DJ Mandyczewski, one of The Rest Is Noise's fearless foreign correspondents (he prefers to use a pseudonym), recently ventured into the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and took the above video at the Tower of the Juche Idea in Pyongyang. He writes: "The sonic landscape is amazing. In certain respects it reminded me of the Muslim world, where the call to prayer and Koran recitations are playing constantly, reminding you of the value/belief system and its binding force. Every morning around 6:45, the loudspeakers start up in Pyongyang, and you can hear music floating across the river at various times of day until sunset: militaristic marching songs, hyperromantic Korean nationalist songs. People sing songs while they march together, and music is a huge part of children's education and their afterschool organized activities. So much of North Korea's technology is broken or obsolete that many things are done by hand—painting the white circles on traffic cones, for example. In music, too: live bands and orchestras are used to produce faultlessly rhythmic, very synthetic-sounding accompaniment for events like the Pyongyang circus. The accordion-and-a-singer format is standard for all kinds of small ceremonies; we saw the same configuration at a model commune farm holding a ceremony to celebrate a harvest, and also at a picnic at the entrance to the DMZ (with a bass guitar too, as I recall)."
Warning: If you listen to the song more than once, it may get stuck in your head.