To kick off week two of the World Cup, we invited an intercontinental crew of artists to weigh in on their pre-game playlists as they gear up to watch the matches from their respective turfs worldwide. We received an array of interpretations–some aficionados celebrating the love of soccer itself, some remembering the FIFA video game soundtracks of nostalgic adolescent times, others offering musical condolences to the teams that don’t fare so well, and beyond.
Read on and press play for game time soundtracks curated by Argentina’s Banda de Turistas, Brazil’s Karol Conka, Costa Rica’s Las Robertas, and more.
ARGENTINA: Banda de Turistas
Banda de Turista’s drummer Guido takes us through a nostalgic trip of World Cup soundtracks come and gone, featuring official (Ricky Martin, here’s looking at you) theme songs, unofficial anthems that slipped into the unconscious of many Argentine teens of the time (ie. FIFA 98’s Chumbawamba appearance), and some straight-up soccer-themed classics shouting out the legends, like “Santa Maradona.”
BRAZIL: Karol Conka
Karol Conka, the beloved Batuk Freak emcee, reveals some of her homebred influences while the Copa Mundial is on her turf. Between Timbalanda’s “Beija-flor,” a reminder of her childhood in Curitiba, to Brazilian rap innovator Jair Rodrigues’ “Deixa Isso Pra Lá,” we get a sense of the creative forces that formed Conka’s boundary-pushing batucada riddims.
MEXICO: I Can Chase Dragons
Julio Gudiño of the electropical pop outfit I Can Chase Dragons (Arts & Crafts México) reps his home team with a playlist almost fully-loaded with Mexican artists, with a nod to his former band The Plastics Revolution on “Invasión.”
CHILE: Fernando Milagros
Though self-admittedly not much of a fútbol fan, Santiago’s Fernando Milagros imagines his perfect pre-game soundtrack, beginning with “a great overture” to start off a playlist reflecting the “curve of enthusiasm [he’s] experienced with the Chilean soccer team over the years.”
COLOMBIA: Boom Full Meke
Electro-picteros Boom Full Meke take us to Colombia’s Atlantic coast, leveraging their vast champeta knowledge to tell us loud and clear that they believe “there’s no doubt that Colombia will be the champion of this tournament” with Diomedes Díaz’s “Yo Soy Mundial.” While the winner still remains to be seen, the duo keeps it friendly enough with worldwide futbolero jams “El Arbitro del Mundial” and “Supercampeones.”
When asked to create a World Cup playlist, Fabrikante chose to include Facundo Cabral’s “Yo No Vendo, Yo No Compro,” sharing his ideal of “free worlds, worlds without money.” He remembered a time he had a few days earlier, “playing in a soccer game at [his] house. [His] team was made up of Peruvians and Australians, the other team Mexicans and Chileans. It wasn’t about winning or losing, but about enjoying playing.” Press play for more of Fabrikante’s soccer-inspired dreamscape.
Fuckaine takes a noise-driven approach to the pre-game playlist, inviting us to “cut the TV volume and put on” the likes of Cerebral Ballzy, Abstract Artimus, and more. The band also includes a stark exception to this current, selecting Frankie Knuckles’ “Your Love” as their imagined theme song to Italy’s 1990 World Cup.
USA: K. Sabroso
K. Sabroso is ready to get straight to celebrating. The New York-based producer/DJ/dancer shares an international array of his favorite party tunes for getting loose. Throw on sounds by the likes of Venezolano MkC (“a perfect soundtrack for a mission to tear up the dancefloor”), hip shake to Colombia’s ChocQuibTown, or work in El Alfa at the peak of the party (side note from K. Sabroso: “You will be singing along to the hook after one listen, even if you don’t speak Spanish. Dominican dembow is the universal language.”).
HONDURAS: El Chunche Atómico
Honduras’ El Chunche Atómico makes sure we don’t overlook the ongoing efforts of protestors on the streets of Brazil with socially-conscious tracks like “La Bomba Popular” and “Informe Estadístico de Comienzos de Siglo.” He also calls attention to Honduras’ homegrown scene, highlighting Garifuna influence in his selection of “Yalifu” by parrandero Aurelio Martinez, and his own work with Montuca Sound System.
COSTA RICA: Las Robertas
Las Robertas sets the bar for sportsmanship with their soundtrack, dedicating a tribute to the players that don’t fare so well this Cup with “Jugo de Piña” for the defeated, or “We Are The Champions” for “all of the teams that know they’re not going to win.” Before getting too tender, however, the trio showcases Costa Rica’s particular breed of hooligan anthem with 2 Minutos’ “Valentín Alsina.”
Uruguayan national team superfan Juan Campodonico of Campo take us on an optimistic journey of party tunes, highlighting his hope for a Uruguay versus Brazil final match with the inclusion of Uruguayan musician/actor/doctor Jorge Drexler’s collaboration with Caetano Veloso in “Bolivia.”