Seoul two-piece Mukimukimanmansu will be keeping themselves very busy this weekend with gigs on Friday (June 29) at Club Freebird, Saturday (June 30) at Club DGBS, and Sunday (July 1) at Salon Badabie.
Comprised of janggu (a traditional Korean drum) player Muki and guitarist Mansu, the pair met in 2009 and began playing their punk-infused art folk live in May 2011. Both Muki and Mansu are still university students. Mansu will graduate in the fall, and Muki will finish her schooling this winter.
“We first got to know each other while working together at our university’s newspaper, but we weren’t really close back then,” says Muki. “We later became best friends while gossiping about another person.”
According to Muki, the ladies only had three days to prepare for their first concert, which is why they thought performing as a duo would be best. As for instrumentation, the ease of transporting a janggu played a major role in it being incorporated into the act’s sound
“I learned how to play drums when we first formed the band,” Muki says. “Instruments are heavy to carry around, so I wanted to play music on a portable drum. Using a janggu was the only thing that came to mind when I was thinking about portable drums.”
Mukimukimanmansu’s debut full-length, “2012,” was released by local imprint Beatball Records in April. The label became interested in the group after watching a YouTube clip of the police breaking up one of Mukimukimanmansu’s gigs in July 2011 because of noise complaints.
“Beatball’s president was very impressed with the video clip and contacted us,” says Muki. “We, in turn, were pretty impressed with his taste because he liked that clip.”
Here’s live footage of the concert that helped land Mukimukimanmansu a record deal.
Nearly all of the tracks on “2012” were written last year. The dozen-song effort was recorded this past winter. A mix of straightforward acoustic numbers and more experimental cuts with wild, screamed vocals, the group are definitely at their best on the latter.
“We didn’t have enough songs for making a full album so we were still writing songs while we were recording,” says Muki.
“I wanted us to perfectly arrange all of the rhythms and harmonies we were going to play before recording,” adds Mansu. “But then I realized that keeping things loose would make us a better and more interesting band.”
Here’s the music video for “Andromeda,” the fantastic lead single from “2012.”
Mukimukimanmansu play on Friday at Club Freebird with Unside, Wise Apple, VenEZ, Fellas, Seoul Stead Rockers, and Cheez Stereo. The show starts at 8 pm. They also play on Saturday at Club DBGS with 14 other bands including Kuang Program and We Dance. The show starts at 5 pm. And Mukimukimanmansu will perform on Sunday at Salon Badabie with Ha Heon Jin, Danpyunsun, and Kim Dae Jung. The show starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets for all three shows are 15,000 won at the door.
Mukimukimanmansu will also perform on July 7 at the 2012 Guro Indie Rock Festival.