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Han Dae-su is one of the elder statesmen of the Korean underground scene. Active in the seventies (and perhaps before), his songs were banned by the government at the time for their popularity among student disidents who sang them at demonstration rallies to draw patriotic support. The songs were not overtly anti-goverment but suffiently abstract for the paranoid government of the time to scapegoat them.
His recordings became available during the 80s and the first widely available album I am aware of was a greatest hits package that has been released at different times with different names and covers. It is a collection of songs played on a variety of acoustic instuments giving a raw folky, almost amateur feel. It reminds me of Bob Dylan in the mid to late 60s, particularly Dylan's John Wesley Harding album. It features the famous Haengbok ae Nara Ro (행복의 나라로) [Towards the land of happiness] and a song that stands as the great Korean garage band song Mool Jom Jooso (물 좀 주소) [Give me Water].
Han moved to New York in the seventies but continued to make albums such as Gomooshin (고무신) [Rubber shoe] and Moohandae (무한대) [Infinity] which continue to show a strong influence of the musical tastes in Korea, moving through rock (with hints of Dylan, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd) towards jazz. Han still lives in New York but made a visit to Korea in 1987 where he appeared at concerts and on the Lee So-ra's Propose music program.
★★★★★ GaYo, Modern Folk, Protest
HanDaeSu is representative Protest Folk Singer with JeongTaeChun and KimMinGi.
He spent his youth at US and Korea, so he can get the wide point of view. With debut in 68[the time that folk wave hit the world] and got some concerts. But he must do the military service for 3 years[all the Korean men must go to the army] so he can release his 1st album in 74. Then he was a journalist and photographer of Korea Herald[daily newspaper company].
As you see the jacket image is distorted. At that point, Korea was under military dictatorship, the officer Park JeongHui got the power through coup d'etat, became the president. There was no freedom. He sang the songs about seeking the freedom, wishes to be happy and poor life of comoon people. Of course the dictator didn't like him. Th is 1st album censored and couldn't spread wider.
Anyway many people loved his songs and the songs are classic till now.
His tough voice is similar with Bob Dylan. He beloved by people as Bob, but his life was harder.--DisTort, 2000
★★★★★ GaYo, Modern Folk, Protest, Avant Garde
This 2nd LP represented the hope to freedom as his 1st album. I think he didn't want to be against the government. He just sung the Real World as it. But the military dictatorship couldn't stand him. They scared him as the sign of freedom. His appearance and lyrics were extraordinary. The mastertape was burned by goverment and he had to go to USA.
And this album became legend.
The jacket image is rubber shoes pinned on wire entanglements. The wire is the real world, north and south aimed the gun to each other. The rubber shoes are the lives of common people.
After this album he gone to US and couldn't come back to Korea for 14 years. The 3rd album was rock album, so as a folk singer he released only 2 albums. But he regarded as folk singer, always. His resistant image was so powerful.
This CD reconstructed by original LP cause of burning the mastertape. LeeJeongSeon played guitar on this album. --DisTort, 2000
★★★★★ Singer-Songwriter, Rock, Folk
He returned in 14 years. But he doesn't do folk anymore. In 14 years h e worked as photographer and poet, also formed the band Genghis Khan and giged at CBGB and so on. But he can't release a record or make comm ercial hit.
So he returned with rock. He constructed a band with young session men . On them LeeByeongU, SongHongSeop, KimMinGi2 KimYeongJin and SonMuHyeon became the most important session men in GaYo/KoreanRock scene later.
HanDaeSu still sings with distorted voice, and the voice on the rock session appeals as well like his folk age. Some women chorus are not so suitable with the session, but the band plays really good play. The level of session was the best in those days. Still fantastic jam.
As usual his cynical lyrics can't accepted by the dictators, he must go US and this album can't spread widely. This album reissued with his 4 new songs[recorded in 96] and his first album.
[HaRuAChim; One Day Morning] of his 1st album and [GoMuSin; Rubber Shoes] of his 2nd album replayed with rock session.
[One Day] and [Na HonJa; Me Alone] is the same song. But [Ond Day] is in English main lyrics with Korean chorus & [Na HonJa] is in Korean main lyrics with English chorus. Also played with different session band. Bob Dylan style [Ddo GaYaJi; Let's Go Again].
The play of [GwaBuTaRyeong; A Widow's Theme] is similar with ShinJungHyeon.
And compiled with so many other brilliant rock numbers.
His life can be in one word, the metropolitan. --DisTort, 2000
★★★★ Free Jazz, Avant-Garde, Singer-Songwriter, Folk
After the earlier album MuHanDae he gone to US also. He can't work in Korea cause the intolerance of Military Dictatorship.
This album is cowork with Jack Lee whom was studing Jazz. The forth side contains his composition directed by HanDaeSu. On this side they played free jazz. Before this album recording Han DaeSu divorced and he was shocked very much. He felt the loss of his past, his life and his memory. So he titled this album as Loss of Memory. Multiplayer EdMcGuire played and composed with them. Some part hears like PatMetheny.
The back side contains 4 vocal tracks. The lyrics on the songs are very cynical and self-scorning. On listening his lyrics I feel pain in my mind, and the lyrics are true, c'est la vie. Two tracks are in English. But I like the songs in Korean. On the [AMuRi BwaDo AnBoYeo], the legendary folk singer YangHuiEun sung. Then she had cancer.
★★★☆ Singer-Songwriter, Folk Rock