E1-Ten - CCTV - Seoul Train Remix

Seoul Train on his remix of E1-Ten’s “C.C.T.V.”

When E1-Ten (TrackAddicts, Gotcha, Nicotine, LoveFUNK) recorded his latest album “The LoveFUNK”, I visited him in the studio and ended up playing keys on it. However, the track with the only featuring on the album caught my ear.

That track was “C.C.T.V.” featuring veteran MC Brainpower, with backing vocals by Maikal X, addressing issues like the total loss of our privacy, internet trolling and the constant monitoring by the authorities: ‘Who monitors the monitor man, that monitors the monitor’s monitor man?’ Says it all…

So when Ten and I started talking about remixing I immediately chose “C.C.T.V.” because the track spoke to me and I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with it. I also felt it would be a great send-off and salute to my old MC moniker Shogun, a name that has served me well for so many years but is no longer in line with what I’m doing right now. From now on it will all be Seoul Train, whether it be DJ’ing or MC’ing.

Anyway, after I did the music, the words came almost automatically and so I decided to add a verse and my view on today’s Dystopia: ‘Living in the camera-rich, who’s the perp? The snitch? The victim? The East Wickian witch?’

The UK has the densest network of C.C.T.V. cameras in the world so also from that point of view these are valid concerns. Not even the actual recordings per se, but the ones who have access (as low as Constable level!) and the blanket approach to the recorded data. Bye-bye privacy, hello Big Brother. It might not be the year 1984, but it sure feels like the book. Think about that. Our intellectual property rights, our civil and legal rights, our freedom, our autonomy are all on the chopping block. Are we willingly going to give it all away? The last step is our location data. My GPS is only on when I’m really really lost, I can tell you that.

Show your support by streaming or buying my remix of E1-Ten’s “C.C.T.V.” featuring Brainpower HERE (Wallboomers Music). Walk with us.

For full productions, remixes, collabos, featurings or consultancy please reach out HERE.

What IS a Seoul Train??

A Seoul Train is a row of beer glasses with another row of Soju shot glasses on top. When the shot glasses are toppled, the last soju glass is dumped in the remaining beer glass. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Seoul Train.

When I first came across this phenomenon, I knew I found my new name.

As a Korean adoptee, one of more than 150.000 ‘exported’ babies, I felt an unexplainably strong bond for a country I never set foot in. When I went through the inevitable identity crisis in my twenties, I started my journey to rediscover my roots. Being a musician, the most logical step was to start with the music. I was in luck; the global K-Wave had just started to take off and groups like Big Bang were releasing their first albums. Soon after I dove into Korean Hip-Hop and R&B and discovered Dok2 and Jay Park when they debuted. But as I delved deeper in the history of ‘my’ country, I discovered so much more: even richer musical traditions like P’ungmul and its younger offspring Samulnori. There was also something else. Korean. Drinking. Culture.

Like most, I would be forgiven to think that the Russians would rank the highest when it comes to alcohol consumption. I was wrong. It is actually the Koreans who consume the most alcohol in the world, at problematic levels even. Their main drink of choice? Soju. Soju is a colorless distilled alcoholic drink. It tastes like a lighter, distant cousin of vodka. And very quickly it became one of my favorite drinks. I first encountered the drink at a Sake (!) bar in New York City and drank it with a chaser, but I actually prefer it the way it is supposed to be drunk: straight, from a shot glass.

In 2010 I was reunited with my Korean family. What followed was a joyful two weeks that went by in a Soju-filled haze. Almost every evening we ate dinner with different members of my family (which turns out to be pretty large) and drinking Soju was a big part of the bonding process. Especially my brother and I shared many bottles of Soju (and the bottle of Hennessy that I bought at the airport).

And that is where we come back to my name, because toppling a shot glass of Soju in a glass of beer creates the Soju bomb, or SoMaek as it is called in Korean. So when I found out that the Koreans in LA dubbed a row of Soju bombs a ‘Seoul Train’, it was a wrap. And because it caught on, I decided to make it my MC name too.

A meaningful name is so important for a brand, but for artists the person is the brand. So to me, this name represents so much: the culture I am rediscovering, the city I am from, my favorite drink and the many memories that come with it and also a cultural phenomenon that is connected to but started outside of Korea. Seoul Train out. 🙂