VOLUME THREE ELECTROW VOLUME THREE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
There’s tons of amazing content in this issue! Check out the table of contents to guide you through it all!
PAGE 7 CITYTREASURES - MISSION SPRINGS BREWING COMPANY: THE SPRINGS
COVERAGE We stopped in on the second edition of Sub Syndic8, an up-andcoming, bass-driven PAGE night in Songdo.
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PAGE 14 RECAPS We’ve compiled a couple of our top online features in case you missed them. Don’t forget that you can see all of our online material at www.electrow.com!
DEEP MUSIC ZONE:
LEADING THE DNB MOVEMENT PAGE 19
An awesome set of questions and answers awaits you in this issue’s cover story. Find out all you need to know about the hottest DnB night in Seoul!
PAGE 26 THE LOWDOWN: THE FEATURED CHART PAGE 28
THE FEATURED PAGE 29 EVENT We can’t always keep up with all that is happening around the country. So, if you know about something that might fit well in our magazine, then be sure to tell us! The easiest way is to drop us a line at email@example.com!
TREASURES Every issue, we choose a place in Korea that we think deserves some press and recognition. These might be bars, clubs, lounges, restaurants, or stores. Hopefully youâ€™ll find them as interesting as we did!
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MISSION SPRINGS BREWING COMPANY: THE SPRINGS TAPHOUSES As the demand for craft beer in South Korea continues to skyrocket, international brewers are importing their products to help quench the thirst. One of the most successful companies to do so thus far is the Mission Springs Brewing Company. Located in Canada, the Mission Springs was started in 1988 by Ken Brookes and Brock Rodgers. Six years later, the brewery and restaurant were added and in 2013 they began their expansion into South Korea. Not only have they worked with Indulge Korea to distribute their kegs to local restaurants and bars, but they’ve also opened their own pubs. With Springs Tap House locations in both Itaewon and Cheongdam districts, the company has clearly made an impact on the Korean market. While the Springs Tap Houses offer a selection of craft beers, they also serve al forno stone oven-baked pizzas for customers to devour. In December of last year, the Springs Tap House became the first pub in Seoul to receive a Blue Ribbon from
critics for both the food and beer. “For a gastro pub in Korea to even be considered for the Blue Ribbon seemed an impossible feat,” said Santino Sortino, co-owner of the Springs Tap Houses. “The guide has been publishing since 2002 and to my knowledge, there has never been mention of a pub before. It’s a fantastic accomplishment, especially in our first year.” The success that the Mission Springs Brewing Company has found in Korea didn’t come effortlessly. While shipping costs from Vancouver to Seoul are generally affordable due to the ships being mostly empty from offloading cargo, the cost to ship the empty kegs back are quite high. To fix this, the brewery decided to use KeyKegs. These kegs are recyclable and easy to dispose of, which eliminates the need to ship them back. Keeping up with local demand also required changes at the brewery itself. According to Brock Rodgers, the other owner of the Springs Tap Houses, the brewery added 300% to their manufacturing capacity.
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With plans to open more pub locations and maybe even a brewery in Seoul, this is only the beginning for the Mission Springs Brewing Company and their presence in Korea. So, next time you are out for a night on the town, stop by one of the Springs Tap Houses and grab some pizza and a few beers to start things off right. You can check out the company’s full selection of beers on the tasting map.
Visit the company website. Like The Springs Taphouse on Facebook!
SHOGUN LABZ get connected.
COVERAGE SUB SYNDIC8 IN SONGDO Since this issue deals heavily with bass music, we decided to stop in on another bass event for our Coverage feature. Sub-Syndic8 held its second party out in Songdo at the B1 Club & Pub and we were
there to dance and take some photos. Check out some of the photos on these pages, and be sure to find their events on our calendar online! We highly recommend this event!
Check out our featured event at the end of this issue for details on the next volume of Sub-Syndic8.
RECAPS In case you missed them, here are some of the top features from our online content. Check out all of the content we have posted at www.electrow.com
POPOF IN SOUTH KOREA Go ahead and take a moment to think back to your childhood. Try to recall your earliest memory of music. For Alexandre Paounov, better known as Popof, it was listening to the pop music his sister would play at home. Artists like Michael Jackson and George Michael introduced the future DJ/ producer to the world of music. However, if we fast forward from that point to the 1990s, we find Popof far from pop, and deep in the French rave party scene. We asked him what he missed most about those days, and he started by saying that it wasn’t about the “music or rave scene.” It was “more about the family we were in the Heretik crew.” He was referring to all the friendships between the members of the French collective, Heretik System. Popof was a founding member of the group, which started in 1996. Since then, the crew has organized dozens of events and released over one hundred LPs. They also released several CDs and a DVD titled We Had A Dream.
Over the years, Popof has spanned several genres of music with his productions. He thinks that it’s important for producers and/or musicians to explore making music in as many styles as possible. He said that the evolution of his musical tastes depends on his mood, and what it makes him “discover” every day. He listens to a variety of genres and combines that with his “old musical culture” to create. Obviously, some genres are easier to compose than others, but Popof told us that “electro – hip hop” is the genre that challenges him the most in the studio. He’s not known for that style, but we think that adds to the excitement of being challenged. According to Popof, his new album is finished and it’s the “next step” in his career. He said that it is “totally different” from his previous work, but he’s very excited about it. While Popof couldn’t give us too many details about the album, he did say that it might be out in May. Popof made his South Korean debut last month at Muuto in Gangnam.
ELECTROW VOLUME THREE NIGHTLIFE TIPS FOR SOUTH KOREA Since we provide quite a bit of information on clubbing and attending events, we thought it would be appropriate to include some useful tips on nightlife. Although these are geared towards the South Korean scene, many of them can be applied to going out in any city around the world. We have several years of experience partying in this country, so we’ve thought about our nights out and put together this list. We hope that you will avoid some of the mistakes that we made. This especially rings true if you live here and are going out every weekend. Read the tips and put them into practice. Leave us a comment at the end and let us know if we missed any important tips. We’ll probably be revisiting this with a second or even third edition.
Pre-game I’m sure almost all of you are familiar with this term, but if you aren’t, “pre-game” is used to describe drinking at home before you go out. Essentially this is a common practice because it is far more affordable to buy your alcohol at the grocery store than from a bar. This becomes increasingly important if you plan on heading to Gangnam, where the drink prices can be fairly high. Also, the bartenders aren’t always generous
with the amount of alcohol they pour. (We’ll talk more about how to fix this later on.) By drinking at home, you can get a good buzz going and avoid the stress caused by long lines, coat checks, or whatever else you might encounter before you even get the chance to drink again.
Make friends with promoters If you are the type of person that is trying to save as much money as possible while you are living or even just visiting Korea, then this is a good one to remember. Nobody enjoys spending money to enter a building where they are going to be spending money. One good way to avoid the cover charge is to get on guest lists. Promoters work hard to get people in the door, and usually they have plenty of room on their guest lists. The easiest way to find out who is promoting an event is to check the advertising. Most of the time, you’ll find the promotion company logos on the posters or they’ll be tagged in social media posts. Then, it’s as easy as asking. The only downside to this is that you usually have to be there before 11 PM or midnight. That may sound late to those of you going out here for the first time, but believe us – it’s not. However, getting in without having to pay a cover charge still outweighs the fact that you might have to wait for the place to fill up.
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Plan ahead We’ve worked hard to provide the best information we can on our site to help you party with ease. With that being said, utilize the tools we’ve given you. Start with thecalendar and find artists that interest you. If you have no idea who an act is, then simply click the ‘more information’ link and you can find out what they are all about. After you’ve found a party that interests you, take note of the location and head to ourvenue list. You’ll find the address, nearby subway stop(s), hours, and more. The easyto-read map is very useful when you’re under the influence. (Trust us. We’ve been there.) Also, look up the websites for these venues and make sure you are clear about the price you’ll be paying and the dress code. They will turn you away at the door if you aren’t dressed properly.
Get in good with the bar staff Even if you aren’t a big drinker, this suggestion can still be beneficial to you and your friends. For those that don’t know, tipping isn’t a common practice in South Korea. If you come from a country where tipping is always practiced, drinking and eating here will almost feel unnatural. After spending several years in South Korea, we’ve noticed that tipping is the easiest way to get on a bartender’s good side. They aren’t expecting tips, so they are surprised when they get them. They’ll almost always refuse, but if you insist, they’ll settle. Then comes the good stuff. After they know you are a good customer, you’ll get better drinks (read: more alcohol), quicker service, and sometimes even free shots. The other night, we witnessed a guy tip 3,000 won (about 3 USD) and get a whole round of free shots for himself and several friends. You can’t beat that! If a club or lounge is strict on not accepting tips, they’ll still appreciate the gesture. You can always smile and give them a big “thank you” instead. This will probably not have as an extreme of an effect, but it will still work if done repeatedly. Another workaround for tipping is to actually buy the bartender a shot or drink when you order. They
appreciate that just as much, if not more sometimes!
Be smart about taxis If you already know how much a taxi fare should be when you are changing neighborhoods, don’t let the taxi drivers try to offer you a fixed fare. For example, if you are in Itaewon and grabbing a taxi to head to Gangnam, this should cost somewhere between 8,000-10,000 won most of the time. However, you’ll run into a lot of drivers that will quote you as much as 30,000 won. While they might be convenient, you are wasting cash. If you are patient and spend a few minutes looking, you’ll find a taxi that will agree to use the meter. Tell them your destination and ask “meter?”. If they say yes, you just saved yourself quite a bit of money. If they say no, don’t bother.
Soak in the culture After a long night of clubbing, don’t hesitate to experience the cultural aspects of Korean nightlife. Eat some street food. There are stalls decorating almost every street nearby the major venues. Walk up, point to what you want to eat, and give them the cash. If you feel like sitting down, there are many restaurants that stay open at all times. You can grab some delicious BBQ and a few more beers and shots of soju while the sun rises. Another Korean pastime is the noraebang, or singing room. Grab a few friends and rent a room for an hour or two. Some allow you to even bring in your own alcohol, which is great news for your wallet. Once inside, choose your songs and start singing. If you’re lucky, you’ll find some of the special noraebangs that even have all-you-can-eat ice cream! Have a tip that we should include in our next round of advice? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org! We’ll be sure to give you credit too!
ELECTROW VOLUME THREE Saturday, March 15th, 2014, seemed like the first day of Spring in South Korea. It also marked the 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival, hosted by the Irish Association of Korea. This year’s event took place just outside of exit 1 at Sindorim Station. Koreans and expats alike had opportunities to experience many different aspects of Irish culture. The stage in the center of D-cube City Plaza was the main attraction, with various bands and dance troupes from all over Asia. The deli, just inside the entrance of D-Cube City, had Irish stew and bangers & mash available for visitors to taste Irish cuisine. There was also a face painting tent and information about many Irish culture-based organizations, such as the Gaelic Football Club and a study abroad in Ireland program. The festival kicked off at noon, and as the day progressed, the sea of green attendees grew exponentially. The event was graced with the presence of the newly appointed Ambassador of Ireland to Korea, Aingeal O’Donoghue. Since this was her first St. Patrick’s Day in Korea, she was very excited to spread the Irish culture and promote the continued cooperation between Korea and Ireland. She also announced that this would be
the first year that N Seoul Tower would be lit up green in honor of the holiday. By the late afternoon, around the time many people were a few pints in, a crowd had gathered in front of the stage to dance. Everyone was in a great mood as they tried their own version of the Irish jig to the traditional music. One of the most enjoyable things of the afternoon was running into old friends and meeting new ones. Everyone in attendance was happy to talk and share the spirit of the festival. Andrew Kilbride from the Irish Association had this to say about the event: “We [the Irish Association] feel the event was a massive success. We would like to thank everyone for coming and getting involved. It’s fantastic to see the expat and Korean communities come together and celebrate as one. I hope we can grow this festival even more next year”. It was a great day full of family, friends and fun out in the sun. If you missed this year’s event, you’ll just have to wait until next year.
DEEP MUSIC ZONE: LEADING the
MOVEMENT Local DJ Helix Squared takes the time to answer a few questions about drum ‘n’ bass music and the event he helped start - DMZ (Deep Music Zone).
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Let’s start off with an introduction of DMZ. When/Where/How did it all begin? Helix Squared: First off, DMZ was a concept put together by Special Ed and myself. We both have been part of other bass parties, but wanted one that was gonna keep the emphasis on drum ’n’ bass, and show its eclectic variations, from Ragga, tech, jazz, deep, hardcore, and soulful. We were lucky enough that DOJO Lounge was looking for something different and interested in letting us have a go at a monthly residency. So, we started that off in May of 2013 and have been going strong ever since.
If you had to create a mission statement for DMZ, what things would you be sure to include? Helix Squared: A mission statement for DMZ, hmm. I would say "To expand your inner cortex with vibrations of the low end while soothing your consciousness with soulful melodies."
For the readers that have never expeirenced drum ’n’ bass music, how would you describe it? What are the key components to a DnB production? HELIX SQUARED: I think DnB is one of the most powerful genres of Bass music because of its heavy bass lines. They are so diverse in use, and can literally be felt through a proper sound system . It vibrates your inner being! As for production of DnB, you need to have several layers of kick to encompass a wider expansion of the sound. For example when making a kick for a track, I try to find a high,
low and mid kick, then I use them together to make the one sound I'm looking for. Same goes with the snare. Then arrange them with high hats and ride to make your break. Making the drums syncopation is one of the most vital parts. Then comes finding and manipulating the bass wave you want to be felt and heard with atmospheric sounds, vocals, or samples. I myself am still learning the art of production, but have been very inspired by artists in Korea like J-Path and Special ED. Both of them have some real skill with DnB production.
Walk us through the approach of a good DJ. What sorts of things should he/she be focusing on when in the booth? Do you have any specific advice for DnB DJs? HELIX SQUARED: On the DJ tip, These days everyone is a DJ. I learned on the wheels of steel, where you actually have to focus and use your ears. Anyway, these days a good DJ needs to read the crowd. So many DJs come with a fully prepared set for the night, which can be awesome if the crowd is on the same vibe. But, many times, you need to warm them up to the heavier tracks, so be prepared with numerous vibes. Don't get caught with no alternative. Before your set, listen to the music or do a proper sound
Helix Squared check before you play to hear how the system is doing. Look at the people and see if they are ready for heavy beats or chilled-out soulful beats. My only advice for DnB DJs is to keep it coming and try to vary the selection throughout the night. Know who you’re playing with, so you don't hear the same track 2-3 times in a night!
If you could throw an allstar edition of DMZ and invite any five DJs from around the world, who would you put on the lineup? And of course, why? HELIX SQUARED: An all star DMZ Party would consist of Calyx & Teebee for sure. They are killing it these days production wise, and as a DJ team they unleash such heavy vibes. It is something Korea has never experienced. Next would be DJ
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(contd.) experienced. Next would be DJ Marky. He is a
showman with mad skills and brings a varied track list, but with that energetic Brazilian vibe. I would also like to have Jenna G. Not for DJing, but for her live vocal performance with say, Calibre. Calibre has to be one of the best producers out there with consistent vibes that never let you down.
Let’s move on to Korea. How has the scene evolved in Korea since DMZ started? What do you think are the most important factors that caused this? HELIX SQUARED: Over the last year, I have seen the scene actually diminish, because there are so many little bass parties going on. Years ago when Club Cargo was the only DnB venue in town, it was packed for every show. Now there are various shows every other week, if not more, so the crowds are split up and are actually breaking the scene.
You’ve been throwing events for quite some time now. Especially for bass music, a quality sound system is a huge priority. What are some of the other important things to consider when choosing a venue? HELIX SQUARED: When choosing a venue, you need to be honest with yourself about how many people will actually come. If you try to book a huge venue and don't have a huge following for your line-up, you’re gonna feel heartbroken when it looks empty and the owner gives you a crooked stink eye. I really like smaller, more intimate venues where people have to get a little close. This helps build the energy and excitement. Also, the location of the venue can have a huge impact on the turnout for a crowd. If it is out of the way and lacking public transportation or parking, you're gonna have the crowd dwindling down by 1am.
DMZ has featured some really talented MCs over the course of these events (including MC Lucid who performed his final show with the crew last month). What role does the MC play in the DnB scene, and what separates a good MC from the rest. HELIX SQUARED: MC's can be either make or break a vibe. A good MC rolls with the music giving it room to breathe and accentuates the music rather than try to just hear their voice over the music. A talented MC gets the crowd involved and knows how to hype them up! Now that you’ve learned more about DnB and DMZ, be sure to take the opportunity and check the event out in the coming months!
Pictured above, MC Lucid, was a regular MC for the DMZ events. He played his last show in March and left Korea on a high note to take over other countries with his talent. Helix Squared mentioned in the past, “Ed and I both knew right from the beginning which MC we wanted to be our host. MC Lucid is without a doubt one of the best in Korea. He does show up and get the crowd involved!”
DMZ FAVORITES CHART
HELIX SQUARED TOP 5 Track
Running Cold feat. Terri Walker (Roni Size Remix)
All I Need feat. Bailey Tzuke (Karma Remix)
Together in the Night feat. Mira
DJ Marky & Invaderz
SPECIAL ED TOP 5 Track
1502 (Octane, DLR, & Ant TC1 Remix)
Feel It (Paramount Remix)
Deeper (Part 2)
MC LUCID TOP 5 Track
The Clock Ticks
Where Do We Go From Here? (Calibre Remix)
Live On Your Smile
Optiv and Btk
Lef Dem feat. Redders
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DMZ will hold its next event on April 5th, 2014 at Dojo Lounge in Itaewon. Support the ongoing drum ‘n’ bass movement in Korea by attending!
Visit chart online
LOWDOWN If you are like us, you have often asked yourself how it is possible to get certain things done in this country. The opportunities are endless in Korea, and with our guides in this section, you’ll be on your way to accomplishing some really cool stuff !
More LEGAL Money ALMOST THERE By BX
Korea is the land of opportunity, it presents lots of ways to make money. Just take a stroll down Itaewon's main streets and side roads, any day, and you'll see people from all over the world making a living in Seoul. Teaching is not the only to earn a pay- check here. The previous two issues have outlined a step by step plan on how to acquire the initial 75 points for an F2 visa. Now it’s time for the final 5 points that will send you to the immigration office to apply for the visa. (Be sure to check the last two issues of Elect Row to catch up: premiere issue p 18, second issue p 28) Getting started on obtaining the final 5 points is quite simple. Just go to your employer for the last fiscal year, and ask for a copy of “Earned Income Tax Withholdings”. It is an official government document that is used to show the amount of money earned in the last year. It’s pretty easy to obtain. A simple photocopy will supply everything you need to get a few points. The points are given by annual income. If you earned 20 million or less, 1 point is awarded. Every 10 million more a year awards 1 more point. The scale maxes out at 100 million a year, which would give 10 points to the F2-7 visa applicant. Teaching English will award you around 2-3 points,
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depending on your monthly salary. This should bring your total points to around 77 to 78 points. The last few points, just like the last few miles of a marathon, are the most difficult to acquire. Most of these points will come from the “Extra Points Criteria” section. This section starts off with the Annual income Tax Payment Record. The lowest level for this section is a single point. To earn this you have to have paid less than 100-200 million won worth of taxes that year. The points increase by 1 for every 100 million paid in taxes. The scale maxes out at 500 million+ with 5 points. To acquire these points you simple need to bring in your tax records from the previous year, which you already used to prove for your Annual Income points. There are no guaranteed points from this section. It all depends on past tax records. A majority of points can be earned in the "Study Abroad Experience in Korea". You'll receive 1 point for any formal Korean language study done at a academy in Korea. Upon completing a level, an official document should be received from the school. This is only good for 1 point, no matter how many semesters you have attended. However, if you have earned a degree in Korea, you can get the following points: associate’s degree (2 points), bachelor’s degree (3 points), a master’s degree (4 points) and a PH.D (5 points). To acquire these points, the Immigration Office has to receive a copy of the official diploma from the school. Enough points can be acquired simply by obtaining any higher form of education in Korea. However, earning points in these areas requires a large investment of time and money.
just any volunteering will count for points. It has to be an organization that the Korean Government recognizes. This can be tricky, but in order to officially count volunteer hours, you must register with this site (http:// www.vms.or.kr/index.jsp). Ask any Korean friends or expats with the visa where they did their hours. Volunteering for 1-2 years will earn 1 point, 2-3 years will earn 3 points, and 3+ years of donating your free time will earn 5 points. For me, this was a critical area to acquire the points in, so if you’re really interested in obtaining this visa it’s time to get to work. For those that didn’t come to Korea fresh out of university, there is a “Professional Experiences Abroad” area to earn some points. 1 to 2 years experience earns 1 point, while 2-3 years get 3, and 5+ receives the maximum points of 5. The difficulty in getting these points is proving work experience. The Seoul immigration office requires a signed letter from the CEO of the company verifying the employment period. I would also suggest bringing in any tax records that prove/verify your employment. [insert extra points criteria image]
Follow these not-so-simple steps to acquire the F2-7 Visa. It will take time, but it’s worth it if you want to consider a long term stay in Korea. Be sure to check back in the next issue for tips at the immigration office- what to do, what not to do, and how to save a lot of time and frustration.
Another way to earn some points through nothing but time is volunteering. Now, not
ELECT ROW’S FEATURED CHART The title says it all. In every issue, we feature a chart that was put together by one of South Korea’s most prominent DJs. This month, we have a chart from American DJ, Ian L. This South Korea-based DJ and producer can be found playing all over South Korea, including at the number 9 club in the world, Club Octagon. Catch him there on April 4th alongside Jay Claytor for Global Mix x Octaduo. Like Ian L. on Facebook and check out his website, Delicious Vibes.
IAN L.’S ELECT ROW SPRING CHART Track
Rush (Original Mix)
More & More & More (Original Mix)
Commando 78 (Original Mix)
Woodpecker From Mars (Original Mix)
South Keys (Original Club Mix)
Prok & Fitch
Bass & The Beats (Original Mix)
Goodbye Hipster (Original Mix0
And The Slang (Original Mix)
Buraq, Patrick Podage
Back There (Original Mix)
Pop Your Pu**y (Original Mix)
Visit this chart online.
ELECT ROW’S FEATURED EVENT We added this feature last month, and are excited to keep it going! For this issue’s featured event, we’re sticking with the bass and showcasing Sub Syndic8 Vol. 3. It’ll take place on April 18th in Songdo (Incheon) at B1 Club & Pub.
SUB-SYNDIC8 VOL. 3
Feel free to submit your events to our submissions email address at email@example.com! We just might feature your event in our next issue.
A Goblinâ€™s Guide to ESL in Korea
American Smell Seogyo-dong 402-12 2F (Near Hapjeong Station)
"Tired of Korean beer? Â Start making your own at home. Â Get all the ingredients and equipment you need and take a beginner class to learn how to do it right." www.seoulhomebrew.com 31
ElectRow is a media outlet dedicated to electronic music and the culture it inspires in South Korea.