This is our third and final look (part one, part two) into the most impenetrable culture in the world - so impenetrable that even these three albums we're offering are just what they want you to hear. Who knows what's going on in the hinterlands.
Our man from kitschstortion who sent us this music from who-knows-where (I have no idea how to get North Korean music apart from actually going there) says about today's album: "All songs are versions of the unofficial North/South Korean national anthem "Arirang." Maybe so, but there's a lot of musical diversity here. Certainly doesn't sound like one song played over and over.
Korean Folk Songs - "Arirang"
1. Arirang [a ponderous waltz]
2. Yongchon Arirang [in 5/4 time]
3. Milyang Arirang [also in 5/4 time; you'd think unusual time signatures would be too decadently Western]
4. Arirang Echoed Through Jiansanfeng [cheezy disco; love those syn drums!]
5. Song of Arirang [another slow epic waltz until 4:40; then it mutates into crazy swing]
6. Chol Pass Arirang
7. Arirang of Army-People Unity [this rousing march - the sole male vox here - is what I expect Communist propaganda music to sound like]
8. Arirang of Happiness [happy indeed; this and the following songs are chirpy pop]
9. Arirang of Reunification
10. Arirang of Prosperity
If you're as fascinated by this strange, lost world as I am: "Here is another article regarding Pyongyang pop. Also, this youtube channel has a great deal of material shown on the DPRK television station (KCTV) in Pyongyang, including live performances, news reports, and... comedy shows. Note: the account holder is a DPRK apologist; there is a small and uneasily penetrated community of them online." Thanks again comrade, er, kitschstortion!