The Korea Herald


Clon vows to stay duo forever with 20th anniversary album ‘We Are’

By Hong Dam-young

Published : June 29, 2017 - 18:09

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More than anything, it was “friendship” that has kept together the legendary dance music duo Clon through decades of ups and downs. 

With a bond that goes back 30 years, Koo Jun-yup and Kang Won-rae weathered Kang’s motorcycle accident and the group’s subsequent disbandment. 

Most recently, they were able to reunite for the duo’s newly released 20th-anniversary album. 

From left, Koo Jun-yup and Kang Won-rae of duo Clone pose at a press conference for its 20th anniversary album “We Are” that was released Thursday. (Yonhap) From left, Koo Jun-yup and Kang Won-rae of duo Clone pose at a press conference for its 20th anniversary album “We Are” that was released Thursday. (Yonhap)
“It feels like just yesterday when we jumped around our first debut stage for ‘Kung Ddari Sha Bah Rah.’ Koo and I have lived totally different lives since my motorcycle accident,” said member Kang in a wheelchair at a press conference for the duo’s new album “We Are” in Seoul on Thursday. 

A round of applause filled the air as Kang, assisted by Koo, rolled his wheelchair onstage.  

“After we disbanded, I spent my days in a wheelchair, while Koo started his new career as a disc jockey. But with the new album in sight, I think Koo and I will remain forever as Clon, unless we have a clash terrible enough to rip us apart,” said Kang.

Clon, a Korean first-generation dance music duo, debuted in 1996 and shot to stardom with its first album “Are You Ready?” The duo earned nationwide popularity with dance hit songs “Funky Tonight,” “Cho Ryun” and “Come To Me,” but halted all activities in 2000 after Kang’s tragic motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Despite the hardships, the duo returned to the stage in 2005 with the fifth album, “Victory.” The album, however, was the duo’s last collaboration until the latest “We Are,” as the members pursued individual careers, with Kang as a radio host and lecturer and Koo as a professional DJ.

Kang said, “If anyone asks if we are still the Clon from the ’90s, I would like to say ‘Yes, we are,’ just like the album’s title suggests.” 

Koo, who appeared a bit emotional, also shared how he was deeply moved when he was the first person Kang had looked for at the hospital right after the accident. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)
The album “We Are” released Thursday at noon in celebration of Clon’ 20th anniversary, features the powerful and rhythmic electronic dance music number “Everybody” as its lead track. The song was composed by Koo, in collaboration with the duo’s longtime friend and producer Kim Chang-hwan. 

Upon realizing the shortness of life after Kang’s accident, Kim said he wanted to tell people of the duo’s age not to give up on their hopes through the song.

“The song aims to bridge the gap between the old and new generations. The lyric touches upon the joys and sorrows of those in 40s and 50s, while Clon’s previous hits were about the life of 20-somethings,” said Kim who accompanied the duo at the event.

Kang also pitched in, saying, “Keep on dreaming. Look at me, I’ve been following my dreams in a wheelchair. I hope our new music could inject some hope into all generations, rather than bringing us fame and reputation.”

The duo also talked about its role as a senior K-pop group in today’s music scene.

“When I look at junior artists such as BTS, I feel so proud of them. But I also feel proud of ourselves for having paved the ground for them,” said Koo. 

The duo was one of the first Korean music acts to ride the Korean wave, most notably in Taiwan, even before there was a word for the popularity of Korea pop entertainment products.

The six-track album “We Are” includes “Go Tomorrow,” which features the innovative genre of EDM, “Ore Ore O,” a remixed version of Clon’s classic hit “Cho Ryun,” and  “90’s DJ Koo Driving Mix,” a lengthy track that is a mishmash of Clon’s 14 hits. 

By Hong Dam-young (