Code Kunst has returned with his latest single “Joke!”. The song will serve as the 8th track on his upcoming LP, People. His previous LP Muggles’ Mansion (released under HIGHGRND) was lauded for its brilliantly organic approach to creating music. This approach led to worldbuilding that made each track on his album weave into one another despite featuring 19 different artists.
Code Kunst is currently signed to AOMG as their newest producer. He has become one of the leading producers in the Korean Hip-hop landscape due to his collaborative approach when creating his records. Code Kunst’s records are deep and meaningful pieces of art that do not have any of his own vocals or writings present. It is a seemingly hard affair for producers to marry their intentions and the intentions of those featured on a record.
Code Kunst has done so by interlinking each track into one another and breeding a free-form atmosphere ripe for introspection. He has also managed to find a group of like-minded artists who consistently feature on his records. Code Kunst, therefore, uses different artists as he uses a different instrument, placing them in the right spaces where their outlook is best suited for the entire body of sound that becomes an album.
“Joke!” stands as his lead single for his new record and it does not disappoint. C Jamm returns to work with Code Kunst having previously featured on “This Is” from Muggles’ Mansion. Simon Dominic‘s appearance is also not a surprise considering he is also a member of AOMG.
It must be said though, that this is a moment for the Korean Hip-hop scene as C Jamm is considered a heavyweight underground figure and Simon Dominic is well, Simon Dominic. The two flow off of each other on the track, the MV is another story.
The MV is etched into strip club blues and drunken nights. That is until Simon Dominic appears (apparently having learnt how to drive) interrupting the party. His verse much like his appearance in the MV is aggressive and heavy-hitting. Still, it’s all according to plan for Code Kunst, who seemingly knew of everything unfolding, a bartender in a bar, a producer in the lab the comparison is fitting.
“Joke!” doesn’t feel like a C Jamm track featuring Simon Dominic despite the structure of the track implying that much. Again, this attests to Code Kunst’s manipulation of sound which makes everything seem as if it were it in its right place. Simon Dominic only needs a single verse to make his presence known while C Jamm dances across the track in a manner that you wish wouldn’t stop! All the while the instrumentation of the track jitters and drags mimicking the slurring effect drinking has on the mind.
Visually, the MV starts with its end, nothing new in terms of cinematography storytelling. Here, it works stunningly, immediately setting the mood of this gritty track with a 19 age-restricted rating. The story is fairly straight forward yet its reasoning is laced into its lyrical performance.
C Jamm speaks of having a crazy night while Simon Dominic speaks of his insecurities within a relationship. This MV serves as the in-between, Simon Dominic smashes a bottle over C Jamm’s head and seemingly leaves him in a lonely alley after the strip club closes.
Again in the background, it is Code Kunst pulling the strings, serving C Jamm drink after drink and informing Simon Dominic’s character that C Jamm is at the club. Its a lovely push and pull effect laced between the interpersonal relationships shown in the video while never distracting from the main dancer, the music itself.
The visual effects production on this track is stellar in its swerving visuals (done by Plastic Beach) but even more, the lighting of this MV is perfect. From the very first shot of this MV, you see a deep green mixed in with the concrete and distant light. That is suddenly juxtaposed by a warm red hue indicating the location of the strip club and more importantly a time-skip.
The club itself is highlighted by neon green lights and smoke which play along with C Jamm’s hair in yet another light hue of green and black. Overall, it is an immaculately shot MV, every detail looked after from its lights, to Simon Dominic mimicking the Jesus portrait he passes while entering the club, to even the strip club being named “People”.
The only complaint to be found for this track is that you wish it were longer despite the MV clocking in at five minutes. Therefore, it serves as the perfect appetiser for Code Kunst’s upcoming record. Perhaps it would have even more legendary had BewhY shown up to support his high school friend C Jamm with an extra verse.
Still, it is Code Kunst who is managing chaos with his organic instrumentation. It should also be said that it is highly expected that BewhY will be featured on People as he is much like C Jamm a character within Code Kunst’s musical world.
Code Kunst has crafted numerous hits such as the PAK “We Are” by Woo Won Jae (another AOMG artist), “Hate You” by pH-1, Idea by Nucksal and “Go High” by Lee Young-ji. His string of hits last year culminated with him being nominated for “Best Producer of 2019“. Interestingly Code Kunst has also crafted tracks featuring American artists such as Joey Badass, Niia and JMSN expanding the possible cast for his upcoming record.
Code Kunst continues to master his listener’s expectations as People will also be a 16 track. When Muggles’ Mansion was released it felt a celebration of everything Korean Hip-hop had to offer. People is like the continuation of this motif, with “Joke!” alchemizing two elements unconnected until this record.
Overall, Code Kunst has stunningly portrayed everything expected of him with ease. As his record still has no official release date, momentum is bubbling for the experienced producer to release another worldbuilding affair. It is with this, his first “Joke!” that Code Kunst continues to weave the code of art (“Kunst” being the German word for art) that makes up his musical moniker.