Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Now Sound of the Juche All-Stars

I had my eye on a copy of Radio Pyongyang: Commie Funk and Agit Pop from the Hermit Kingdom [Sublime Frequencies CD SF023] for some time. I had a notion of what to expect: a strident and heroic sound praising the revolution and the leadership of Kim Jong Il. And that's what I got, in spades, or rather a spade connecting with my skull. What was surprising was the relentless and oppressive cheerfulness of it all...or maybe not. What else would one expect from the Orwellian nightmare of North Korea?

When I first played the CD at home, my wife mentioned that the music sounded like clowns and circuses. Yes it does have a cheesy karaoke quality to it and I would put it down to the ever-present electronic keyboard, an instrument I usually associate with 80's synthpop or DIY outsider recordings. Not that the music particularly sounds like the aforementioned genres, but it is odd, very odd all the same.

Kudos to compiler Christiaan Virant for creating a mixtape from the real-world Airstrip One. I can only imagine what life would be like if this was the only music one could hear.

Note: The disc appears to be out of print at the Sublime Frequencies website, but it should still be available from several on-line retailers.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page