[Review] TRI.BE debuts with familiar, tested sound on “Doom Doom Ta”

Over the past few months, some of K-pop’s most respected producers have creating groups of their own. Last November saw the debut of STAYC, under the guidance of duo Black Eyed Pilseung. And now we have TR.IBE, who are managed by a-list producer Shinsadong Tiger. If only my beloved Sweetune would get in on the trend and cobble together a super group as well! Producers like this have been ensconced in the industry long enough that they’ve earned a certain level of trust. Their name alone carries a promise to the listener. You may not always like what they’re going to give you, but you always know it’ll be polished and expertly crafted.

Shinsadong Tiger is no stranger to girl groups. Not only has he produced tracks for many of them, but he actually founded his own label for 2012-debut EXID. In fact, a quick glance at his history reveals several such endeavors. This guy opens labels like nobody’s business, and his latest is TR Entertainment – home to new group TR.IBE. Of course, none of this means anything if the music itself isn’t good.

Thankfully, Doom Doom Ta is good. It rides on the 2019 “ITZY” sound, but succeeds thanks to its focus on percussion. Doom Doom Ta has an incredibly addictive beat, and rarely strays from it. This single-mindedness is increasingly rare in K-pop, but invaluable when it comes to a rhythmic track like this. The drum loop here is unyielding, and will almost certainly get your body moving. In fact, it’s so addictive that they actual melody (and group!) kind of plays second-fiddle. Make no mistake, Doom Doom Ta is home to as much ineffective sing-talk as the next K-pop track, but when stabs of brass join the party for the hands-in-the-air climax, none of that matters. This is a stone cold groove, and that goes a long way.

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