KOREAN ACID FOLK / SINGER/SONGWRITER
new releases

Kim Doo Soo

CD/LP (1986)/CD (CD 1986/2011), CD/LP (1988), CD/LP (1991/2004),
CD/LP (2004), CD/LP (2007), CD/LP (2009) ; featured on: V.A.: International Sad Hits

Sea Ra Bul Rec.    Kim Doo Soo : The road of Shiori / A cuckoo (S-KO,1986)**°°’
airplayed in first show : Tr.5, "A journey" 6 min, Tr.9, "Jung A's Rose" 5 min 11

Radioshow comments : "Some of the songs on this album, like on all of his albums are a bit mellow. One track is with brass arrangement. These two chosen tracks for the radioshow are very beautiful and pastoral folk guitar singer-songwriter style. A few more tracks on this album are somewhat similar."

Track titles : 1. The dream of little bird, 2. A cuckoo, 3. Post card, 4. The road of Shiori, 5. A journey 6. Aheeya Doong-Ki, Doong-Ki,  7. Flower grassland-Mother's grave (The road of shiori 2), 8. The lovestory in the rainy day, 9. Jung-A 's Rose, 10. Little boat and blue bird, 11. Can't make be love.
Yejeon Media Music     Kim Doo Soo : A long way (KO,1986,re.2011)***°°
airplayed in second show : Tr.5, 6 min, tr.9, 5 min

The first album of Kim Doo Soo has been reissued now. I liked his voice better on the earliest albums, because he softened this a bit on the last two releases especially. Several tracks are a bit arranged, subtly, with some backing female vocalist or some coconut rhythms for instant. All tracks are good but a few really stand out better, like classics, with some pickings ideas and melancholy that reminds one just a bit of early Leonard Cohen (track 5 especially ; this also has a bit of slide guitar to the acoustic pickings and voice).  Worth tracing.
Sea Ra Bul Rec.    Kim Doo Soo : 2 The promised land (S-KO,1988)**°°'
Rhythm OnKim Doo Soo : 2 The promised land (S-KO,1988,re.2012)**°°'
airplayed : Tr.7, "My soul is just a flower on the road" 6 min,    Tr.8, "Twilight Part 1,2" 7 min 11

Radioshow comments : "First chosen track is a very beautiful song with acoustic guitar and female backing vocals. This particular track sounds a bit like Leonard’s Cohen “Song from a Room”."

Track titles : 1. The promosed land, 2. Hey Butterfly, 3. Round back, 4. The green frog  Su-Hee, 5. The flower grassland; Mother's grave -the road of Shiori 2, 6. A little bird on church spire, 7. My soul is just a flower on the road, 8. Twilight Part 1,2, 9. A song of mystic
Sea Ra Bul Rec.    Kim Doo Soo : 3 A bohemian (S-KO,1991)**°°’
Music ResearchKim Doo Soo : 3 A bohemian (S-KO,1991,re.2013)**°°’
airplayed : Tr.4, "The sun  shines on the water (Ad lib for meditation)" 6 min, Tr.6, "At the distance" 5 min
Tr.7, "The sceret of green barley field" 11 min, Tr.8, "The shade of a tree" 4 min 26 -50

Radioshow comments : "Especially the complete B-side of this album is really beautiful folk singer-songwriting with international alure / flavour. Last track has a second slide guitar arrangement. (The Hyundai Records version is a mini-LP CD reissue from 2004)."

Track list : 1. A bohemian, 2. The people in the riverside village, 3. Free of my hearts, 4. The sun  shines on the water(Ad lib for  meditation), 5. The river, 6. At the distance, 7. The sceret of green barley field, 8. The shade of a tree
Riverman Music  Kim Doo Soo : Free Spirit (2002-2004)****° (reissue)
airplayed : Tr.1,"Wild Flower" 5 min,Tr.11, "Abstraction" 8 min, bonus track : Tr.14, "Dandelion" 6 min 18

Radioshow comments : "A mostly very good acid-folk singer-songwriter album, with beautiful singing, more often with layers of acoustic guitar. Here he found even more his own style into simple and strong expressions.  Some tracks are really unique. Also the bonus tracks are in his unique and delicate guitar and voice style with some sparse touches of other arrangements."

Mr.Kwang : "Kim Doo Soo is Korean Folk (Modern one) musician, who was only famous in deep underground scene. But in recent years, his 4th. album [Free Spirit] gained high expectation, and became more & more famous. His vocal & music style are very unique, not comparable to any other Folk Music. Highly recommendable for Modern Folk fans, and who wants to listen to real good Korean music."

Track list : 1. Wild Flower, 2. Boat to the Edge, 3. Butterfly, 4. Wild Rose, 5. Bohemian, 6. Rain at Dawn, 7. Blues of 19th. street, 8. Mountain, 9. As time goes by, 10. Romantic Horizon, 11. Abstraction, 12. Evening River, 13. Wandering, 14. Dandelion

Info / Homepage : http://www.kimdoosoo.com/ & http://cafe.daum.net/kimdoosoo
Concert pictures : http://www.yogiga.com/yukie/08_rock_gallery/2003-11-15/20031115.html
Korean article : http://music.naver.com/today.nhn?startdate=20080607

PSF Rec.  Kim Doo Soo : 10 Days Butterfly (SK,2007)***°
airplayed : Tr.1,"Wild Flower" 5 min,Tr.11, "Abstraction" 8 min, bonus track : Tr.14, "Dandelion" 6 min 18

I’m glad to see Kim Doo Soo finally is making it outside South-Korea, also as one of the first new artists. His latest album, the first in 5 years, just recently was released in Japan, on double LP and on CD.

Like the Korean tradition says that all circumstances can be expressed by nature, this is a way of being careful with temporal conditions, as well as making a person aware of wider contexts, being able to transcend all, in a poetic way, which I never see some other cultures succeed in doing like they do, and like Kim Doo Soo is such a great example to carry this to the world, even when his songs here do not leave out the personal contexts. His song poems are translated into Japanese, but also in English, by Joseph Kelly.

At first hearing on one occasion I thought the vocals were mixed very softly as if somewhat adapted by the resonating body of the guitar, but that wasn’t on the best installation. Kim Doo Soo’s almost whispery singing surely is soft and warm like this wooden guitar body. It is also as if we hear subtle, a few times bluesy, warm breezes being played on guitar, with some of the string and guitar arrangements. “Cape Jasmine” has a more eastern flavour in it. All other additional arrangements comforts this “breeze”.

Kim Doo Soo sings and plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, Kim Kwang Seok plays electric guitar and acoustic guitar solo, Ha Reem plays bandoneon and percussion, Kim Hyo Kukplays synthesizer, Lee Heyon Su plays cello, Um Tae Won : trumpet and Ji Sung Chul : piano.

Info : http://www.discogs.com/release/1167078
Label : http://psfrecords.com/new.html
Description on http://www.forcedexposure.com/artists/doo.soo.kim.html
Other reviews on http://www.foxydigitalis.com/... & http://www.normanrecords.com/...
Various tracks from Kim Doo Soo can be heard on the following compilation together with Fikret Kizilok, Tomakawa Kazuki and Kan Mikami. There's a biography on Kim Doo Soo and various of the moving texts are translated :
20-20-20 V.A. : International Sad Hits
-volume one: Altaic Language Group- (TÜ/S-KO/JAP,pub.2006)****°

Whilst the duo Damon & Naomi released their debut in 1992 titled "More Sad Hits", it only relates to the CD as they are the compilers of this "international" album.

Those who love music in the way I do, (so not as a way for background to direct socializing), for the love of the music itself, and for the creativity and potentional of human heartfelt expressions), it is easy to relate this to melancholic songs and to sense the beauty in them.

This compilation is done with much love and care and a deeper interest in such songs, also with the story behind the person. Like with the Sachiko Kanenobu reissue (reviewed here around the same time), the booklet gives us a presentation of the textual qualities, and also gives us an idea of moving hearts behind the artists themselves, more than as with just dry biographical facts.
Secondly, I think it is a very beautiful and caring idea to bring a Turkish artist (Fikret Kizilok), a Korean artist (Kim Doo Soo) and two Japanese artists together, and show how all their expressions can be felt equally from the heart, with the same sense of expressing the language like poetic music, even in such a way the emphasis on singing is not different for the Turkish, Korean and Japanese artist.

The characters are also not just ANY artist. Fikret Kizilok might be the most important and gifted independent folk artist from Turkey from the last 40 years or so, while I can also say the same for Kim Doo Soo. They also prove honest integrity is not just a quality of the early seventies. For Japan it is also no doubt that Kan Mikami's entrance in the Japanese folk scene was one of the most distinctive (they didn't mention his incredible appearance with the Tenjyo Sajiki group, although his film appearance was mentioned).

Personally I like very much Fikret Kizilok's first poetry/surreal music album (which is mentioned), and I like Kan Mikami's early work more as well. The compilers preferred to respect their re-appearances to the new scene. These are more directly word and song-focused, and fit in fact very well in a compilation together.
I had a few albums from Tomokawa Kazuki before as well but found him rather esoteric. This compilation gives a much better and easier first access to his work.

I cannot recommend this album enough. I always liked a lot Kim Doo Soo and Fikret Kizilok and also was very much aware of Kan Mikami's true potential. And what can be a better introduction that this compilation ? The biographical presentation, the song texts, the way the songs fit together and all are just too perfect to miss. I can say a lot more on this, but it's up to the listener to discover the details by just buying the album, or by listening to a few introduction audio files on the net.

PS. Kim Doo Soo's two latest albums seem to be available outside Korea here and there on the net. Just buy them next.

Audio : Fikret Kizilok : "Just as Long" (or here) ; Kazuki Tomokawa : "Storms in the Dead of Night"
& "What Is That Place" ; Kim Doo Soo : "Mountain"
& on http://www.myspace.com/twentytwentytwenty & http://www.secondlayer.co.uk/tracks/p3240.htm
Label info on http://www.20-20-20.com/...
Review with 4 audio tracks : http://obscuresound.com/... and with 3 tracks : http://www.boomkat.com/..
Other reviews : http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/3291
& http://complicateddancesteps.blogspot.com/2006/12/international-sad-hits-volume-one.html
& http://www.dotshop.se/ds/release.php?code=20202003CD&rand=165936934
& (3rd review on) http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=132852
& http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2006/11/30/Sudden-Rush
& (bottom on) : http://www.othermusic.com/2006november16update.html
& http://www.secondlayer.co.uk/index/p3240.htm

More Kim Doo Soo remarks on http://www.paperthinwalls.com/singlefile/item?id=309

Fikret Kizilok webpage I did : http://psychemusic.org/fikret_kizilok.html
Earlier Kan Mikami reviews I did on my website : http://psychemusic.org/JAPANacidfolk2.html#anchor_149
& http://psychemusic.org/JAPANacidfolk2.html#anchor_150
and the Tenjyo Sajiki release : http://psychemusic.org/JAPANreviews2.html#anchor_69








Homepage Kim Doo Soo : http://www.kimdoosoo.com/
Discography : http://www.maniadb.com/artist.asp?p=101201
If anyone knows more about this artist/this release or would like to review this item, please e-mail me
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Polyphone Rec. Kim Doo Soo : The Evening River (SK,2009)****

This seems like a fantastic collection of songs, sparsely arranged, and with Kim Doo Soo’s voice with a subtle depth, and sparse overdubs. I’m still a bit uncertain if this is a compilation of earlier published tracks with some new ones, or with completely new versions of the songs (which I think is the case, making a strong consistency in mood). The guitar playing and voice are very effective, even when not understanding a word of the lyrics. An over 70 minutes album. Recommended !