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Playlist Sunday: K-Pop Point Dances

Playlist Sunday In order for a performance to be memorable, the choreography has to be strong. Luckily, K-pop is never short of strong dance moves, given that most groups dance and, at least most of the members, kill it. But with so many songs, groups, and performances getting released every week, it’s difficult for anything to stick. That’s why choreographers tend to place a few point dances within the performance that will make viewers take notice and even emulate them. So for this week’s playlist, we’re listing some of our favorite K-pop point dances.

This is the song that started it all for me, both because of its unique use of chairs and because of the sensual dance choreography that fitted perfectly with the song. Though not the best song in terms of musicality, it’s certainly one that I love to dance and sing along to. It’s 2PM’s “A.D.T.O.Y” (All Day I Think Of You), and my personal favorite performance of this song would be during 2013 SBS’s “Gayo Daejun”, when the boys used roller chairs for the dance instead of their ordinary stationary chairs. It was definitely more dangerous but it made it all the more interesting and enjoyable.

— Anna


Also on KultScene: Let’s Discuss: INFINITE & The SM-Woollim Merger

A fast-tempo, synth-heavy track, SHINee’s “Lucifer” is one song which never fails to make me dance. The impressive sharp, almost robotic, choreography is very fitting for the processed song, and what I love most about the dance is how seemingly complex it is. It may not feature flips like a 2PM routine or fancy footwork like a Teen Top production, but the series of rather basic hand tutting of “Lucifer” might as well put this performance on par was them. After watching “Lucifer” performed live, SHINee definitely moved up in my books for best dance group.

— Shelley

I’m not that huge of a girl group fan, but one song that got me into Girl’s Day (or at least got me paying attention) was “Expectation.” Not only is the track really cool and infectious, but their choreography is all around on point as well. Never had I dug sexy girl group dances before this one. Because even if I found the suspenders tacky, I loved the point dance with them and without them. And that wasn’t the only one, the whole chorus and bridge are filled with a few key moves that make the performance memorable. Every time this song comes up, I dance along attempting to emulate them. “Expectation” is definitely my favorite song by this group, and the choreography is one of the reasons why.

— Alexis


Also on KultScene: Which Korean Entertainment Company Is For You? [Quiz]

Out of the many dance focused music videos Korean artists are known for, I personally feel like B.A.P‘s “One Shot” has one of the most aggressive and catchy point choreographies. From their floor work, which includes some intense push up moves, to their floor air body thrusts, to their “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” fancy arm and leg work and mid air jump, B.A.P makes this all look effortless, but as a viewer it’s almost exhausting to watch. Hopefully we’ll be able to see B.A.P perform more impactful music videos in the future!

–Tam

When it comes to point dances, there are a lot of really memorable K-pop dances, but I don’t think there is anything more iconic for a single K-pop group than INFINITE’s so-called scorpion dance from “Before The Dawn (BTD).” Most popular Korean songs have a dance move that is iconic, and performed during the chorus, such as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” horse-riding dance. INFINITE’s “BTD” has its own dance during the chorus, but it’s the dance move that comes at the end of the song that shot INFINITE to fame for being a group that tries incredibly complex dance moves. The scorpion dance brings all seven of INFINITE’s members to the ground for a second before kicking up and rising in perfect unison. The complexity of the dance, and INFINITE’s ability to perform the difficult move, makes this point dance from “Before The Dawn” one of my favorite K-pop dances.

–Tamar

What’s your favorite Korean song with a point dance? Let us know your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

INFINITE’s ‘Reality’ Album Review

infinite feature image

A year since their last return with “Be Back”, INFINITE is back with their newest albumReality“, which has topped music charts ever since it was released on the 13th of July. Through this album INFINITE shows development and growth, not just as a group but individually as well.

“Betting”

As with every INFINITE album, the first track is always an instrumental. It starts simply with a piano riff, but gradually increases in its intensity as more layers are added to it, finally cutting to silence at the peak of the short instrumental. It works effectively as a prelude because it is dramatic and delivers a lot of anticipation for the rest of the album.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIMRQQ0owEA&w=500&h=281]

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Playlist Sunday: Favorite INFINITE Songs

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INFINITE came back on July 13 with their new album “Reality”, and the teasers and music video for “Bad” are really getting us excited here at Kultscene. What better way to celebrate the group’s return than with a list of our favourite INFINITE songs?

There’s something about INFINITE’s “Can U Smile” that turns me into a giddy teenager again. Even though the lyrics to the song are a bit on the gloomier side, it’s one breakup song that I don’t mind listening to on continuous repeat, especially with their live performances. INFINITE has a way of making even the saddest of songs enjoyable to listen to and to watch. Their music has only gotten better with every comeback, so the anticipation and bar has been set quite high for what’s to come with this new album!

— Tam

Although this song does not belong to any album and is not particularly well-known, it is a song that never fails to tug at my heartstrings. It has a very simple melody as compared to flashier INFINITE songs, and it does not showcase INFINITE’s vocals as much as other ballads, but “Together” is a memorable and touching song. It feels all the more heartfelt because INFINITE member Woohyun composed it, and when accompanied with videos and pictures from INFINITE’s past concerts, practices and the hardships they faced, I teared up just thinking about how much the boys have grown over the past few years, both musically and in their relationships with each other. It makes me proud to be an Inspirit (fan of INFINITE,) and I’ll definitely be supporting them forever.

— Anna


Also on KultScene: Which Korean Entertainment Company Is For You? [Quiz]

Europop is one of the most used genres in K-pop. It has seen many iterations yet none have been as good as ‘‘The Chaser’’. INFINITE’s best song goes down as one of my all time favourite K-pop songs and, as a result, one of the best pop songs of the last ten years. ‘‘The Chaser’’ mixes blasting synths, swooning violins and, slick guitars to euphoric pop perfection. Everything about it works from the vocal arrangements to the stunningly symmetrical choreography. There are very few songs that can match the energy of ‘‘The Chaser’’. It rightly brought INFINITE the success they deserved.

— Joe

INFINITE would not be where they are today without their debut song and, for long-time Inspirits, this holds a special place in their heart. The group’s present popularity all started with “Come Back Again,” a fun track which incorporates rich guitars, signature violins, and a bit of autotune, which is okay in small increments like it was done here. Their first single matches their young and fresh faces perfectly, and even here we can hear the strings and horns that comprise a majority of all their songs to come. This is one group that knows what sound they are going for and sticks with it! “Come Back Again” is an overall catchy tune that will surely have listeners dancing and clumsily getting into bloody accidents while doing it (which might or might not have happened to this Kultscene writer…).

— Shelley

There’s something very distinct about INFINITE’s sound. It builds up, it’s bombastic, and it makes you feel something in your insides. One of those songs, for me, is “Man in Love.” I love how the whole song builds up to the chorus, where it explodes and is a myriad of beats. Not to mention all of the members’ voices, which sound awesome as one. It’s incredibly cheesy, yes. But everything else makes sure to justify and make up for it, especially the choreography and the rap verses.

— Alexis


Also on KultScene: Let’s Discuss: INFINITE & The SM-Woollim Merger

INFINITE’s “Destiny” brings me back to life every time I hear the song. The bubblegum dubstep just makes me want to go crazy and dance to chaotic feeling of the track. The video was filmed in California and everytime I go to Universal Studios Hollywood and see the locations of where the video was filmed I get very excited to know that the members where there. There is really not that much that I could say about this song, the best thing to do is to listen to it and watch the video to get full “Destiny” experience.

— Alejandro

I love “Rosinante” for it’s positive message about overcoming hardships. The title is based on the name of Don Quixote’s horse, a symbol of something that is unable to accomplish the tasks set before it. “Rosinante” is anything but that, and is instead an upbeat, extremely positive dance track with INFINITE’s iconic retro, synth style. “Rosinante” isn’t one of INFINITE’s title tracks, but the powerful beats and various instrumentals, each member’s solo lines, and the lyrics of the song makes “Rosinante” just one of the many non-title track songs that deserves praise. With some falsetto thrown in and a stand out performance by the seven members of INFINITE, “Rosinante” is one of my favorite songs by the group.


–Tamar

What’s your favorite song by INFINITE? Let us know your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

6 Reasons To Watch “High School – Love On”

It may be known only for being an “idol” drama, but High School – Love On is one of the cutest, simplest dramas on air today. It has everything anyone can ask for – romances, complex family issues, fights, magic, and chaebols with too much money and daddy issues. The drama is mostly about high school, making it one of the first dramas this year to focus on student life.

High School – Love On isn’t going to become the next The Heirs, gaining international love, because it’s just too low-key. The characters are realistic (with the exception of the angel,) it’s as if the audience can actually imagine the kids in their high school class are in the drama- bullies, princesses, low-key hard workers, nerds, dorks, etc. There’s something for everyone.

Contains slight spoilers. 

1. It’s Like Death Note, With Rainbows

Instead of writing down names of people to die, the angels in High School-Love On escort the dead to the afterlife after the humans’ names appear in their death books. Lee Seulbi escorted human souls to the afterlife, watching humans (and their dramas) as she did so, but never interacting with them. By chance, Lee Seulbi becomes human after losing her death note, and a whole whirlwind of romance, adventure, magic, and love. It’s a cool twist on the angel of death, and brings a darker, more mysterious side to a drama that could have been very typical.

High School Love On Angel

2. And What School 2013 Would Have Been If There Were Love-lines & Magic

Following that same train of thought… School 2013 was one of 2013’s great dramas, because it depicted modern day classrooms in Korea, with a particular emphasis on bullying in Korean schools. Bullying occurs in many high school-related dramas, but usually because of wealth or issues pertaining to romance. In High School – Love On, there is bullying throughout the show, and other numerous issues. There are constant references to parents’ harsh standards for their children in school.

High School Love On Bullying

The very first episode depicts a student attempting suicide because the pressures are too high. There is levity and romance, but High School- Love On is very much about the relationship of high school students to their peers, their educators, and their parents.

Sungyeol Kim Sae Ron High School Love On

3.Compelling Family Issues

And, speaking of parents, if you want two brother’s (by Korean standards) going to school and not knowing that they’re siblings, they’re here for you. There’s also an elderly grandmother who had to raise one of those said boys on her own because his mother abandoned him and his father is living in the US. It doesn’t hurt that these two dramatically related characters are also both in love with an angel.

High School Love On Grandmother

Oh, and let’s not forget the chaebol’s son who may not actually be a son of that chaebol.

4. Kim Sae Ron

Usually the male leads make these lists, but the main actress is  definitely the most stand out actor in High School – Love On. She’s only fourteen but doing a great job at playing an innocent high school-aged angel who is confused with what life has to offer her. While the age difference is a little bit disturbing (considering that the male leads are both over 23 years old,) she keeps up with the older actors and it’s a real show of her talent that she is able to take control of the scenes despite her age.

Kim Sae Ron High School Love On

5. INFINITE’s Sungyeol and Woohyun

Have I mentioned that the main male leads, the boys who are connected, are INFINITE’s Woohyun and Sungyeol?  Even if you’re not a fan of the idol group, the two are great in their roles as rival-friends. The two retain their first names, as a nod to their role as idols, but that’s where the relationship stops. Woohyun and Sungyeol have both acted in dramas before, but this is a real turning point. Woohyun’s acting in the first few episodes are amazing, and Sungyeol plays the brooding second lead who knows he won’t end up with the girl but still helps her with all of her problems.

6. Cute “What Would Happen In A Drama?” Moments

Before she even has a name, Seulbi is seen living vicariously through dramas. As an angel, she obsesses over them, wondering why humans in dramas do certain things. As the drama progresses, the character asks herself “if I were the female lead in a drama, what would I do?” multiple times. The other characters end up doing it a few times, too.

High School Love On

Are you watching  High School – Love On? How are you liking it? Make sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

K-Pop Release Cheat Sheet 08/03/14-08/09/13

In case you may have missed some of the latest released songs and music videos, KPOPme has you covered. Here’s a look at all of the K-Pop releases from the first week of August.

This week has given us songs by artists including SPICA, VIXX, Lyn, Brown Eyed Girls, seen debuts by Rok Kiss and Songhaye, as well as some performance MVs, including a re-release of INFINITE’s Back.

[Music Video]

LYn, LEO of VIXX Blossom Tears

San E Body Language feat. Bumkey

VIXX Ken My Girl

Ladies’ Code Kiss Kiss

Park Bo Ram Beautiful feat Block B’s Zico

THORNAPPLE 시퍼런 봄 Live Version

SPICA I Did It

Songhaye My First

Jo Sung Mo 사랑합니다 끝없는사랑

Su Youn Tell Me Why

G.NA, The One, A.KOR’s JiYoung, Kim Woo Joo, Lee Ye Joon Miracle

ROK KISS Rok Kiss

INFINITE Back Performance Ver.

Buzz The First Summer in 8 Years

HEYNE Red Lie Dance Ver.

[Song]

Brown Eyed Girls Hush

Crush Night I Can’t Fall Asleep feat. Punch

A.T Good MorningRoommate OST

What was your favorite song released this week? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Let’s Discuss: INFINITE & The SM-Woollim Merger

Let’s go back a little less than a year ago in Seoul: INFINITE gets up on stage at the first night of their world tour, performs a bit, and then starts to talk. With tears on their eyes, they apologize and promise fans that things won’t change, and swear that INFINITE will always be INFINITE.

No, a member didn’t leave, but news broke that day anouncing that INFINITE’s company, Woollim Entertainment, would be merging with SM C&C. And yet, in that moment, sitting in the audience, and only picking up every few words with my limited knowledge of Korean, I thought that INFINITE was disbanding. Or, at the very least, a member was heading to the army. The way that INFINITE acted towards Inspirit (the group’s fanclub), seemed like the members had to apologize for practically killing someone. Why?

In South Korea, SM Entertainment is both respected and feared. The first few days after the announcement of the merger, fans wrote articles saying things like, Did SM buy INFINITE’s company so that the group wouldn’t compete with SHINee and EXO? (Both groups are some of SM’s most popular).

Fans feared that INFINITE would be relegated to some backburner by SM and not be able to be competition. What many fans missed (but others pointed out) was that Woollim Label (no longer an entertainment company in its own right) would still have control over INFINITE and other Woollim artists, like Nell and Tasty. This meant that INFINITE would, hopefully, still have the artistic guidance that it had had since debut.

In Retrospect, Why The Merger?

First thing’s first: Money. INFINITE, almost singlehandedly, took care of Woollim. Yes, Nell is extremely popular in Korea, but it doesn’t rake in the income from various appearances on television, concerts, CFs, and more, that INFINITE does. The two Tasty twins also aren’t even close to being big enough to take care of an entertainment company. Woollim has always been amazing at what it does, but has been too small to really support several artists because only one group was bringing in constant funds.

Second: SM is bigger, which opens more doors in Korea.

Third: INFINITE really was competition for SHINee and EXO. The group filmed a $1 million blockbuster music video in the U.S., even though it was never released. The original video included a plane wreck scene, and due to the Asiana Airlines crash of 2013, Woollim decided it would be insensitive to release. Moreover,  they had embarked on a world tour, and had members debuting as solo artists (Sungkyu) and becoming incredibly popular actors (L and Hoya), to name a few.

Check out these cool articles around the web

INFINITE was, and is, big. So when a big company sees a little company being successful, the typical response is, “let’s buy it out.” A merge helped both Woollim and SM –Woollim got the financial backing it may have been lacking, and SM got rid of competition by incorporating it.

A Year Later, What Happened? 

Pretty much, just that—INFINITE came back with Back, and it’s been well-received so far. Last Romeo also topped the charts, although fans’ generally thought that it wasn’t INFINITE’s best song. But, it meant that the group would still be active —which it had been doing since the merger occurred.

Since the merger occurred, other than releasing the album Last Romeo and its repackage Be Back, the group also released The Origin, a completely instrumental album of all of INFINITE’s best songs.

Moreover, INFINITE has held several concerts, introduced an upcoming subgroup INFINITE F (Sungyeol, Sungjong, and L), and appeared on the variety show This Is INFINITE.

Separately, the members have also been busy –Woohyun, Sungyeol, and L have all acted in dramas, while the other members have frequented variety shows.

What Did INFINITE Gain By The Merger? 

Well, for one thing, there was this little thing called ToHeart—INFINITE’s Woohyun and SHINee’s Key, who have long been known to be best friends, were able to have a project group now that they were both under the SM umbrella. And people really liked it!

Then, there’s the support from SM; while idols at different entertainment companies generally are civil, they rarely promote one another. But when Sungyeol appeared on Law of The Jungle – Caribbean & Maya, members of Girls’ Generation cheered him on. There have been several other cases now where SM artists and INFINITE have been seen together in a way that they never had appeared before.

[As a side note: Since the merger, SM artists and Woollim artists have been collaborating more in general – on We Got Married Global Edition, f(x)’s Amber and Tasty’s Soryong have worked together as MCs.]

Oh, and, of course, INFINITE (and other Woollim acts) now appear at SMTown concerts.

So… What Was The Freak Out About?

Pretty much? Nothing really.

So is SM still a threat to INFINITE’s integrity? Probably not.

There was definitely room to worry,  but then it turned out that INFINITE would still be INFINITE. The group pretty much has kept doing what it’s done in the past- make really good, retro-inspired music with perfect synchronization.

And continued to be the derps they started out as.

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What do you think? Has INFINITE changed since the merger? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on FacebookTwitter,
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