2019 American Music Awards

K-Pop Legend Seo Taiji Enlists IU for Synth Spectacular 'Sogyeokdong'

Seo Taiji

The singer/composer previews his first album in five years with a gorgeous collaboration track.

After five years away from the scene, singer and producer Seo Taiji -- whose group Seo Taiji and the Boys is largely credited for establishing modern K-pop -- returns with a new collaboration track featuring K-Pop Hot 100 chart queen IU. To precede his upcoming album Quiet Night, two versions of new song "Sogyeokdong," produced and written by the 42-year-old, will be released. The first features IU singing over Seo Taiji's composition.

"Sogyeokdong" is a gorgeous synth-pop affair that shows both artists dabbling in new sonic territory. Typically heard on throwback-inspired orchestra or jazz arrangements, IU's coos and harmonies hit a sweet spot inside the sheen synthesizers. And while Seo Taiji has become famous for his rock and nu-metal works, the Seoul native has found his place as an electronic producer, creating an emotional production -- in the same vein of Porter Robinson -- that's glossed over with strong and memorable melodies.

Sogyeokdong is a neighborhood in Seoul's central Jongnogu district (where the president lives), and this new track is an attempt to channel the area's vibe in the '80s, aka when synths and synth-pop sounds were just making their way into mainstream music. But despite its nod to the past, it still sounds more forward-thinking than most electro-pop today -- if it's even trying to appeal to conventional pop sensibilities.

Seo Taiji's version of "Sogyeokdong," featuring himself on vocals, will drop Oct. 10 with the new album Quiet Night on the 20th. According to reports, the album will showcase a new sound for the singer/producer which may very well mean a deeper dive into electronic music.


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