Asian Glow's "Cull Ficle", an Underground South Korean Gem

Album: Cull Ficle

Artist: Asian Glow

Genre: (#alt #emo)

Sub-Genres: (#lofi #southkorea)

Label: 2402437 Records DK

Non-Airable Tracks: All safe ;)

Description: I’ll start with a little bit of a shameless plug. For the last few months, I’ve been hosting a weekly radio show at 7 PM. For this show, I prefer to center my hour around a theme—whether it’s a genre of music or simply an arbitrary word. This had worked for me for eight shows, yet on my eighth show, I think I really dropped the ball. Not really, but the whole prompt thing wasn’t as stimulating to me anymore. I schemed a little challenge for myself. I procured three installments of the AUDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS World Tour. I started with France—and French music is a dime a dozen—that is, it's pretty facile to encounter a hefty quantity of good French music without intentionally reaching beyond one's U.S.-centric bubble. Week two was South Korea, and aside from K-pop, my and what I imagine many American’s perception of South Korea’s sonic influence was quite limited. Now, I could’ve easily given up and played an hour of K-pop (no offense to K-pop… I actually find that it gets in my ear quite easily!), but instead, I went on an evening of music discovery.

For those, like me, who relish the process of music discovery I have a recommendation: talk to people. Ask your friends or around on message boards what people’s favorite albums are. While I feel like “scenes” tend to groupthink top albums a bit much, individuals tend to have pretty eclectic tastes. The more left field, the better. Some of my favorite music discoveries have not come from album reviews but rather word-of-mouth. This is how I came to promote this criminally underlistened-to album.

Cull Ficle comes from meek beginnings. Asian Glow is a part of the independent label, Longinus Recordings, which is run out of an East Lansing college dorm room. I was browsing the internet through various forums on the Wednesday night or Thursday morning before my show when I came across this album. I listened through it twice through back-to-back. It resembles Weatherday’s Come In (2019) greatly in vocals and instrumentation while having similar sensibilities to the Microphones’ The Glow, Pt. 2 (2001). My favorite tracks are “A Big Karismatic Dukie”, “No Exit”, and “Yes It is”. I’d recommend this album to anyone who can’t get enough of the aforementioned albums or anyone who loves finding that niche up-and-coming gem. It’s also worth mentioning that Asian Glow’s label, Longinus Recordings, hosts other exceptional global acts such as South Korea’s Parannoul which has received all sorts of indie praise. Check out Asian Glow, check out Longinus Recordings. Cull Ficle will certainly be making an appearance on my 2021 AOTY list!

Sounds Like:

  1. Weatherday

  2. The Microphones

  3. Parannoul

Recommended Tracks:

  1. ​A Big Karismatic Dukie

  2. No Exit

  3. Yes It is

Reviewer’s Name: Tobias Kochenderfer

Date of Review: 5/4/21

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