As part of our new series, Rapid Review, I wanted to focus on older albums and EPs. I’ve noticed a lot of Hallyu fans joined the fandom during 2016-2019 and might have missed out on some lesser-known albums.
Today, I’m talking about the Korean producer, Primary and his 2012 album “Primary and the Messengers.” While he’s been on the Korean underground scene since 2006, this is the first album after he signed with Amoeba Culture.
It’s actually a double album, clocking in at about 71 minutes. This is one of the first albums my friend recommended to me as I was discovering K-pop. It’s honestly one of my favorites, but it’s been a while since I’ve really listened and examined it.
Most of the features are indie or underground artists such as E-Sens, Beenzino and Junggigo. This album is curious because it carries retro grooves like “Question Mark” and “Meet,” but it’s not afraid to shake things up. In “Far,” the instrumental is simple and mournful and then switches to sultry in “Mine Tonight.”
Primary has a distinct sound, but he still manages to diversify his style with his rotation of featured artists. “Poison,” for example, beautifully balances the simple instrumental paired with Zion.T’s ethereal vocals and E-Sens’s gruff rap.
Overall, it’s just a chill album that’s great to play in the background that has amazing bops. In 20 tracks, Primary manages to showcase a wide range that never left me bored or annoyed. Also, the bonus track, “거기서 거기읾” is a hidden gem.
Poison, I’m Back, Too Far and Playboy’s Diary
Friendzone/Clean Entrance, High-End Girl,
While there are some songs that I didn’t like, they didn’t drag the album down or the songs I loved. This album helped me find a lot of the artists I love today. It sounds as amazing as it did six years ago. I recommend this for someone who loves New Jack Swing or who wants to listen to more than standard K-pop fare.