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Last edited 2006-4-1 12:59 pm (diff [d])
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̻ : LeeSangEun (1970 - ) aka Lee-tzsche

Biography or Not

Lee Sang-eun ̻

Lee Sang-eun could hardly be categorized as underground although I get the impression she wouldn't mind the artistic credibility that goes with the label. Lee came to fame in the late Nineteen eighties with the annoying but catchy Dam-da-dee. (For those who don't know Korean, that is not a Korean word but simply the sort of sound a person makes when they are making a melody without any specific words in mind. I think you can guess what type of song it was.) Lee, got national attention with that song and probably earned truckloads of money. At the time it was on the lips of all primary, middle and high school students and many others as well. Lee has continued to produce albums and appears to be making great efforts to shake off her early image with chic and cool album covers.
The reason I have included her in my underground music website is because of the album she made in 1993. She has produced 7 albums to date and has encompassed a variety of styles but the 1993 self titled (5th) album is certainly noteworthy. It came to my attention initially because of the hit song Onjen kaneun () [Someday]. The song is a beautiful ballad which features a climactic melody, is given complex varitations, and a soulful feeling by saxophone and harmonica solos. The song should be recognized as the great Korean rock anthem. The rest of the album fits together well something like a personal sketchbook expressed in a jazz, rock, folk blend. It was the first Korean album I heard which came together as a whole product.

Two albums since then have demonstrated an increasing desire to experiment. The 1993 album seems to have been made in the U.S. and the following two in Japan. 1997's WoeRopGo WutGin GaGe (ܷӰ ) is a simple, sparse production featuring backing of acoustic and electric guitars and drums. The unusual melodies build an ambience of loneliess or solitude (as eluded to in the title) buts lacks any climax to keep the listener's senses stimulated. The atmospheric quality of the album may be comparable to work by Enya but the production brings to mind early '80s post-punk pre-gothic music like The Cure. It's good listening if you happen to be in the right mood - (slightly gloomy). I hear she's released an eight album following the style of the previous two.

A Korean fan's site (Korean Text) An American fan's site (English Text) --MichaelGlass


2268536 (Orange Popular; CheIl Communications)

This is her fifth album. It was made while she was studying in New York City, NY. This is another great album. I had it in tape, but I lost it couple of years ago. But recently, I found a used one at a store around here. I was so excited! Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

All the english titles are copied from the CD sleeve since it had both Korean and English titles. --HongCho, 1997

EonJenGaNeun Someday
Dal Moon
Byeok Wall
HaNeulNaRa Heaven
I EoDunBam Darkness
HonJaRaNeun NeuGgim Loneliness
Gil Road
YeoReumBam Summer Night
Twisted but Straight

GongMuDoHaGa(1995); The Song of never Cross the River, Lover; Ԥʰ

2030981 ڡڡڡڡ (Nichion, Kirin; PolyGram, Sung Eum) Female Voice, Exotic, Jazzy, Traditional

HongCho, 1997-02-21

This is her sixth album (I thought it was third, but I was wrong). This album was made while she was in Japan. It is quite a different work from her previous ones: most songs have, what I feel as, "ethnic" sounds. Some might say a "progressive rock" feel, but I think she incorporated a lot of Gypsy and Irish (or some old folk music) sounds. I don't think this album was meant to be popular. Rather, it was just for her own experiment. All the supporting crews were Japanese and all the songs were recorded and engineered in Japan.

Her lyrics are sometimes a little awkward (especially some of her English ones), but the album has a definite color. If you liked Byeok on her fifth album, you might like this one, too.

Personally, I like the title song, Gongmudohaga, Samdocheon and Sae. BTW, Gongmudohaga is originally a poem from an ancient time in Korea. I think it is from the "GoJoSeon" era (don't believe everything I say; I wasn't good at historical facts), and I remember reading it in my high school textbook, very vaguely.

DisTort, 1999

At first LeeSangEun sung the dance music like [DamDaDi]Open in a New Window at Collage GaYo Festival. But first 2 albums failed and she gone to Japan. In there she interchanged musical impressions with Japanese Indie Musicians. This album tells her exotic voice and elegant composition. The title song [GongMuDoHaGa]Open in a New Window has the woman's sadness in Korean 5-7C Poet. The musicians participated in this album are Jazz artist. So it contains jazzy feeling like this song [Spring]Open in a New Window. She came in Korea and acts in the Korean independant music scene.

Don't Say That Was Yesterday
Summer Clouds
Gongmudohaga Don't Cross The River, My Love
22, 23, 24
Come, The Children Do
SeongE Frost
Sae Bird
September Rain Song
MuEotSeuRo DaSi TaeEoNaDeun Reincarnation

OiRopGo UtGinGaGe(1997); Lonely but Comic Drugstore; ܷӰ

2048969 Female Voice, Exotic, Jazzy, Traditional

Her seventh album sounds a lot like her previous release. This is no surprise because it was her another collaboration work with Takeda, Hazimu. It's really amazing to learn that he played all the instruments (Ms. Lee wrote all the lyrics and melodies again, by the way).

Musically, this album doesn't introduce us anything new, I think (I've only listened to this album only once at the time of this writing). However, I am very pleased at what she is doing. She has been getting more insightful about the music she would like to pursue, and her maturity is quite noticeable. I didn't like the song that made her famous, DamDaDi that much. But she has proven herself as a songwriter as well as a singer. --HongCho, 1997-04-27

Jip House
SaMak Desert
SaRamEun Da SaRam Human is a Human
SaeBbalGan Hwal Red Arrow
Super Eraser Medium
WoeRopGo WutGin GaGe A Lonely and Funny Shop
BiGa Rain
Ggum Dream
EoGiYa DiEoRa

Asian Prescription(1999)

2086362 ڡڡڡ (EMI) Folk, Korean Roots Music, Female Voice, GaYo

DisTort, 1999

This album is her first English album. She played in Japan and Korea, then signed on Toshiba-EMI. Japanese partners thought she had international popularity, so she could release English album. Most songs are originally written in Korean. Adapted to English, rerecorded also with Japanese players and multi percussionist Won Il. In Japan, the producer Hajimu Takeda was her musical partner, and made the back band Penguines. With Penguines she parted the 'Give it all' OST in 98 and an album. Now she prepares the 2nd international album. Her music shows folk, lyric, mystic style. I think the 'International' art must have not only worldwide style but also regional mind. On the view like that, LeeSangEun is a real international artist. UK-USA pop/rock is main current certainly, but it's just cultural imperialism. Worldwide music must have universalism. I think LeeSangEun is a represantative musician of Korean pop/rock, but Korean music is wider than her shows. It released Korea, Japan perhaps UK, Asia also. Korean press have 4 bonus tracks.

HongCho, 1999-09-19

This is an English version CD of songs from LeeSangEun's last few albums and more. Most of the tracks are from gongmudohaga. A couple of them are from WoeRopGo WutGin GaGe. One is from her works for a Japanese movie.

As always, Takeda, Hajimu played a huge roll in arrangements and instruments. Also, Won, Il played percussion for several tracks. It was interesting to hear English versions, although I am biased toward her Korean words. :) Come to think of it, most tracks have new arrangemtns (as they should).

Bottom line: If you are a fan or wanted to understand what she was talking about all those times, get it. :)

I think this album was originally released in Japan under the name, Lee-tzsche. Cute.

This album is more of an English version of what she's been doing for the past two album. So, Takeda, Hajimu did most of instrument playing and orchestrations. Except for a couple of them, all the words are in English, so for those people who couldn't get what she was saying in Korean, this is your chance. :)

Spring (out track version)
Sumi Mountain
Ogiyodiora (ost version)
Reincarnation (vocal version)
Break Water
Infinite Road
A Path
Broken Pearl
Ogiyodiora (original korean version)


Year Album Title
1989 Happy Birthday
1989 SaRangHalGgeoYa
I'll Falling in Love
1991 DeoDinHaRu
1992 Begin
1993 LeeSangEun
1995 GongMuDoHaGa
The Song of never Cross the River, Lover
1997 OiRopGo UtGinGaGe
Lonely but Comic Drugstore
1997 Lee-Tzsche(English version of OiRopGo UtGin GaGe)
1998 Give it All(OST)
1999 Asian Prescription
(English version compilation)
2000 She Wanted(OST of the movie BongJa)

Links in a New Window
 http://www05.inticity.com/fhzell/lee-tzscheOpen in a New Window

Last edited 2006-4-1 12:59 pm (diff [d])
324 hits | History [h] | View text of this page