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Japan Flares Up In Anticipation of 4Minute Comeback

Rating Rating more One Star

2011.08.23 16:11 Mwave Choi, EunHwa

A Japanese newspaper is drawing attention for its rising interest in 4Minute.

Sankei Sports, a Japanese sports newspaper, reported on August 23, “4Minute, who made its Japanese debut in May of last year, will release ‘Heart to Heart’ on September 7. The song is a remake version of a single that was released in Korea last March. The lyrics, which express a girl’s feelings before a bittersweet breakup, are laced over a pop melody.”

Japan Flares Up In Anticipation of 4Minute Comeback

The group was also hailed as ‘pioneers’ of the current K-Pop craze in Japan by the newspaper.

It continued, “The group has raised the stakes and plans to return with a sexier concept. Vocalist Ga Yoon, in particular, will show a new and different side of herself through ‘Heart to Heart’”

In the meantime, 4Minute will join Cube Entertainment label mates, B2ST and G.NA, in Japan for the ‘United Cube’ concert on August 25 at the Budokan in Tokyo.

Photo credit: Mnet

If you’re tired of swimming in the tide of idol and electronic music, you should come in to rest your ears with the acoustic group Ibadi. The group is back with its second studio album, Voyage, and is all set to soften up the modern man’s tired and troubled mind.

After grabbing eyes and ears with the popular electronica group Clazziquai, Horan brought together Geojung (Guitarist, drummer, producer) and Justin Kim (Bassist, producer) to form the project group Ibadi in 2008. Ibadi was a step toward Horan’s dream to do the music that she really wanted to do, acoustic music.

We met with Ibadi at a café in Cheongdam, to hear about how they were able to quietly and steadily touch the emotions of its listeners with its two studio albums, Story of Us and Voyage, as well as with its mini-albums and its digital singles.

Japan Flares Up In Anticipation of 4Minute Comeback

Voyage to Music

The album’s first single, Father and the Girl feels brighter and warmer compared to the group’s previous songs. The cute lyrics describe an old grandmother as a white haired girl, making the song’s listeners smile warmly.

Geojung, who wrote the song, said, “If our first album was for minor tastes, our first single this time has a more major feel. But actually I just brightened up the chords. The emotions haven’t changed much, since for our first album we had bright songs such as Hello Hollow.”

Previously, the group had been delivering music that could act as a rest stop in their busy lives. Where will their new Voyage lead to?

If you interpret ‘voyage’ in Ibadi’s image, you could say it’s a voyage to music. Each song in the album also represents a different kind of trip," said Geojung. "The single Father and the Girl contains the regrets which follow time which has already passed by."

“Sadness rather than regret? Because everyone thinks of the grandmother differently, everyone would get a different feeling," added Horan. "The music video feels like you’re flipping through a photo album of the grandmother’s youth seen through a frame put in the time of reality.”

“Voyage doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re leaving for somewhere. It’s more abstract. Like a voyage through time... We’ve made the keywords for the album ‘voyage to the tracks left by memory’,” Justin Kim said.

Japan Flares Up In Anticipation of 4Minute Comeback

Idol Music Isn’t Bad, But…

Music shows these days feature an endless list of idol groups with similar songs and dances, simply boasting different names and clothes. The few bands and hip-hop singers scattered in the mix even feel like a novelty now.

Perhaps Ibadi, which concentrates on flexible and emotional music, would find the recent K-Pop scene unfamiliar.

“I think idol groups are cool and sometimes I’m attracted to them. Their music is good, and sometimes I think that they do what I can’t," said Geojung. "The problem is that the different genres mix. Having idols, acoustic groups and rock bands compete on a single stage only invites jealousy. I wish they would set up different stages for different genres, like they do in other countries.”

Justin Kim agreed, asking the question, “Wouldn’t having different genres tangled up in a single album make the listener feel uncomfortable?”

Japan Flares Up In Anticipation of 4Minute Comeback

Not All Music is Meant to be Background Music

The members explained for a long time how harmful digital music is to the body, and how LP albums and actual live performances of music are good. They talked about experiments in which they made plants listen to music, and methods of putting mobile phones close to the heater during a phone call.

The interview was more like gossiping than an actual interview, as the members kept laughing loudly and telling jokes or teasing each other the entire time. But when they turned back to music, they would become serious and share their main points.

“I’m sorry that music is moving farther away from its listening function,” said Justin Kim. “People still listen to music, but a lot of them listen to it while they do other things, like while they’re walking or driving. I hope our music isn’t like that. I hope it brings on a time for listening, without doing anything else.”

Ibadi is planning a concert where it can perform its acoustic melodies just for listening, starting in Daegu on December 10 and going through Seoul from December 16-18 and Busan from December 24-25.

We hope the group will have more chances to perform those fine notes placed on paper by the members themselves, carried through the air with Horan’s relaxing voice.

Photo credit: Fluxus Music

Ibadi Father and the Girl Music Video

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