Sometimes K-pop salvation comes from the most unexpected of places. With most of July’s big-name comebacks disappointing, it’s up to the industry’s under-the-radar artists to pick up the slack. With the Ghostbusters-sampling BlockBuster, Dongkiz have done just that. The group first burst on the scene with November’s Nom, which was later recycled for their official April debut. I was high on Nom’s explosive funk-pop sound initially, but repeated listens haven’t done the track many favors. BlockBuster, on the other hand, takes the best elements from their debut and forges them into a thrillingly fun follow-up.
Direct samples of existing songs are pretty rare in K-pop, so I was shocked to hear that BlockBuster would incorporate the 80’s Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters theme so heavily into its structure. The central synth riff will be an instant touchstone for many listeners, even if you were born after the 80’s had ended. Thankfully, the song finds a way to fuse this instrumental to its backbone without being completely beholden to it.
BlockBuster opens with the movie’s familiar spooky synths before catapulting into a brisk funk-pop verse that sounds like the kind of thing Seventeen used to deliver on the regular. From here, the track moves into its weakest moment — a cut-and-paste pre-chorus that too literally copies its source material. But, this small misstep is easily forgiven once the rollicking chorus comes in. I love the use of the Ghostbusters synths here, giving the already-robust hook an extra zap of electricity. I wasn’t surprised to see that BlockBuster was co-produced by Chung Ho Hyun from the veteran e.one team. There’s an undeniable polish here that was missing from Dongkiz’s debut. This is K-pop at its most off-the-wall fun, and with any luck should serve as a springboard for this promising young group.
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