Compilation Album]
2011 Asphalt [EP]
2011 Another Side Of Jaira [EP]
2008 Jaira [LP]



"Lowdown 30 specialize in a kind of sweaty, grungy kind of buzzing guitar blues rock that sounds perfect for a sweltering club on a hot summer night."
-- Init_Music (06/12/2012)

2013 Korean Music Awards (Rock Album of the Year - Nominee)
2013 Korean Music Awards (Album of the Year - Nominee)
2012 IZM.co.kr : K-Pop Top 10 Albums of the Year
2012 HelloKPop.com : Korean Alternative/Rock Album of the Year (#1)
2012 HelloKPop.com : Korean Alternative/Rock Song of the Year (Honorable Mention)
2012 HelloKPop.com : Korean Album of the Year (Honorable Mention)
2012 Hankyoreh News : Korean Album of the Year (#4)
2012 Naver Music : Korean Album of the Year (#7)
2012 MusicY : Korean Album of the Year (#1)
2012 Imagene Awards (Album of the Year - Nominee)
2012 Korean Music Awards (Rock Song of the Year - Nominee)
2012 Olleh Music Indie Awards (May 2012 : Best Album - Nominee)


2012 Jisan Valley Rock Festival (Korea)
2011 Seoul Tokyo Sound Bridge (Korea)
2008 Pentaport Rock Festival (Korea)
2002 Busan Rock Festival (Korea)


2012 ABSOLUT VODKA BERRI ACAI Official Korea Launch Party - Headline Artist