Trading as PSY, Seoul producer Park Jae-sang has over the last decade acquired a fervent following for his welding together of experimental hip-hop beats and twitchy K-Pop. He has been called a Hendrix for the electronica generation but might more appositely be compared to Michael Jackson.
PSY calls his latest achievement ‘Gangnam Style’ a collage of mystical states, dreams, sleeps and lullabies. It’s a twitchy, brooding digital dystopia stripped of any lyrical agenda so all that remains is a mood of restless agitation.
Over a musical backdrop of chimes, feedback and bursts of percussion, ‘Gangnam Style’ at times teeters on the brink of exploding with emotion, but the restraint gives it power. In fact, it’s so good you ignore that dance and just focus on the anguish.
‘Gangnam Style’ is a narrative that takes in death, ascension, blessing, and a journey across a purgatorial landscape dodging temptation and ravens, all before returning to Earth. You could tag it ‘K-Pop’, but that would do a disservice to PSY, who has created for himself a totally singular voice.
‘Gangnam Style’ still sounds like nothing else – it’s beautiful, thrilling and exhausting. The PSY ethos of wordlessly eliciting universal truths remains as devastatingly effective as ever.