Review: Camino de Sangjaru

Inspired by their world travels, this Korean band reminds us to enjoy life with a spirit of fun and curiosity

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Camino de Sangjaru
Published 03 Aug 2019

The three men who make up the band Korean Gipsy Sangjaru travel the world seeking out experiences to influence their work. This concert draws on a trip they took to Spain, where they hiked through the hills to Santiago. Fusing traditional Korean music with global influences, video and animation, this is a heartwarming collection of songs with a sense of adventure.

The theme of exploration underpins their set. Their entrance is punctuated by gigantic, fluffy headpieces and energetic music. Though unexplained, they evoke the cloudy skies in the later videos from their trip. A song inspired by Alice’s pursuit of the white rabbit follows, and is accompanied by pixelated animations reminiscent of early PC or Atari games. Surtitles remind us that chasing something we may never reach keeps us curious, and giving up on our goals, no matter what they are, is the quickest way to lose this important aspect of our humanity.

The rest of the music is lively and fun. Classical Korean instruments combine with acoustic and electric guitars, giving the drums and stringed instruments a rock-y feel. The ‘gipsy’ influence is unclear in this context, however. It could be understood to mean Romany music, but as the concert progresses it seems to mean a more generic sense of travelling and seeing the world.

They introduce their final song with a request to enjoy it without worry, which is a fitting summary of their work – find wonder in the world around you and be open to new experiences.