The best 32 songs to sound­track the World Cup

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

“A heart-throb of the ’60s and ’70s, known as the Ar­gen­tinean Elvis, San­dro is

What Hi-fi?’s lat­est crush”


Rus­sia: Heavy Wave by Mo­torama Mod­ern Rus­sian post-punk, just sweet enough to for­get about any frosty in­ter­na­tional re­la­tion­ships.

Saudi Ara­bia: Emta ana Ashofek by Etab Though she ac­tu­ally died an Egyp­tian cit­i­zen, Etab was the first pop­u­lar fe­male singer Saudi Ara­bia took to its heart. Egypt: Palmyra by Nadah El Sah­zly This track swag­gers with El Sah­zly’s mega or­gan hook. Uruguay: Muy Le­jos Te Vas by El Kinto From a short-lived but pi­o­neer­ing band, this one sounds a bit like The Byrds took Span­ish lessons.


Por­tu­gal: Solteiro by DJ Ly­cox While a Fado sea shanty may have been a more ob­vi­ous pick, we went for African-in­flu­enced Batida mu­sic as a more up­beat cel­e­bra­tion of Por­tuguese cul­ture.

Spain: Bam­boo by Hinds The most fa­mous group from Spain’s thriv­ing in­die scene. Morocco: Mi­moun Marhaba by Mah­moud Guinia Made with English mu­si­cian Float­ing Points,

Mi­moun Marhaba rep­re­sents one of Guinia’s last record­ings and is an in­ter­est­ing mix of tra­di­tional Gwana mu­sic and con­tem­po­rary Western elec­tronic sounds. Iran: The Chair She Sat In by Si­avash Amini Ira­nian am­bi­ent drone. Sim­ple.


France: Ini­tials B.B. by Serge Gains­bourg Gains­bourg singing about his fleet­ing af­fair with Brigitte Bar­dot. What could be more French? Ini­tials B.B. also sam­ples An­tonin Dvořák’s Ninth Sym­phony, From The New World, which is fairly for­ward­think­ing for 1968. Aus­tralia: Sleep Drifter by King Giz­zard & The Lizard

Wiz­ard Rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia’s glo­ri­ous psych re­vival. You’d never guess from that name.

Peru: Con­stelación by Los Destel­los The fore­most pur­vey­ors of Chicha mu­sic, which is Peru’s psy­che­delic take on Cumbia. With more than 90 mem­bers since form­ing in 1966, they’re known as the Univer­sity of Pe­ru­vian Cumbia.

Den­mark: Re­hearsal by Ekko Known largely in Den­mark for his film and tele­vi­sion com­po­si­tions, Frithjof Toksvig uses the moniker Ekko for his equally stun­ning solo works.


Ar­gentina: Rosa, Rosa by San­dro A heart-throb of the ’60s and ’70s, known as the Ar­gen­tinean Elvis, San­dro is What Hi-fi?’s lat­est crush.

Ice­land: re:mem­ber by Óla­fur Ar­nalds A mag­a­zine favourite of­fer­ing a much-needed cold shower fol­low­ing our date with San­dro.

Croa­t­ian: Falling In by Pe­tar Dun­dov A slice of sun, sand and sljivovica. Dun­dov says: “Techno is mu­sic that pre­cedes move­ment. It is solid enough to carry emo­tions through the dance floor, ab­stract enough to be a tem­plate for­ever.”

Nige­ria: Only You by Steve Monite Clas­sic Nige­rian boogie, and also prob­a­bly the finest bass line ever writ­ten.


Brazil: A Minha Men­ina by Os Mu­tantes Os Mu­tantes’ best-known track out­side Brazil, hav­ing been cov­ered by The Bees, is as in­fec­tious as they come. Switzer­land: Raum by Grau­zone Some choice ’80s post-punk straight out of Berne.

Costa Rica: The Feel by Las Rober­tas Costa Rica is another Span­ish-speak­ing coun­try with a strong in­die scene, and these are the most suc­cess­ful.

Ser­bia: Suženi snovi by Repeti­tor Ser­bia’s Tur­bo­folk can be the stuff of Euro­vi­sion night­mares, but thank­fully Repeti­tor are putting out some pretty de­cent, dark alt-rock.


Ger­many: The Model by Kraftwerk World cham­pi­ons. It had to be The Model. Mex­ico: Maquina Del Ritmo by Bufi Disco-in­fused elec­tro. Nice, up­beat and shorts-weather-ready. Swe­den: Sa­gres by The Tallest Man On Earth It was only ever to be Kris­tian Mats­son or ABBA. South Korea: “J” Blues 72 by Shin Joong Hyun Korea’s God­fa­ther of Rock was at the fore­front of the coun­try’s psych scene in the ’60s and ’70s, and we can see why.


Bel­gium: Is It Al­ways Bi­nary by Soul­wax Be­cause, well, Soul­wax. Panama: Plas­tico by Rubén Blades As Cen­tral Amer­i­can as it comes, ba­si­cally, but with a great funky in­tro. Tu­nisia: Waz­zaa by Bar­gou 08 With Bar­gou 08, Nid­hal Yahyaoui reimag­ines an­cient Tunisian folk mu­sic with an elec­tronic bent.

Eng­land: Age Of Con­sent by New Or­der They did the song for Italia 90. Eng­land made the semis. This is a bet­ter song. See you in Mos­cow.


Poland: Bai­lando by Earth Trax & New­born Jr Two of the coun­try’s finest pro­duc­ers with a real ucho-robak, which, Google Trans­late re­li­ably in­forms us, is Pol­ish for ear-worm. Sene­gal: Ayo Ayo Nene by Mor Thiam Fa­ther of Akon, mas­ter of the drum. Colom­bia: Ti­fit Hayed by Wganda Kenya An Afro-colom­bian re­lease from Dis­cos Fuentes, the coun­try’s first notable record la­bel. Ja­pan: Moon­light by Masayoshi Fu­jita Tick­ing our boxes for vi­bra­phone and Erased Tapes re­leases.

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