It’s been about a year and a half, about the duration of the pandemic so far, since we last heard from Dongyang Gozupa, with the single “Creature”. At last, they’re back with another burst of power and precision, prog-rock colliding with traditional Korean court music. Their centrepiece is Yun Eunhwa’s yanggeum, a Korean dulcimer with a tangy timbre. The sounds she summons from it are bold, energized, unpredictable yet sharply sculpted. At her sides are the churning bass of Ham Minhwi and solid drumming by Jang Dohyuk. “Arcade” is Jang’s composition, and it packs a lot into its six minutes. The title is both an architectural reference – a succession of distinct spaces under a shared roof, with entrance and exit clearly indicated – but also (notice the 8-bit artwork of the record sleeve, designed by artist Ye-A) a nod to video games. More precisely, a classic, hectic side-scroller, with a new theme for each level. Hell, it’s even got a great big-boss battle theme at the end. Press start to play!
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