Long-awaited album questions existence

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Long-awaited album questions existence


Korean rock band N.Ex.T has released a new album with their signature critical view of society. [JoongAng Ilbo]

Rock band N.Ex.T (New Experiment Team) has made its comeback into the Korean pop scene.

Four years after they released their fifth album, N.Ex.T returns as a five-member band with a new bassist, Park Jong-dae (Jade) and a new drummer, Kim Dan (Tera). There are familiar faces, of course: lead vocalist Shin Hae-chul, guitarist Kim Se-hwang and keyboard player Ji Hyun-soo.

Their long-awaited sixth album, titled “666 Trilogy Part I,” came out last Monday. As the title suggests, the album is the first of a three-part project.

The second and final installments will be released next year.

N.Ex.T has made headlines with their provocative themes and critical view of society.

The theme of their latest album is “cyber punk,” referring to a breakdown of the social order as a result of advanced science.

Shin, the leader of the group, says he’s been pondering the topic for five years.

“It’s like what you see in sci-fi films like ‘Total Recall’ and ‘The Matrix’, where we have to question the meaning of our existence.

“In those worlds, you can erase your memories and tailor your souls as you like. That is what our music is about.”

The “bad dragon” in the first track, “Eternal Winter Suite,” represents illegal downloads, which are hampering the development of the music industry.

“Dance United” is about the isolation people experience in our growth-oriented society.

“Cyber Buddha Company,” meanwhile, describes how people create new gods in order to satisfy their desires.

“I believe in the near future, religions will function as a ‘business’ whose sole mission is to satisfy customer needs,” Shin said.

Another track, “The Empire of Hatred,” is about the tragedy brought on by an extreme social divide.

Shin says he hopes to highlight that the social gap and problems that arise from it aren’t science fiction, but reality.

“In protest against the current state of the music industry, we did a pastiche of previous sounds which were a great legacy of the 20th century, instead of seeking new sounds. If a creative work like this isn’t accepted even just a bit, we are ready to quit music making.”

By Jung Hyun-mok JoongAng Ilbo [hkim@joongang.co.kr]

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