영원한아들 ETERNAL SON – 친애하는 지도자 DEAR LEADER (World War 2020 – Episode Two)
Recommendation: ✂ (“Revolutionary Enlightenment Room”, “Echoes in the Ryugyong Hotel (Interlude)”, “Subjugation of Gwando”, “Sun Palace”, “Global Holocaust”)
친애하는 지도자 DEAR LEADER1 is the second “episode” of HVRF’s long-running World War 2020 series that details a hypothetical cataclysm between the US, Russia, North Korea, and… pretty much everyone else. This album is set apart from the rest of the series through eschewing hardvapour in favor of classic-style vaporwave that utilizes news clips and North Korean propaganda to create a soundtrack that a typical North Korean proletariat would here on the eve of World War 2020. It’s practically a classic-style remix of communist propaganda, but by no means is it only a novelty album.
The majority of the tracks on 친애하는 지도자 DEAR LEADER are comprised of pitch-/tempo-shifted deconstructions of North Korean music – of course, all music that has been sanctioned by Kim Jong-un and his forefathers, most of which are ebullient anthems that describe the power and triumph inherent in the Korean people. Additionally, there are several tracks and “interludes” that are comprised of spoken word bits like interviews and media features that play over parts of the music. In contrast to the icy and provocative episode 1 (The Motherland Calls – situated around Putin and the USSR), 친애하는 지도자 DEAR LEADER has little in the way of an outright militaristic attitude or an implication of serious, imminent destruction. It’s practically ecstatic at points, and the Western news media clips sound resigned. The classic-style approach to 친애하는 지도자 DEAR LEADER gives it a solid sense of diversity, as if each album is characteristic of the featured country.
One big issue with 친애하는 지도자 DEAR LEADER: it’s damn long. About half of its fifty-three minutes and twenty-three tracks could be cut out. The anthems are a great idea, but they wear out pretty handily by the eighth or ninth one. It could be a meta-concept that attempts to evoke the constant barrage of propaganda that North Koreans face each day, but that could easily have been successful with fewer tracks. The most fascinating ones are those spoken word bits (e.g. “Revolutionary Enlightenment Room”) – grab a few of those if you’re interested.
1. Pyongyang Awakens – (2:46)
2. Dear Leader – (4:31)
3. Cult of Personality – (3:52)
4. Revolutionary Enlightenment Room – (0:38)
5. A Sea of Apples at the Foot of Chol Pass – (3:23)
6. Juche 104 (Interlude) – (1:40)
7. Let Us Turn Ours into a Country of Mushrooms – (3;24)
8. Live 10,000 Years! – (3:13)
9. Tea House Girl – (1:20)
10. Echoes in the Ryugyong Hotel (Interlude) – (1:05)
11. Subjugation of Gwando – (1:20)
12. Child Performers in Camp 22 – (3:15)
13. Ilyushin Il-76 – (2:52)
14. Sun Palace – (1:31)
15. Let Us Build a Fairyland for the People by Dint of Science – (2:45)
16. Demilitarized Zone (Interlude) – (1:37)
17. Pulgasari – (1:40)
18. Foreign Sports Exchange Program – (2:25)
19. Global Holocaust – (2:57)
20. Arduous March (Interlude) – (1:35)
21. Tears on Mount Paektu – (1:56)
22. Pyongyang Sleeps – (3:04)
23. Cheer for Our Infinitude! – (0:45)
1Translated simply as “Dear Leader” in Korean.