#DaFiveFingerDiscount: JooWan Kim – Ensemble Mik Nawooj [Editorial]

Posted on September 8, 2014 by


I am extremely pleased to announce the newest series here at Da-What! “Da Five Finger Discount” will blend the lines of interview, album review and press release by providing a 5 track preview of a newly, or to-be, released project with special insight provided by the artist themselves! Not sure whether to cop the new album? Wonder how a particular collaboration came about? Or what the artist was thinking when they put together that special verse and beat? That is what #DaFiveFingerDiscount is all about!  The first installment is the new EP from Korean born, Taoist composer JooWan Kim and his Oakland based Hip Hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj.  I am proud to present #DaFiveFingerDiscount!

First Song – It’s a song of resolution. I was imagining an old person who has gone through a lot standing in front of an ocean in the sunset with campfire on (Kinda cheesy, I know). There are sections that are meant to sound like distant memories fading in and out.

We Will Conquer – A concerto grosso for Ensemble Mik Nawooj. Original version has each sections doing solos including the MCs but we decided to cut it, because it was too long and too “not pop”. A concerto grosso is a form of baroque piece that a group of instruments exchange solos with an orchestra.

Hope Springs Eternal – My personal favorite. It was meant to make people feel better after listening to it (hence the title). There’s a middle section that sounds like sunshine, which is then followed by a soprano solo that (to me) represents certain non material intervention (Like divine grace or something).

Morning Light – A song of transformation. At the end of the piece, we copied and pasted the high C in soprano so it lasts as long as the instruments. It’s probably humanly impossible. Ahh, the beauty of technology.

C.R.E.A.M.– Wu-Tang cover! Need I say more? Dolla dolla bills y’all!

All the songs except C.R.E.A.M. were written to reflect normal people’s struggles and experiences in life. I thought this would make the album more accessible given that my approach to music can be a bit too nerdy/geeky.

joowan kim ensemble mik nawoojjoowan kim EMN press image #3 joowan kim EMN press image #4