May 25, 2022

Dragon Sound

Dragon Sound are easily the best martial arts rock band / sworn enemies of motorcycle-riding, drug-smuggling ninjas ever to come out of Central Florida.


The following is the true story of the 1987 movie Miami Connection: Hoping to turn people on to martial arts, Y.K. Kim, a Central Florida Tae Kwon Do teacher with zero experience in filmmaking, mortgaged his Tae Kwon Do school to make a movie about a group of friends who are college students by day and a ninja-fighting rock band by night. The movie had a brief run in a handful of theaters in Florida—and strangely, one in West Germany—and promptly disappeared. Fast-forward 25 years to when a projectionist for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Tex., pretty much on a whim, bought a print of Miami Connection on eBay.  An Alamo screening of the movie proved so successful, the theater’s distribution arm decided to rerelease it. And now the wacky little movie by a Tae Kwon Do grandmaster is a cult classic. You can’t make this stuff up.

Central to both the plot of Miami Connection and its now-cult status is the band Dragon Sound. Dragon Sound perform two songs in the movie—“Friends” and “Against the Ninja”— both by area musician Angelo Janotti, who also played the band’s frontman onscreen. (Janotti’s then-girlfriend Kathy Collier, who also appeared in Miami Connection, wrote and recorded these modern-day classics with him.) Lloyd Sharpe, another member of Kim’s broader Tae Kwon Do family, provided a handful of additional songs for the soundtrack.

Dragon Sound crossed over into the real world in 2012 with the rerelease of Miami Connection: that year’s Fantastic Fest, Alamo’s annual film festival, hosted a 25th anniversary “reunion” concert by the band. A recording of this once-in-a-lifetime event can be found on the movie’s soundtrack album, which was finally released in 2020.

Discography

Dragon Sound (limited edition 7″ single) [2012]
Miami Connection (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [2020]

Filmography

Miami Connection (1987)