I first made contact with Balming Tiger in 2019. We exchanged emails and spoke about the underground Kpop scene, their take on art and music, and their vision to take over the globe. Several viral successes, award nominations and a pesky little pandemic later, they finally hit Europe for what they called the Tiny Tour.
Deadset Berlin ambassador and diehard Kpop enthusiast Jason Nam checked out their appearance at the iconic Berghain Kantine (which also happened to be their final show of the European tour) on an unassuming Monday evening in May, and shared some of his thoughts about the concert.
[25/5, 19:06] Jason Nam: Some thoughts via Whatsapp:
It was surreal to see a Korean alt-hip hop group singing and rapping in Berlin. Reminded me of a similar weird yet proud feeling I had when I saw Parasite in a Czech cinema surrounded by non-Koreans.
Concert started off with wnjn who was later joined by Sogumm – very ambient and sad boi Joji vibes and mixed with Sogumm’s serenade with nature sounds.
Then came Mudd the Student (and DJ Abyss) with his punk energy mixed with rapping. Got the crowed super pumped up. His broken English was actually cool and I was almost glad he didn’t speak it fluently – because why the fuck should he? He’s a Korean artist.
The crowd went even wilder when Omega Sapien came on the stage. It was like the Monster energy drink slapping your face… very liiiiit
After, the entire ensemble came back on, finishing off the gig with their hit tracks that got all the die-hard fans singing their lungs out.
[25/5, 19:08] Jason Nam: The crowd was funny: a mix of Koreans, die-hard Koreaboo fans, and random Germans and hipsters who clearly had no idea who Balming Tiger was. But somehow it all came together – and i guess that proves the point that music is transcultural and can bring anyone that wants to have a good ass time!
Images and words by Jason Nam.