Tag Archives: Explosions

2013 Busan Sunset Live Preview – (Part 2)

Sunset Live Preview Part 1

Before we get into the meat of it, some quick bits of info are in order. Since my last post on Sunset Live, some new info has been released: luckily for us foreigners, we can now buy tickets via bank transfer (details at the end of the post). Also, they announced the actual venue which is an upgrade. This year all the fun is going down at the far end of Song Jeong Beach. It isn’t clear if it’s on the sand or on that pier… but it beats last year’s parking lot! Ok – on to the music.

The festival will be held in the blue area at the bottom of the map. Show this to your taxi driver.

The festival will be held in the blue area at the bottom of the map. Show this to your taxi driver.

Saturday’s lineup is dominated by Korean ska and latin bands. Like I said before, every band stands up on it’s own but definitely don’t miss these – the two Japanese reggae bands: The Explosions and No Brand… Korean ska powerhouse Kingston Rudieska… Brazilian beat masters Rapercussion… #1 Korean… South Carnival… hell – don’t miss any bands.

On the facebook – like the Busan Sunset Live page. They regularly post videos of all the bands from the lineup.

Kingston Rudieska – These boys have been making original Jamaican ska music for 10+ years in Seoul. Always ahead of the curve, it seems Kingston Rudieska is finally making it having appeared too-many-times-to-count on TV, touring internationally, collaborating with K-pop stars and recently acting in, what seems to me, a Korean version of The Harder they Come. Ok… it’s not the same plot, but it’s a starring ska musicians. So maybe that’s a stretch. We’ll have to wait until it comes out. Regardless – one of my favorite bands hands down.

Every Single Day – If you watch any Korean dramas, you already know this band. Their music has been featured on multiple television shows and is very recognizable. They have a happy-fun-time pop rock sound. ESD actually has roots in Busan. On one of their albums, you can hear them snarling at each other in Busan dialect before a track… but actually they were wondering aloud when to start playing. Oh Busan Dialect!

The Explosions – Whoa… I’ve been checking these boys out on the youtube and I’m super excited to see them. If you know reggae music at all, think ‘Scratch Perry at his dubbiest, but live.’ If you don’t know reggae music, think ‘My fuck – I need a fat blunt and a bean bag chair STAT!’ The Explosions are everything you could want from a reggae band: hypnotic bass lines, echo and jangle guitar, melodian to put you in a trance. Wah gwan rude boi!

No Brand – And in yet another piece of evidence that everything the Japanese do musically is 200%, we have No Brand: Super fun reggae music, with sexy, in a hippie-chick way, dancers! Once again, I only know them from youtube but they seem tight and ready to explode with some sort of free love sentiment at every turn. Another one not to miss.

#1 Korean – I wrote about them for the Busan Rock Fest. Sadly, the organizers had them on at the beginning of the day – which is bullshit. This band buts on a show. Period. The front man is sauve and charismatic. Their punk is restrained to the point that it is still fun and listenable and their ska lights up the dance floor.

Rapercussion/Zion Luz Project – I probably shouldn’t put both of these bands together… but I am. I have known Rapercussion for years and they always manage to get all 6’5″ of me bouncing around like I’m on gummy berry juice. Zion Luz Project is a new iteration of the former… but with different personnel I think. Some other differences may be: Rapercussion is to Batucada as Zion Luz is to West African Rhythms/Reggae. It doesn’t matter what these guys and girls do though… they are all extremely talented musicians and will play the crap out of anything. Also: Dreadlocks!

Rapercussion: More band members than people in the audience.

Rapercussion: More band members than people in the audience.

Yaya – Sunset Live is special because they manage to bring the entire Island of Misfit Toys and put them on one stage. Yaya is a mind blowing artist. You can’t put her in a box. She’s mysterious, she’s rock and roll, she’s gypsy. Her voice does interesting things: she can sound like a duck or a songbird or speak in German and Spanish. And it all fits in some bizarre way.

Jude – ‘HEY – WE PLAY FUN POPPY ROCK AND WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK!!’ Ok… they don’t just play rock. You’ll also hear some soul, r&b and other good listenin’ musics. My wife is going to love them. Talent all over the stage… check out their drummer.

South Carnival – One of the very few bands making waves out of Jeju these days. It’s hard to pin down their genre because they don’t consistently play a single particular style. You’ll hear everything from latin, ska, reggae, brass band – If it sounds good and makes you dance, South Carnival will make it into a song.

Duo Sonic feat. Jae Yong Lee – Can’t find anything on this act. Must be a one-off band.

Ska Wakers – Busan’s very own ska-plosion. This gang has been around for a long time and within the last year have honed their sound to a fine result. Their originals have evolved too, using a lot more different styles for accent. One of my favorites is What is Love which manages to mix reggae, tango, jazz and latin for a song that’s too easy to lose yourself in.

Americano Band – Another fun poppy rock band. I bet they chose their name because they knew their music would, one day, be pumped into cafes all across the peninsula.

So there you have it… if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Be back with part 3 shortly!

Buying tickets via Bank Transfer: Gather your friends and figure out how many tickets you need. Remember… it’s buy five (of the same price level) get one free! Transfer the correct amount to KB Bank (국민은행) 115301-04-069812 (엠팩토리). It is 22,000 for one day and 33,000 for both. After the money has been sent, email busansunset@naver.com with your name, phone number and type and number of tickets purchased. They should email you back a confirmation letter.

2013 Busan Sunset Live Preview (Part 1)

At the end of every summer, great bands from every corner of Korea, Japan and beyond converge upon some idyllic place near Busan and make a party. Pure and simple. No pretensions, no stress, no worries. It’s called Sunset Live and it’s the little brother of one of the largest reggae festivals in the world.

My first Sunset Live was 3 years ago in the mountains near Yangsan. It was just a small gathering of music lovers… maybe 50 or 60. Back then, it was only a one day festival but most of the bands and fans stayed overnight in a nearby ski lodge. The all night party was RIDICULOUS. The sound company set up a small dance club in the hotel lobby… which was joined by Brazilian beat masters Rapercussion (also on the bill this year). They distributed all manner of percussive toys and drums to us and suddenly the dance party became a percussion jam along to the DJ’s rhythms. I remember the band leader walking around with a whistle giving various rhythms to people. All the bands lounged around on the picnic tables outside and the beer flowed like wine. The good vibes were organic and I was having too good a time to grasp how fondly I’d later look back on that weekend.

And I digress… Just know that I look forward to this festival every year starting on the last chord of the previous year’s final band.

Sunset Live

The festival’s first year was 1993 in Itoshima, Japan. A group of surfers rented out a parking lot and brought as many people together as they could to raise funds and awareness for the ocean. The first year’s motto was “Let’s Clean Up Our Dirty Ocean!” or something along those lines as it doesn’t quite translate. These days, the Fukuoka festival is 3 days with 75+ bands on the lineup. The Busan festival is now in it’s 7th year and growing nicely.

This year the festival will be held at Songjeong beach over two days (August 31st and September 1st) with 25+ bands covering Electronica, Reggae, Ska, Jazz, Pop and various Rocks. Even though Sunset Live grows each year, it has still managed to keep it’s grassroots feel. Bands mingle with the regular folk… good food (last year was catered by the Holy Grill in Daegu!)… cool vendors… Everything is just perfectly chill. As it’s a long day outside, I suggest you bring the usual sun protection, a nice blanket to sit on, some folding chairs perhaps and a cooler with ice and refreshing beverages.

With all these bands, I’m not going to squeeze everything into one post… but spread it out into several. The order of bands will be thus:

Sunset Live Lineup

If you’re interested in buying tickets beforehand, you can get them on Interpark but you might need a Korean friend to help the process along. Prices are 22,000 won for 1 day… 33,000 won for both days: a goddamn steal considering the cost of most other weekend festivals you’ll find around Korea.

UPDATE: The festival is promoting a buy 5 get 1 free deal for tickets!

And while I’m mentioning money, I’d like to say that the organizers seem to care very little for it. You won’t find yourself paying 5 bucks for a bottle of water and they don’t mind if you bring in your own food or drink.

I’ll leave you all with a plain ol’ lineup per day. Of course, within the list are bands I’m excited to see for the first time, bands I’ve never heard of and bands I’m psyched to see for the umpteenth time… But I can’t honestly say any one of these bands isn’t worth seeing on their own. It’s music lover’s Festivus with no grievances to air!

This year’s lineup is:


  • Kingston Rudieska
  • Every Single Day
  • The Explosions (Japan)
  • No Brand (Japan)
  • #1 Korean
  • Rapercussion
  • Zion Luz Project
  • Yaya
  • Jude
  • South Carnival
  • Duo Sonic feat. Lee Jae Yong
  • Ska Wakers
  • Americano Band


  • Lee Han Chul
  • Windy City
  • Human Race
  • Bard
  • Unchained
  • One Drop East
  • Tehiun and Purijah
  • Ninano Nanda
  • Seoul Riddim Superclub
  • Hot Pepper Pasta
  • Cozy Cafe
  • Cowchips

I’ll be back soon with a preview of each day. Stay tuned!