In a scene rife with cover bands it’s a breath of fresh air to encounter a Westerner band with a sound of their own. Yet Ssighborggggg (that’s not a typo) are more than a breath of fresh air, in fact they’re more like a breath of Martian air: A bizarre sound clash of beautiful earl bleeding synth lines, drum loops of unsettling off beats, and mutant guitar riffs that would give Steve Vai a headache. Their live show is more of an experience that anything else, with two masked individuals almost completely ignoring the audience and refusing to interact in anyway, instead engrossed in working through the intricate songs.
Initially Ssighborggggg was a one man band, a project of Sean Maylone, who plays guitar, keyboards as well as endlessly toys with drum loops and samplers on his notebook. Yet he was soon joined by Nathan Doucet, a veteran of Canada’s hardcore scene, on drums. It’s difficult to define their sound but the closest you could come is to label them ‘noise pop’ (like crawling inside a NES with a head full of acid) .Recurring themes include scared cats, bright colors, 8 bit synth, wizards and any thing else that will give you a headache in large quantities. Yet while a casual first time listener may assume the music is just structureless jamming you soon realize that every second of Ssighborggggg’s music is carefully planned out, being infinitely intricate and requiring a serious professional attitude to pull off live.
While there isn’t really a ‘scene’ for noise pop/rock in Korea (to claim there is would be to construct a fictional scene, the bands within it only holding the similarity that they are in Korea and make music of a more avante garde variety) Ssighborggggg fit nicely on the same bill as one man bands such as JT Arpe, Not Jeremy Jones and other electronic artists such as Swingset Committee.
Yet this is where Ssighborggggg’s professionalism comes into play; they will happily share the stage with anyone, in fact they actively seek to, as their aim is to grow the scene for independent bands in Korea. This is where Sean Maylone’s promotion company Super Color Super comes into the picture: the aim being to build up a network of DIY concert venues and bring exposure for under the radar talent, thus reducing the expenses for both bands and concert goers.
Another aim of their’s is to bring in foreign bands to do short tours through Korea. The first of these was Korean-American alternative hip hop artist Nosaj Thing and currently they are operating a short tour for Japanese artist Henna Dress (whose sound is described as ‘Game boy music’: You can catch Henna Dress on September 17th at Mudaeryuk in Seoul and on September 18th at Club MP in Daegu).
-All the bands set up at the same time along the perimeter of the room with
the audience in the center
- Each band does one song at a time, no breaks, back to back to back etc.
until the show is completed
- There is no headliner or opener, no front row or back of the room
The next Round Robin show will be on September 19th at OBEG, the participating acts including Henna Dress, DJ SILENT ,10 ,Zentaffy – Simo + Mood Schula and Trampauline with visual art by SOONDORI, SSSIGHBORGGG and Sseo-Hye.
Meanwhile the future is bright (or should it be day-glo?) for Ssighborggggg, who will embark on a tour through China from October 15-24th, no doubt with an entourage of wizard and terrified cats.
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