Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble – Reunification Rainbow (from No Motherland Without You 1993)
Ever wonder what the hell everyone walking by you with ipods lodged in their ears is listening to? Sometimes if I’m in the Chicago loop where every other person is paying no attention to anything other than the song on their playlist, I try and guess just what might be playing in those tiny white headphones. Is the suit jamming some Animal Collective? Why the hell is this woman jogging downtown, and is she getting her sweat on to some Ayler? My guess is boy with girl pants is onto something I’ve never heard of. Anyways, today I got a bit paranoid that others were playing the same game as me while I was blasting this new found bit of Communist Pop from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Really, a strange kid walking around digging some North Korean’s praise their Eternal President of the Republic seems almost flag worthy. Maybe even more so that the next song on the CD was Gucci Mane, followed by the Knight Rider theme. The Pochonbo Ensemble is one of the few state-sactioned musical groups in the north side, and one of the most popular. This is only due to the fact that un-sactioned MUSIC IS ILLEGAL. Somehow, these guys even toured Japan a few years back, which is about as ridiculous as a Dancehall festival in Boystown. Definitely Got to hand it to them for one of the best track titles I’ve ever heard. I really don’t mean to shed light on one of the most terrible situations on the planet, but it really did kind of make me paranoid when I thought the fed on the sidewalk could hear what I was enjoying today. One of the scariest pieces of music I’ve ever heard.
Also, the above is a picture of an Arirang performance, the celebration of Kim Il Sung’s birthday which must be seen. Not really so down with the tone of Vice Magazine, but still, watch it.
Also also, Eric Lafforgue’s photos of the DPRK have to be seen. Thanks to fellow photography buff Antoine for these!