Korea Town Acid (Jessica Cho) is a South Korean-born and Toronto-based musician creating some of the more interesting and genre-melding music today. Born in Seoul, she bridges the divide between cultures with her new album Metamorphosis, working with Toronto based artist DESIIRE, U.K.-based Korean pianist and rapper Pianwooo, Seoul rapper PNSB, L.A beatmaker Dreamdave and New Jersey MC, L.J The Alien.
The album is a genre-defying creation of hip-hop, glitch, jungle, house and dub, blending them together over the full album and even on individual tracks. “Law Of Attraction (삶)“ delivers on slowed dub with her soft voice in the background, while “Eclipse (일)” with PNSB is a silky smooth combination of Korean rap and house music. “Bounce (흥)” picks up the energy with a bouncing rap beat and Pianwooo who adds some light piano and a mix of rapping and deep growls.
We wanted to get a better idea of how an album like Metamorphosis could be built with all of the different genres and cultures being brought together, so we had Cho step into the director’s chair for a new Director’s Cut feature. She breaks down the ideas, collaborations, inspirations and more behind the record in this. Pick up the album on Bandcamp or wherever else you listen to music.
This has a contribution from L.A-based, super tasty beat-maker Dreamdave. He is a mentor and a friend. The “Korea Town Acid” shout out is from the legendary rapper Imani (The Pharcyde). It has a boom bop swag style. “Korea Town Acid, Mouth full of LSD” It is a short and sweet, perfect opening sequence.
2. Curtain Call
This is my cinematic interpretation of 90’s boom bop. I was inspired by the Korean mystery drama The Lady in Dignity Season one last episode 20. The heroine dies in the movie and a pop artist paints her life and the painting was called “Curtain Call.” There are occasional gunshots, crowd applauses and retro jazz piano.
3. Bloom (feat Desiire)
1a: to produce or yield flowers. b: to support abundant plant life make the desert bloom. 2a(1): to mature into achievement of one’s potential. (2): to flourish in youthful beauty, freshness, or excellence. b: to shine out or glow.
I was feeling inspired by the word bloom and this song sounds like swimming in emotions of bloom. Desiire is a very talented R&B soul singer based in Toronto. His beautiful voice has helped my execution further. Thank you.
4. Dazed (feat LJ the Alien)
This is probably one of my favorite songs on the album. I vibe with the mood that it captures. It’s a trippy and dazed feeling. I love the tonality of the rapper LJ The Alien from New Jersey blending with the beat. I focused on giving lots of dynamics and space to really feel when the sub bass kicks in.
5. Eclipse (feat. PNSB)
Imagine an infinite late night when you feel really engaged with yourself and you are practicing spiritual engaging experience and dreaming in reality. There is some minor key synth noodling and delicate piano.
PNSB is a very unique rapper from Seoul and shout out to Alice who connected us together. It was one of my favorite tracks when I started the album and was released as a first single.
6. Bounce (feat. Pianwooo)
A dystopian city becomes cyber Seoul. “Red pill, blue pill. Which one would you take?” Pianwooo drops the questions and brings Matrix energy. A UK based Korean rapper, we connected on the web and it became my second single of the album. The beat has the most aggressive energy from the album.
7. This World Is Sick
This song was made after I saw a photo of a California wildfire. I have developed deep compassion for the environment and natural disasters. It has dub techno influences and has minimal chaotic vibes or pull and pushing tension echoing dub experience.
8. Law Of Attraction
I was inspired by dub, reggae and future bass and wanted to keep the uplifting positive energy. I believe in the law of attraction and the song is about manifesting and I had to add chops to my vocals to experiment.
9. Into The Future
Inspired by 2050 AI Fantasy world where I can imagine AI robots flying around. The Sound palette was IDM, Modular synths and intricate broken beat programming. I love the post-production at the end of the track. There is energy and pulse into this track that sounds like a circuit board.
10. There’s No Turning Back
My friend had just played Coco Bryce and his sound inspired me. This is my fresh take on the emotional banger of drum and bass. It has pretty moody chords that are sustaining cohesion with the alternative beat patterns. It is the perfect track to end in climax. The sustain chord is from Juno 60.