I love a pleasant surprise! Runway comes from YG KPlus project group ATO6, and is aptly titled. After all, this subsidiary is largely focused on the modeling industry. It’s probably most well-known as the home of VIINI (formerly known as Hyunbin from JBJ), who has released solo work before. He also co-produced this track, and Runway is better than it has any right to be.
Apart from modeling, I had the impression of YG KPlus being more notable for its rappers than its vocalists, but Runway goes beyond a simple hip-hop track. Its verses and chorus are supported by a crunchy electro beat that’s incredibly satisfying. It’s also incredibly funky, eliciting a head-nodding bounce that actually reminds me of veteran groups like SHINee. Plenty of effects give this beat a diverse texture. It’s a playground of different sounds, forged together in a stomping structure that keeps momentum going.
This production works equally well underlining both the rap and vocal-heavy segments of Runway. I love the arrangement of the chorus. The layering has an echoed filter that compliments the song’s overall distortion. The vocals almost sound far away, yet remain a prominent part of the mx. It’s so great to hear some new textures in K-pop these days, and if Runway is indicative of VIINI’s skills as a producer, I think YG should be quickly securing his talents to help steer its idol acts. He certainly knows how to throw down a groove. Why not introduce him to Treasure?