Shin Joong Hyun

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BIO

Shin Joong Hyun’s tale is personal, spiritual, and deep, not only reflecting the full spectrum of human emotions, but one that produced reverberating echoes of sound, some beautiful and life-giving, others restless and ungovernable.

Inspired by jazz, soul, and traditional Korean music, Shin started his career in the mid-1950’s, performing for US troops stationed locally after the Korean War armistice of 1953. While his English language skills were limited, the young player had no trouble communicating through his trusty electric guitar, but Shin was no mere 6-string slinger for hire, he was able to communicate something far beyond your average professional musician. Production work and extensive songwriting followed, not to mention a steady stream of electrifying performances. Gaining momentum by the moment, Shin developed popular success across South Korea molding protégés like singing duo the Pearl Sisters and folk-psych songbird Kim Jung Mi into top pop stars. From there it was hit after hit. The late 1960’s rock explosion and an influx of imported music from The Beatles, Jimmy Smith, and The Jefferson Airplane all informed and inspired Mr. Shin to elevate his own craft. Even experimental trips via a crew of local hippies also took the music man to new heights despite Korean law forbidding such rebellion. Drug use was illegal and punishable as a serious offence. Park Chung-hee, then President of South Korea began to closely monitor Shin’s “subversive” activities. After refusing to write a song in praise of the political leader, the musician was labeled unpatriotic and his career was instantly snuffed-out through a series of surveillance, torture, and institutional confinement.

While this was not the end of Shin’s musical story, for an all-too-brief moment in Korean cultural history, Shin Joong Hyun and his talented accomplices laid down a trove of recordings that have slowly reverberated far from their native land. For the first time outside of Korea, Shin’s music will be readily available to music lovers the world over. Light In The Attic are thrilled to release Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea’s Shin Joong Hyun, a career spanning CD, 2xLP, and Digital Download compilation of the diminutive guitarist, songwriter, producer, arranger, and talent developer.

Listen & Buy

  • Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958-74

    Shin Joong Hyun

    Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958-74

    LITA 065

    Shin Joong Hyun’s tale is personal, spiritual, and deep, not only reflecting the full spectrum of human emotions, but one that produced reverberating echoes of sound, some beautiful and life-giving, others restless and ungovernable.

  • From Where To Where: Digital EP 1970-79

    Shin Joong Hyun

    From Where To Where: Digital EP 1970-79

    LITA 069

    Shin Joong Hyun’s tale is personal, spiritual, and deep, not only reflecting the full spectrum of human emotions, but one that produced reverberating echoes of sound, some beautiful and life-giving, others restless and ungovernable. 7 essential jams from the father of Korean psych-rock!

  • Shin Joong Hyun & Yup Juns

    Shin Joong Hyun

    Shin Joong Hyun & Yup Juns

    LIONCD664 / LIONLP123

    Spring of 1974 witnessed the birth of psychedelic power trio Shin Joong Hyun & Yup Juns. “In Korean, yupjun literally means a brass coin,” Shin explains. “However, during that time it was used as slang to describe a sense of unpleasantness and dislike. Since I was so unpleasant and dissatisfied [in my career], I told myself, ‘Ok, fine, I am just a yupjun,’ and named my band with a rebellious attitude.” He began by renting a room at Seoul’s Tower Hotel to serve as a creative base for the group. After six months of preparation, the group cut ten powerful songs filled with monster grooves, fuzz guitar, emotive singing, and top-notch songwriting. The album was pressed up as a broadcast-only promotional vinyl to test radio response; the response wasn’t what anyone expected, and the record label refused to release the album. The band re-recorded the album, but it is this, the original ten track version, that has become legendary—with good reason. An astounding record, and one that we are privileged to bring to the rest of the world for the first time.