www.groovekorea.com / June 2014 72 T he lounge we settle into is dotted with sev- eral disengaged couples. The candlelight glints off their phones in the dimly lit booths. Pop music blares through the sound sys- tem, a stark shift from the eclectically in- fectious rhythms that Pentasonic had just poured out a few minutes earlier. Pentasonic describes itself as “a touch of jazz, a dash of funk, a splash of blues and a sprinkle of pop.” It’s a questionable concoction of elements that proves far more palatable upon experience. As the foursome took the stage, they greeted the crowd with synco- pated bass lines, snare drums and optimistic smiles. By the third song a crowd had emerged on the dance floor. Lured by the rhythmic melodies of “Black and White,” curious patrons had congregated with a slight sway in their hips. By the middle of the set, the music seamlessly transitioned to an impeccable rendition of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” The night had been sealed. With a sizable audience, apprehensions abandoned, Pentasonic played the rest of the night to dancing feet and clapping hands. “Jiho has a funky jazz thing that he does when he plays,” Ben Akers, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, offers over our first round of gin and tonics. “June likes different styles of music. I grew up listening to Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. I listen to a lot of Brand New, Jamiroquai, Incognito — the funkiest side of what those guys are doing.” It is a mix of sounds and personalities that the band has melded together almost effortlessly through a few lineup changes. Alex Hodges and Ben are the two sole original members, with Jiho Chang and June Bae being recent additions. Yet they all bring an immense amount of talent and experience to the group. June Bae is a professional musical director who learned to play Pentasonic’s songs on his way to the audition. Jiho Chang, the keyboardist, was only supposed to help record the album, but he played so well that they couldn’t let him go. MuSIC & ARTS Edited by Elaine Ramirez (elaine@groovekorea.com) Story by alex aguilar / Photos by romain John Keepin’ it Groovy p e n t a s o n i c b r i n G s o n t h e b l u e s y F u n k