This is one of those moments where we post something late that was in our stream months ago.
Part of the reason we didn’t post on these originally was that we really though they would garner more attention in the Kpop community (one of them in particular). Primary is one of those producers that is so much a part of the industry and works with so many amazing people that you would just think his stuff would soar like DJ Khaled’s. But these sets have been relatively ignored and we feel the need to rectify that right now.
The first of the EP the beatmaker put out is Shininryu, an album that is primarily R&B/hip-hop focused and has a lot of those bubbling-just-under-the-surface artists. The sound for the majority of the project is surprisingly feel good and groove-bop centered, shying away from the babymakers and slow jams that have highlighted a lot of the featured artists careers so far.
We love everyone included here, but we would be lying if the we didn’t say that eSNa, Joo young, Chancellor, Cokebath, Sumin, and Samuel Seo are the highlights of the piece. All of them just have a way of riding a beat with enthusiasm without going overboard. Their voices are just made for this kind of music and Primary really gives them a chance to shine.
Lyrically (from what we can glean from our limited translations), the majority of these are love/party songs, so you know what to expect. There are few noteworthy lines in there along with some “meh” ones, so putting it pretty much middle of the road. Listeners who aren’t fluent in Korean are probably going to get more out of this than those who are just because we can ignore the words and focus on the voices.
This is still a really good listen, though, and perfect as some of us reach the cooldown part of the year.
Our favorite tracks are Baby, Imagine, and Know. The most skippable is Night Flower.
The second EP the producer dropped was Pop and, boy, does it live up to its name. Featuring artists who tend to signify the “pop” part of Kpop, there is a slightly different vibe to this than the first EP. The sound between the two is actually pretty fluid, but there a little things in the depth of the melodies and overall brightness of the tracks themselves that makes the (at times) minor separation between the two genres.
What really separates this set from the previous one is the vocals. There are lot fewer spontaneous, upfront runs (most are relegated to background/support vocals and clearly written into the music itself) and generally more dialed-back performances overall. In some cases, like with Sanduel, this really surprised us as his performances in group usually have a little more gusto than this. The exception to all of this is Hush, which could have changed places on Shininryu with Night Flower and would have been a better fit.
The lyrics are pretty much the same as the previous set. No a lot that’s going to wow you, but nothing to really turn you off either. Again, non-Korean language listeners might have a better time with this than native speakers.
As you can probably tell, we like the first set better, but this one still draws our attention because it’s so well put together and sound good.
Our favorite tracks are Took and Diet. The most skippable is Right?.