When I was focused on music from the States and Great Britain, I rarely paid any attention to which labels a performer or band was currently signed on to. It never really occurred to me just how much influence or power the label had over the sound of the group. It’s kind of ridiculous, but we’ll chalk it up to my naivete at the time. Now, especially after delving into Korean music, I’ve gained an appreciation for the influence of the label and the importance of the producer. In the past, I think that I just pictured an artist either writing a song or taking a song written by someone else and making it their own. They’d arrange and record it and call it good to release.
Honestly, I think the fact that a lot of the songs I now listen to pay tribute to the producer with the little intro tag, like Cha Cha Malone’s ‘I’ve got a Cha Cha Beat, Boy’ and Groovy Room’s ‘Groovy Everywhere’ has been eye-opening. It’s allowed and encouraged me to pay attention to specific elements in the style of the production that works for me. I now know, for instance, that if a song starts with the telltale ‘Gray,’ I’m probably going to like it. I think the producer that really kicked me in the butt and forced me to pay attention was Code Kunst. When his song Parachute came out, it stunned me that it was attributed to him and not to Oh Hyuk and Dok2, they were listed as featured artists despite doing the vocals for the whole song. I think it was the first time that I realized that the singer or rapper wasn’t necessarily the most important part of a composition.
Just this month, Code Kunst changed labels from HIGHGRND to AOMG and immediately dropped a new single called Rain Bird featuring Tablo and Colde. The song is pretty chill and the video matches the vibe beautifully with all sorts of blurred, languid movement and dark tones. Colde’s singing blends beautifully into Tablo’s rap. It’s the kind of song that you listen to and then suddenly realize your head is bobbing along with the beat and maybe, just maybe, this is the third time in a row you’ve listened to it without realizing that is was happening. This isn’t a summer bop, it’s bonfire song…it’s for wandering the streets after the sun has long set and it’s still to warm out. And even if rain is actually falling, it hasn’t cooled down a single degree. It’s to be listened to at night, probably in very dim lighting, and not in a big crowd.
Code Kunst is someone that doesn’t have to use his voice to make a song inarguably his. He knows what mood he wants to set and understands how to manipulate sound to create it. As I have very little understanding of how much work and knowledge goes into crafting a piece of music, it all still looks like magic to me. This song is another example of Code Kunst’s sorcery skills.
Rain Bird, Code Kunst (ft. Table and Colde)