Guys wore long hair and bell-bottoms, and played Beatles’ tunes on their guitars. Though decades have passed since that time, remnants of the ‘70s and ‘80s can still be found all around us
Interview: DJ Tiger Disco
Tiger Disco (cook, disco DJ)
“Not long ago, I was kicked out of a hotel mid-set while I was deejaying. The thing is, it happens so often that it doesn’t surprise me anymore. I use pomade in my hair and wear vintage jackets with pride, but I also know that disco and funk music isn’t really a thing anymore. Ever since I entered my 20s, I always wore vintage, thickrimmed glasses and retro-pattered ties—disco has always been a big part of my life. Sporting this dated style definitely attracts attention, but it doesn’t really bother me. But sometimes, my parents still get surprised when they see me, haha. I think it was around 2009 when I was looking for music to use so as to start my career as a DJ. And Tatsuro Yamashita’s music just inspired me as his stuff totally reminded me of the tunes my dad would play when I was a kid. I was hesitant at first, because there weren’t that many DJs who played disco, but I met Dr. Hwang hyung (meaning “bro” in Korean), who’s a part of the disco/funk-based music crew YMEA. He really gave me a lot of advice and courage. My love for the culture and styles of the ‘70s and ‘80s has only grown since I started deejaying. Most of all, the good vibes I get from all of it just really draws me to things from that era. Music used to be distributed on LPs and CDs back then, so there are a lot of great works that didn’t quite catch people’s attention in Korea. My mission is to bring this type of music to people’s attention today so that the music can live on. Whenever I play the song “Hand in Hand” I think: “Hey, it’s something old you’ve probably never listened to, but it’s good. Right? Then let’s disco!’”
TALKED ABOUT THEN
You didn’t experience the ‘70s if you weren’t at a disco club with pomade in your hair and bell-bottoms on, just like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Long hair, miniskirts, square glasses and Jordache jeans are all icons of the era.
2. Cassette tapes
Only the cool kids would walk around with a Walkman playing in their hands. Ah, there was nothing more romantic than staying up all night making a mix tape for your crush.
3. Korean legends
The ‘70s and ‘80s were the prime time for music. Musicians were constantly releasing new tracks. Sanulrim, Kim Hyun-sik, Nami, Cho Yong-pil, Nam Jin and Na Hoon-a are some of the most popular singers who paved the way for Korean music.
4. American pop
MJ, the King of Pop; Madonna, the Queen of Pop; Donna Summer the Queen of Disco; and Living legend of disco funk, Earth, Wind & Fire all dominated the charts in the ‘70s and ‘80s.