3.29.2011

The Korean Black Eyes



The Drake equation is a complicated and speculative piece of mathematical fiddling that uses galactic probability to find how many alien civilizations are in the Milky Way. A similar equation might be needed to explain the highly improbable, shoot-the-moon-serendipity which produced The Korean Black Eyes: a killer early 70's all-girl garage soul, rock and roll Cryptozoological fable now proven by Plus Tapes’ bubblegum-pink reissue.

The Black Eyes really cook- covering Sly Stone, a little Elvis, and weirdly, The Moody Blues and a selection from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” They also are perplexing. How popular were they? Was there a soul/funk scene in 1970’s Korea, or were they going it alone? Does the singer know English or is she belting it out phonetic-style? (I’ve listened to this tape dozens of times and still can’t make up my mind. One song has a typical R&B monologue that’s nearly impossible to understand.) What became of them and how were these songs located 30+ years after the fact? Who knows?

But the music tells me I’m asking too many questions. The band is decent but clearly not session vets. You can hear the frequent temporal arrhythmia and the bass plodding to the root belatedly. The guitars are decent; the organ, barely audible. What they do have is undeniable energy and heart backing a fantastic lead vocalist who sings the daughter James Brown and Janis Joplin never had- a daughter who grew up in Soul, or in this case Seoul, South Korea. Her vocals are great: passionate, enticing, raw, and filled with arc-welding screams. And the accent is awesome-the keystone to the whole tape, a shining example of the inadvertent innovations found in cultural discourse.

-[foxy digitalis]

an absolutely amazing cassette from 2009 on [plus tapes] compiling all three singles by this mystery band. released in an edition of 100, this thing sold out almost immediately, basically the micro-press cassette world equiv of going platinum.

thanks to [dustin drase] for the brilliant sleeve scans.

[the korean black eyes]

8 comments:

Michael said...

this looks amazing but i haven't been able to get mediafire to work. hope that gets sorted out...
thanks though!

앤서니 said...

just tried the link seems to be working fine.

Murky Recess said...

I've only just discovered your blog, Mr Anthony, and it's already a great pleasure. Thanks very much the fine labor.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for the post and sharing of tunes.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog because my mum told me about a band she was in so I wanted to Google it!

She's the one that's always pictured in the middle! She was a self taught saxophone player in the group. Most of the other members were self taught as well!

She's in her 60's now living in Melbourne, Australia. Not sure what's happened to the rest of the group.

Thanks for this post though. I showed my mum and it made her really emotional :)

앤서니 said...

@anonymous...

that's incredible!

i was wondering what ever happened to the former members of the band. glad to hear she's doing well. thanks for the info!

^_^

chang4pian4 said...

"because my mum told me about a band she was in " Please contact me via
http://koreanvinyl.wordpress.com/

if possible. Interested in any information. Thanks.

aluvsupreme said...

any way to repost the korean black eyes? as you know mediafire is gone.