Review

2022 In Review: Day 12 – Best Collaborative Work

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2022 In Review

1. Introduction + Best Album Art
2. Song of the Year
3. Album of the Year
4. R&B and Soul
5. Rock and Alternative
6. Rap and Hip-hop
7. Dance and Electronic
8. Pop and Ballad
9. Folk and Country
10. Jazz and Blues
11. Crossover and World
12. Best Collaborative Work
13. Rookie Artist of the Year
14. Artist of the Year
15. Other Recognition
16. Concluding Remarks

Separately from the genre picks, we make a point of recognizing the Best Collaborative Work section each year because it is this space where some of tomorrow’s best ideas are born – and some of today’s best music too, of course. Like in anything else, interaction and exchange of ideas help musicians to be creative and explore things that they could not do alone.

The Collaborative Work section is the only one where works from the genre sections can reappear, and that applies to the Song of the Year and Album of the Year finishers as well. The criterion is somewhat different, though, as we focus on things like synergy, significance, or even the unexpectedness associated with a collaboration.

Notes:

  • The “Next 10” and honorable mention lists are sorted by artist name.
  • The 2022 Collaborative Work Spotify playlist is here and also embedded below:


Albums

Best Collaborative Album 2022

Babylon – Ego 90’s

The lineup even on paper is enough to make an R&B fan drool. Babylon’s supporting cast spans the past, present and future of the Korean scene, spanning the 1990s pioneers of Lee Hyeon-do and Uptown to the fresher faces like Kassy and Sam Kim. Even the early-mid 2000s scene – which I feel is not recognized enough between more celebrated eras – is well-represented with Ann One, Lim Jeong-hee, Realslow, Kim Bum-soo, and Naul at the producer helm. The dream team comes together to liven up this dreamy throwback of an album, each sleekly produced slow jam set apart by fiercely distinctive vocals. It’s a treat to hear some of these vocalists, some of whom had perhaps left this era behind, back in their element; listen to Boni, whose love for 1990s R&B is well-documented, sing her heart out like a fish in water.

The Runner-up

Choi Beck-ho – 찰나 (Moment)

We make a point of including a few collaborative singles between artists from different generations every year; indeed, that’s explicitly one of the criteria that we look for. But I can’t remember the last time a senior musician put out an entire album with this much emphasis on working across generations. Apart from a track with his contemporary Jeong Mijo and another with Tiger JK (still a full 24 years his junior), Choi Beck-ho tapped the youthful voices of Colde, George, Jung Seung-hwan, and (briefly) Zico to sing alongside him. These resonant compositions gain an exquisite texture as Choi’s deep, life-worn vibrato blend with the sharpness and enthusiasm of the youngsters; given the lyrics they become contemplations on the experience of youth and aging itself.

The Next 10

A.Train – Private Pink

Bosudongcooler, Hathaw9y – Love Sand

Bronze – Skyline

Daul, Noair, Plan8, Channel 201 – Next

Devine Channel – Unorthodox

Kim Doeon – Damage

Nucksal & Cadejo – 당신께 (Sincerely Yours)

SoundSupply_Service – SCA1 (Side B)

Summer of Thoughts – 손 (Hands)

Youra & Mandong – 이런 분위기는 기회다 (The Vibe Is a Chance)


Songs

Best Collaborative Song 2022

Lee Gwon-hyeong – 석촌호수 (The Lake) (Feat. Ye Ram, Chun Yong-sung)
Written and composed by Lee Gwon-hyeong, Ye Ram, Chun Yong-sung
Arranged by Lee Gwon-hyeong

The song is nominally about Seokchon Lake, the artificial lake and park in Seoul. This ends up meaning radically different things to the three folk musicians on the track. (Incidentally, these three took away our #1 or #2 Best Folk Album in 2018, 2020, and 2021.) To Lee Gwon-hyeong, writing in English, it’s a reminder of a friend who works nearby; to Ye Ram, writing in Japanese, it’s an unspoken forlornness; to Chun Yong-sung, writing in Korean, it’s about more practical things like the commute full of baseball fans. The shifts in melody and mood as the track goes between languages, even at just a few stanzas each, are fascinating. And the gentle strokes of “The Lake” are wide enough to embrace it all, asking what else binds our experiences together.

The Runner-up

Tomsson – 역전포차 (Yeokjeon Pocha) (Feat. MC Meta, Sungsoo Lee of HarryBigButton)
Written by Tomsson, MC Meta
Composed and arranged by Cash Note

MC Meta’s pioneering forays into satoori-based rap have given us more than a few “what the hell was that?” moments, and Tomsson’s collaboration with his Daegu senior is one of those too. The addictive rhythm and precise intonations of the Dongnam satoori wielded by the two emcees is clearly the star here, and it’s a dramatic, technically intricate treat. But it’s hard not to get distracted by the ridiculously cheeky sampling of Oh Ki-taek’s “11 at Night at Daegu Station” (1966), or regional specialty Cham Soju being used as an interjection, or the metallic intrusion of Sungsoo Lee (I don’t know if he’s also from Daegu) which doesn’t even really fit neatly with the beat. It’s far from the cleanest or most cohesive thing you’ve heard this year, but I feel confident it’ll be one of the most fun – and that’s one thing that we always look for from collaborations.

The Next 10

Ahn Ye-eun & Woo Ye-rin – 백유화 (Burn Like a Star)

Broccoli You Too – 열두시 반 (12:30) (Feat. ChoiLB, Meaningful Stone)

Bulgogidisco – 비출래 (Bichulae) (Feat. Luli Lee)

Choi Beck-ho – 변화 (Change) (Feat. Tiger JK)

ID:Earth – Betting (Feat. Dbo)

Mudd the Student – 사랑은 유사과학 (Pseudoscience) (Feat. Chang Kiha)

Nochang – 없는계절 (Hollow Season) (Feat. Aine, C Jamm, Yunhway)

Nucksal & Cadejo – 숲 (Forest) (Feat. Echae Kang)

Shin Hae-gyeong – 리얼러브 (White Lily) (Feat. Chungha)

Summer of Thoughts – 착륙 (Landing) (Feat. Kim Sawol)


Honorable Mentions

Albums

Basecamp – Underground
Broccoli You Too – 이른열대야 (The Early Tropical Nights)
Fredi Casso & Dsel – Second II None
Kirara – 4
Nomad – Color Drive
Saewoo in Yunhway – 2731
Shin Hyunpill & Ko Heean – Iceland
Soulbysel – Soulbysel Compilation 01
Summer Soul x ROMderful – Utopia
Sunji Lee, Kyumin Shim, Eunhye Oh, Eunyoung Kim, Jaehun Kang – Canon
Taru X Kimperi – Noire
Various Artists – The Post-Rock
Way Ched & Unofficialboy – i
Way Ched – It’s Your Way

Songs

10cm, Big Naughty – 딱 10cm만 (Just 10 Centimeters)
45RPM – Timeless (Peejay Rmx) (Feat. Huckleberry P, Palo Alto, Bassagong, Kirin, Koonta, Deepflow)
A.Train – Something Beautiful (Feat. Meaningful Stone, Simun, Seo Bo-kyung)
BGH Songbook – Slow Summer Waltz (Feat. Jang Pill-soon)
Baada & MC Meta – Black Velvet Feel (Feat. DJ Tiz)
Babylon, Kim Bum-soo – 언제라도 (Call Me Anytime) (Prod. Lee Hyori)
BamBam – Who Are You (Feat. Seulgi)
Boni X Bobae – 관심과 사랑 (Love & Care)
Bosudongcooler, Hathaw9y – 페스티벌 (Festival)
Chilloud, Lil Kirby, Lil Kintexx, Yaon, Qka, MaxOTT – Night Night !
Choiza – Do What I Do (Feat. Lee Juck, Pphk)
Chungha – Crazy Like You (Feat. Bibi)
Code Kunst, Lee Chan-hyuk, Colde, Sogumm – 치열 (Cheers) (with Elle Korea)
Devine Channel – On It (Feat. Tory Lanez, Sole, Sik-K)
Don Mills – 미래 2 (Meerae 2) (Feat. Khan, J4 Prada, Polodared)
Gaeko & Davichi – 새벽을 믿지 말자 (Dawn Do That)
Gaeko, Changmo, Don Mills, Los, DeVita, Sole, Since, Be’o – B.O.T.B. (Prod. Gray)
Huckleberry P – Wolves (Feat. Liggy, Ahn Byeong-woong, Basick, Damini, Sikboy, JJK)
Hynn – Sweet Love (Feat. Yangpa)
Hynn – 이별이란 어느 별에 (Orpheus) (Feat. Gwangil Jo)
Jay Park – Ganadara (Feat. IU)
Jinjin & Rocky – Lazy (Feat. Choi Yoojung)
John Park X Jeon Mi-do – 밤새 서로 미루다 (Stay)
Joy X Wonstein – Love Song
Ju Yoon-ha, Richard Parkers – By Your Side
Kang Daniel, An Yujin (Ive) – Move Like This (Feat. Yuna Kim)
Kang Hee-yoo – 잡기술래 (Hide and Seek) (Feat. Kirara)
Kanto – 베테랑 (Veteran) (Feat. Deepflow, Anandelight, Minos)
Lee Mujin – 눈이 오잖아 (When It Snows) (Feat. Heize)
Meenoi – Tea Time (Feat. 10cm)
Minsu – 오해 금지 (Friendzone) (Feat. Big Naughty)
Moonbyul – G999 (Feat. Mirani)
Moonbyul – Shutdown (Feat. Seori)
Nayeon – Love Countdown (Feat. Wonstein)
New Champ – 드렁큰 타이거의 아이들 (Drunken Tiger’s Kids) (Feat. Innovator, Gwangil Jo, Sikboy, Wona, Jung Sangsoo)
Nucksal & Cadejo – 알지도 못하면서 (???) (Leave Me Alone)
Nucksal, Tiger JK, MC Meta – 대무가 (Daemuga)
Ohelen, Yeo Journey – Rise
Onew X Punch – 별 하나 (Way)
Park Bom – 꽃 (Flower) (With Kim Min-seok)
Rhythm Power – 주모 리믹스 (Zumo Remix) (Feat. Epaksa, Roh Yoon-ha, Tak, Loopy, Don Mills, 27ring, Park Jong-yoon, D-Hack, Puff Daehee, Toigo, Liv of Irris, Kaogaii, Layone, Twlv, NY Baby, Leestar)
Say Sue Me – 꿈에 (To Dream) (Feat. Kim Oki)
Sogumm & Keumbee – 소금비 (Salt Rain)
Summer Soul x ROMderful – My World
Sweet Sorrow – 러브 드라이브 (Love Drive) (Feat. Meenoi)
Taeyong X Wonstein – Love Theory
Wendy – 공항로 (Airport Goodbyes) (Prod. The Black Skirts)
Yena – Smiley (Feat. Bibi)
Yoon Jong-shin – Rainy Happy Day (With Kingo Hamada)


Lyric translations by author. Artist profile and album cover images from Bugs Music.

Read our past series:

2021 In Review

2020 In Review

2019 In Review

2018 In Review

2017 In Review

2016 In Review

2015 In Review

2014 In Review

2013 In Review

2012 In Review

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