Jeon Yonghyeon

The atmosphere of 1980-90s Korean synthpop meets the craziness of the contemporary world in the remixes by Jeon Yonghyeon.

Generally, we understand time as a linear concept. We usually believe that the past – the present – the future is laid on the same line, which is called as “time”. Except some complex theories about time concept in physics, this is just a commonsense.

However, if you listen the music of Jeon Yonghyeon, who is a DJ and also a sing-a-songwriter of South Korea, the belief in the linear time concept becomes useless. First, he borrows the sources of sound from the Nintendo 8-bit sound and uses the retro narration in his songs.

Especially, he re-enacts the atmosphere of 1980-90s Korean synthpop at the remix of old songs, such as Hyeuni’s (혜은이) “Heaven is Mine” and Hye-Lim Kim’s “Just the Way I Am“.

Even these quaint characteristics are involved in Jeon’s own song like “Southern Wave” (남쪽 물결), so it is no wonder that his music will remind you of words like “retro” or “vaporwave”.

But, it is not correct to define easily Jeon Yonghyeon as a “retro” musician or “vaporwave” musician. He doesn’t just bring old styles to the present, but he also puts the contemporary to the past.

For example, Jeon remixes the most contemporary pop of idol groups such as SHINEE and SNSD. By remixing the song of Electron ship “Money is the Plague, We are Mice” (watch above), he even sends the contemporary work from a 2017 Korean indie scene to the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Thus, Jeon’s music reminds us of the found footage, which is also the technique of its attractive music video. He grafts arbitrarily the sounds of the past, the present, and even the future.

As the result, time concept becomes non-linear in his music. This will make you feel chaotic but pretty comfortable. If you are ready to accept this chaos, then it’s time to listen Jeon Yonghyeon.


Jeon Yonghyeon on Soundcloud, YouTube, Audiolog.

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