Monday, May 12, 2008

Steve Aoki in Seoul


Today was Buddha's Birthday which is a national holiday here in Seoul. Now it's not so great for me as I have Monday's off this term anyway. However today everyone got a day off and I get, well, my usual day off.

However, that day off is great for all the people who went to Gayagum Hall at the Sheraton Grande Hotel in Seoul because Steve Aoki along with another L.A. DJ, Cut Chemist, rolled into town to throw a party. What a party it was!

When I heard about it, I was so excited. Being from L.A. I am well-aware of Cinespace and the club culture that has sprung up around Aoki's parties, his Dim Mak record label and clothing collection and the buzz around the celebrities his events attract. That had me prancing around Seoul for about a week listening to Aoki's new debut CD on my iPod and irritating people next to me on mass transit because those tracks are best played loud. Believe me, some don't like the CD at all, but eh, screw 'em - you can't please everyone. The hate runs deep. Hatin' on Steve Aoki is like an Olympic sport it seems. A lot of people want to do it but only a few do it really well: check it - here and here. Basically, it's fashionable to both like and hate Aoki. Which I guess is fitting as he's in the business now of music and influencing trends. For me, however, it's really just that it's an enjoyable CD that gets my feet tapping.

I had a chance to interview Aoki for the Korea Herald. FeetManSeoul got to walk around snapping photos of Seoul's fashionable ones being whipped into a frenzy of whoops, hollers and dancing.

I've got work first thing tomorrow, but my goal is to write up this interview tonight so let me get back to it. As soon as the Korea Herald publishes it, I'll put it up here too.

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Update! Here is my Korea Herald interview with Steve:
The Korea Herald: Regina Walton's Expat Interviews - 'Kid Millionaire' spins in Seoul

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In the meantime, here is FMS's post from last night's party: Steve Aoki Seouled Out!


More hate:

This one just hates everyone it seems, so eh. What's funny is as a Korean, I think it's pretty interesting she takes offense at Cut Chemist mixing hip-hop tracks and confuses that with stealing culture.

Considering he's from L.A. and is in Jurassic 5, which is a hip-hop group in which 4 of the 6 members are black Americans, you know she really has no idea of what she's talking about in this case.

It does strike me as funny though because what's wrong with old skool hip-hop? It's another example of for many here it's all about the audaciously new and flashy - Seoul is so like L.A. sometimes that it's insane. I guess it only makes sense then that L.A. DJs show up in town and are both loathed and loved.

With both Aoki and Cut Chemist what made their sets good was that they mixed in the old with the new...duh. I don't know much about the DJ world but what I can see from just a little bit of research is there are a lot of snobs that seem to forget that the primary job of a DJ is to get the crowd having fun and dancing. It doesn't matter if the track is brand new, rare or obscure or an old favorite.

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