By Shawn Despres
The 13th annual Ssamzie Sound Festival takes place this Sunday (October 2). After last fall’s scaled down event at V-Hall in Hongade, this year Ssamzie Sound Festival is returning to being a proper outdoor outing and will take place at Namyangju Sports & Culture Center (near Donong Station on the Jungang Line).
The lineup boasts nearly two dozen acts. Here’s everyone that will be playing: Te’, Chang Kiha and the Faces, Bamseom Pirates, Gogo Star, Dongmulwon Soran, Hong Sun Kwan and wHool, Goonamguayeoridingstella, Windy City, Yellow Monsters, Sugar Donut, LeeSsang, Galaxy Express, Han Young-ae, Yamagata Tweakster, The Koxx, 24 Hours, Black Bag, Fantastic Drug Store, Four Brothers, and Peacock Green. The latter five acts on the roster were the lucky finalists of the Ssamzie Sound Festival audition contest that was held in late summer.
While there is plenty of top-notch talent on the bill, the band I’m most excited about seeing is Tokyo’s Te’. The instrumental rockers formed in 2004 and issued their debut full-length in 2005. They’ve gone on to release three more scorching albums, but sadly only one of those (2008’s “Mashite. Kokoro To Gokan Ga Icchi Suru Nara Subete Saijou No [ongaku] ni Henzuru.”) has been licensed in South Korea.
Te’ have toured internationally in the US, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Ssamzie Sound Festival will be the quartet’s first time to play in South Korea. When asked why they’ve waited so long to come, guitarist Kono offers a simple answer.
“We’ve released a CD in Korea, but no one has invited us to tour there before now.”
Kono says Te’ will have some copies of 2010’s excellent “Aete, Rikai wo Nozomi Motsure Tsuku Onsei ya Moji no Wakugai de no ‘Yakusoku’ wo” (all of the act’s discs have ridicously long titles) to sell at Namyangju Sports & Culture Center. There’s a review of the record here. Te’ are currently working on tracks for their next album. It will be their first effort with new bassist Matsuda, who joined the band this past January. However, none of the new material will be previewed during their Ssamzie Sound Festival set.
“This time we only have 30 minutes to play, so we don’t have enough time for any new songs,” explains Kono. “We hope we can come back and play them another time.”
Known for their high energy gigs, Te’ are really excited to finally have the chance to share their music with a South Korean audience. Hopeful that folks at the Ssamzie Sound Festival with be able to match their intensity, Kono has one small request for the crowd.
“Please listen to our music and riot.”
The Ssamzie Sound Festival starts at 1 pm on Sunday. Tickets are 25,000 won at the gate. Namyangju Sports & Culture Center is located near Donong Station on the Jungang Line. Or you can get there by taking bus #1000 from Jamsil Station exit 9.