(This article will focus on the following members of You.Will.Knovv:
Dean, 2xxx!, Rad Museum, Miso, Jusen, Mokyo, Tabber)
You.Will.Knovv is an independent visual arts label based in Seoul, South Korea. Its founder, Dean and its core members originally met through the collective Club Eskimo(comprising of Crush, Jusen, Rad Museum, 2xxx!, Miso, offonoff, Chek Parren, Punchnello and Millic). The label has since grown substantially with members in every facet of the album creation process this article, however, will focus on its primary artist group.
2017, was the lift-off moment for the label due to the release of 2xxx!‘s debut EP Life, Millic’s debut album Vida and Rad Museum’s debut mini-album Scene. These three albums all featured the now members of You.Will.Knovv. Colde would likely also have been a part of the label releasing his debut as part of the duo offonoff in 2017 as well.
Hindsight would show us though that Colde would go on to form his own successful label, WAVY. Similarly, Milic chose to start his “own company” called Paix Per Mil and released the company’s first single “0.000” on the 29th of October, 2020. Crush and Punchnello both had labels already, leaving the rest of Club Eskimo members able to join Dean’s newly formed You.Will.Knovv. label.
Dean released the singles “Come Over”, “Love” and “Instagram” in 2017 ensuring the year would be full of fond memories for the Korean indie scene. You.Will.Knovv has seemingly returned this year after three years of relative silence. Its newest members; Tabber and Mokyo were the first to take centre-stage.
Tabber released his first EP/Mixtape entitled the Deep End Mixtape a stunningly introspective look on his statement of sound. Tracks such as “Devil May Cry” (a reference to the videogame of the same name) featuring Kim Ximya and “Like a Vampire” featuring So!YoOn establishes the mood of Tabber in tandem. That is a darkened landscape held with moody instrumentation and brilliantly weaved together vocals.
The rest of the mixtape stand as unique bangers, “Honey!” for example featuring Dean is a fever dream of lust and falsettos that are wrapped together in moaning vocal loops. The body of sound in this mixtape really doesn’t try to sound like anything other than itself.
This is best shown with the long-awaited “Runner’s High (Demo)” which serves as a symbol of Tabbers ability to make moody, challenging art. “3 AM Freestyle” remains the opening letter to the mixtape and incidentally is the clearest statement of his hybrid sound. A moody, slow yet catchy tempo revolving around dexterous vocal performances layered atop one another.
Mokyo, on the other hand, has established himself as a brilliant guitarist and vocalist in 2020 particularly with his contributions on Woo’s “Too Much” and “Zip” respectively. Before joining You.Will.Knovv Mokyo was signed to H1ghr Music (Under the producer name Thurxday) where he produced hits such as Jay Park‘s “V”, Joo Young’s “Prada”, G.Soul/Golden‘s “Tequila”, PH-1‘s “DVD”, Loco‘s “Party Band” and the list goes on!
What makes Mokyo different from his then producer persona Thurxday is his intimate acoustic production style as Mokyo. Mokyo’s sound is so appealing in its organic fragility, with each string lingering. His guitar loops thus lend themselves to introspective lyricism, making his pairing with Woo and You.Will.Knovv quite the perfect match.
His newest release this year is the single “uleum” which also arrived on October 29th. The single is accompanied by a gorgeously lo-fi MV which sees Mokyo swimming in an ocean filled with static. Everything about the single is charmingly intimate, from its low-resolution MV starring woo to its lyrical content and whispered vocal performance.
Mokyo is a quiet star but he truly has the chance to shine now that he has joined You.Will.Knovv. Not to mention, everyone’s music in the label will benefit from having Mokyo around wether its vocally, instrumentally or compositionally.
Mokyo also took part in You Will Knovv’s compilation single “Breath”. A meditative piece which breaths in-between the huge anticipation for Dean’s long-awaited EP tentatively titled 130 Mood: RVNG and Rad Museums yet to be announced project.
“Breath” is a complicated piece, for being so damn calming. It’s either the first piece of a compilation offering from You.Will.Knovv (hence the “you.will.knovv compilation 0.1”). Or it is simply a song attached to their then pop-up store launch event. Either way, we see three musicians born of the same ruminative cloth, lost in a Frank Ocean textured merging of their vocals into one being.
“Breath” is a completely in-house affair with every member helping in some way. Overall it becomes a masterful piece of sound that is zenlike in execution and definitely slept on, pun intended.
Dean has to his credit not remained silent this year either, Though it has over been a year since the release of “Howlin’404” his collaborative efforts have been consistent especially in 2020. From featuring on Crush’s “Wake Up”, Nafla‘s “under the ground” not to mention his pairing with Miso both officially on “Imagination” and unofficially with a feature on “Alone”.
The track and subsequent MV of “Imagination” serve as a meeting place for both Burberry x GQ Korea and Dean x Miso. Its a lullaby worthy song and is in the same vein as “Breathe” with escapism leading us to new worlds and spaces.
Much like Dean’s Puma single “Run The Streets” this is a single not to be missed based on its product placement. It’s a fully functioning single that moves in its mood while still adorning its main characters in well-placed clothing. Miso’s return has also been thoroughly dissected here.
Miso and Jusen for that matter are both artists who live only in the realm of singles. Leading to no real anticipation for either to release a fully-fledged record any time soon. Interestingly, Miso also features on the track “The Stream” by UK indie band Prep. Some will know Prep as the opening band for You Will Knovv’s capsule shows in 2019.
Jusen has only really released one song, entitled “Dust” and even that was deleted off SoundCloud. The closest Jusen has come to showing himself publically was in Rad Museum’s live MV session of “Dancing in the Rain” and of course the rare live performances of “Dust” in 2019.
Rad Museum has visibly been in the studio with an 8-track follow-up to his debut mini-album “Scene”. Therefore, it seems that the next release to come from You.Will.Knovv is most likely a Rad Museum, cue an overly excited face!
Producer 2xxx! has also kept busy this year producing music on Jjangyou’s groundbreaking new album Transcendence as well as on the aforementioned Tabber record. 2xxx!’s debut EP Life! was an integral part alongside Scene in introducing You.Will.Knovv to the world. The importance of a good producer in a label once again highlighted here. Since a producer generally doesn’t sing, he makes an album filled with every musician in his label!
It does seem that You.Will.Knovv has planned its unfolding musical timeline much like in 2017. For example, Dean’s “Dayfly” MV from 2018 has a vocal snippet of Miso’s 2020 single “Alone” in it. Not to mention the string of You.Will.Knovv concerts which showcased singles such as Taber’s “Runner’s High (Demo)” that only officially arrived this year. The independent label You.Will.Knovv now looks poised to take over the Korean indie scene once for a second time come 2021.