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Dongyang Gozupa biography
Dongyang Gozupa is a progressive rock trio based in Seoul, South Korea, formed in 2017 and originally consisting of Jang Do-hyuk on percussion, Yun Eun-hwa on yanggeum, and Choi Woo-young on bass. The yanggeum is a Korean metal-stringed hammered dulcimer type instrument originating from the Persian region of the ancient middle east in the eighteenth century.

Jang Do-hyuk was formerly the percussionist of the now disbanded psychedelic rock band Danpyunsun and the Sailors, and after that band folded he wanted to create a new one with the yanggeum at its center and no vocalist. He initially reached out to Yun Eun-hwa, asking her to introduce some of her students, but Yun said she was interested in joining the band herself, so in 2018 he started Dongyang Gozupa with her and Choi Woo-young, who was the bassist in his former band. In 2020, Choi left the band and Ham Min-hwi joined as their new bass player.

Through a blend of the yanggeum and modern Western sounds, Dongyang Gozupa, which translates to eastern high frequency, fuses traditional Korean music, known as gugak, with progressive rock, experimental music and heavy metal. What sets them apart from other fusion bands that reinterpret gugak is that they don't use vocals of any kind, instead creating a trailblazing percussion-driven sound with the yanggeum at its center. Jang Do-hyuk conceived the name of the band from the signboard of a neighborhood electronics repair shop.

After their debut in 2018, with the release of an EP entitled 'Gap', the trio gained a lot of attention quickly through global tours, and were the first Korean band to be invited to Worldwide Music Expo (WOMEX) for two consecutive years, in 2020 and 2021. Since then, the trio has built their global presence through international festival appearances and headline shows such as the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in Malaysia, and WOMAD Chile in 2022.

The band also debuted at the Southbank Centre in London as part of their international tour in November 2022, which was followed by performances in Denmark. They have also performed at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Vancouver Island Musicfest, Mission Folk Festival in Canada and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the U.S.

Dongyang Gozupa are also planning a tour of China, where many South Korean artists are prohibited from performing. They collaborated with a Chinese label in 2019, and expect to be performing in Guangzhou and a few other cities...
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 Kyul by DONGYANG GOZUPA album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.00 | 2 ratings

Dongyang Gozupa Post Rock/Math rock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars After having listened very much to the very prolific Russian multi-instrumentist SENMUTH, I wasn't expecting to find something sounding similar to him. The similarity is mainly in the rhythmic part and in the chord progressions. Of course, Senmuth plays a lot of ethnic instruments, but I'm not sure about the Korean Dulcimer that Yun plays excellently. I have no idea of the kind of skill neded to play it, but I have the impression of a virtuoso.

Similarity in the kind of sensations and mental images that their music is able to raise. Despite being from the far East, it's only on track #5 "Rust" that we can hear something clearly oriental, and it's a beautiful track. Repetitive but not obsessing, melancholic but not dark on which the fretless bass enters unexpected and takes the lead for few bars before giving the stage back to the dulcimer.

This track would be enough to make this album a good purchase, but the whole album is extremely enjoyable, moving from dark ambient to newagey oriental flavors. The musicianship of this trio is remarkable. Drums and sometimes percussion create a perfect background on which bass and dulcimer take the lead.

The absence of guitars and keyboards is not perceivable. When some distortion is needed it's the bass that works as an electric guitar.

The production is very clean, and for this kind of music a clear production is a must. I think it could be used to test ampli and speakers by audiophiles.

I want to mention track #8 "Hide and Seek". even if it has a fast and strong rhithm, it makes me think to Vangelis with the chord progression, with the addition of a very fast dulcimer playing. It's incredible the way it sounds "full" even without a keyboard background.

A 4 stars album from a highly skilled trio.

Thanks to octopus-4 for the artist addition.

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