Jan 14

PWC 14: Group A Match 1 (Brazil, Mexico, Cameroon, Croatia)

Pop World Cup 201425 comments • 2,633 views

Stampedo Welcome managers and fans to the Pop World Cup 2014! Over the next few months 32 teams and over 100 songs will be fighting it out to be crowned Pop World Champions 2014. Who decides the winner? You do – by listening to the tracks for each match and voting for your favourites.

In the Group Stage, we’ll be putting up matches every Monday and Thursday. Each match will include 4 songs and you get to pick your two favourites in a poll. After a week, the poll will close and we’ll announce the results. As in the so-called real World Cup, each team gets three matches to impress on this global stage.

As well as voting, fans are encouraged to cheer on their favoured teams – and critique the opposition – in the comment boxes.

Onwards! Group A features host nation Brazil, managed by Matt DC; Mexico, managed by Steve Mannion; Cameroon, managed by Chris; and Croatia, managed by intothefireuk. This year there won’t be any ‘analysis’ from me, it’s straight into the tracks. (Click through for tracks and poll – we also have a Spotify Playlist)

BRAZIL: Edu.K – “Do The Brega! (Remix)”

“Citizens of the world! Brazil welcomes you! Now the fireworks and samba drums and voluminous carnival floats of the Opening Ceremony are out of the way it’s time to get onto serious business. The world of Brazilian pop football has been through an extended period of soul-searching following their bottom-of-the-group exit in 2010 and appointed a PWC-winning manager to bring the back to past glories. Never again will a Brazilian team pointlessly fanny about on the ball, indulge tepid Latino kitsch or attempt to kick the opposition off the park with a crunching death metal tackle.

The most exciting emerging trend in Brazilian party music is tecnobrega (literally translated as ‘cheesy techno’) and I present to you a hardy perennial proudly jumping on the bandwagon. Pop football is a simple game at heart, and sometimes the stupider the better. Do the brega!”

MEXICO: Los Mcallister – “Crazy June (Damn Disko Remix)”

“This one was ten years too late for the spottily-recorded 2002 Pop World Cup (controversially won by hosts Uruguay after everyone else’s songs received cease and desist notices from unimpressed IFPI presidente Lars Fanniiing) where glossy hyper disco of this type reached perihelion. ‘Crazy June’ finds Los Mcallister reflecting on that fabled tournament and wondering what might have been but fake-fond memories aside who would deny today’s muchachos Damn Disko a crack at the cup with such homagery. Our squad now dreams of a victory just as swift and powerful.”

CAMEROON: Naomi Achu – “Alhadji”

“From my inexpert and monolingual research, Naomi Achu seems to occupy a space in Cameroonian pop culture roughly equivalent to Nicki Minaj’s. So I was feeling congenial even before I heard her rap about using men for their money over this beat.”

CROATIA: Stampedo & Deafness By Noise – “Dubidup”

“Stampedo jog onto the pitch, eye up the opposition and immediately launch an aural assault. Starts innocently enough but is then hijacked by menacing guitars, strings and synths. Add a mexican trumpet, random shouting, penny whistle, squalling feedback and…back of the net! ‘One nil to the Stampedo!’ Doo be doo indeed!

Of course I have no idea what Dubidup is about but I can tell you Stampedo are from Zagreb and describe themselves as a mix of world music, lounge, ska, jazz and cheap cheese synthia disco! Nice.”

THE POLL: So there you have it – all that remains is for you to VOTE. You should vote for two tracks, and your votes will count equally to the final score. There is a not complex but tedious to type out scoring system which I’ll spare you until we get to results. For now – vote!

A1: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick?

  • CAMEROON: Naomi Achu 58%
  • BRAZIL: Edu.K 53%
  • CROATIA: Stampedo & Deafness By Noise 48%
  • MEXICO: Los Mcallister 34%

Total Voters: 80

Poll closes: 30 Jan 2014 @ 09:00

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  1. 1
    Tom on 24 Jan 2014 #

    On first listen, this is one of the strongest sets of tracks I can remember in the PWC. Welcome back, and well done all the managers.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 24 Jan 2014 #

    these early matches are often cagey affairs so praise to Cameroon for such a committed performance – whether they can maintain those levels of energy remains to be seen. Brazil seem content to pass the ball around for much of the match but a burst of sustained attack around the midway point gets the ball in the net. Mexico risk being booked for time wasting but show promising signs of syncopation. Croatia are the team to watch based on this showing, demonstrating individual flair combined with an idiosyncratic team spirit that leaves their opponents in the dust

  3. 3
    Tom on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Incidentally – I decide which team gets the feature photo on a first come first served basis. (So get yr track in quick to enjoy the powerful psychological priming advantage it doubtless offers….)

    Completely undecided on my vote, still, several more pleasurable listens needed. I love the styles Mexico and Cameroon are using, and both tracks are fine examples of those styles, but “Do the Brega!” is exactly the kind of crassness that always appeals to me, and the Croatia track has a lot more ideas than I’d guessed it might.

  4. 4
    Matt DC on 24 Jan 2014 #

    All four tracks are on Spotify so here’s the beginning of a collaborative playlist for the tournament:


    Early indications are that this is an immensely competitive group that may come down to strength in depth or just one moment of magic. A listen to all three non-Brazilian tracks suggests that Cameroon are the team to beat though.

  5. 5
    @awesomewells on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Dudes it is the first group stage match of the 2014 Pop World Cup. Have a listen here (also vote for Brazil): http://t.co/b5l1BXbyRa

  6. 6
    Erithian on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Sorry if I’m being dim, but what is the format this time round? – are we no longer having head-to-head group games, and is qualification from the group now decided on the strength of a single track?

  7. 7
    Tom on 24 Jan 2014 #

    #5 No – three group games, four tracks in each one.

    Scoring will be 3-2-1-0 depending on votes, so there should still be plenty to play for in the third game.

  8. 8
    Kat but logged out innit on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Great kick-off from Group A. The Honduras management is definitely not reassessing the quality of its squad in light of this honed display.

  9. 9
    bae leaf (@randlechris) on 24 Jan 2014 #

    the Pop World Cup is back & you can vote on my Cameroon team’s first track (it’s about taking advantage of rich men) http://t.co/aGlqkRJ68i

  10. 10
    thefatgit on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Cracking start with strong showings across the group. I’m with lonepilgrim and going for Croatia on this showing. Came for the “Dubidups” and stayed for the street art. 2nd choice is Brazil’s “Do The Brega”. Anything that can get thefatgit’s hips gyrating (in private of course) is a good thing.

  11. 11
    lartsaegis on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Cameroon and Croatia are looking simply cool as hell in this opening group round. I have to give Croatia points for such creative, effusive instrumental and cross-genre play amidst their steadfast reliance on the dubidup loop. Cameroon’s rap’n’b is pretty infectious and filled with pop-fortitude over a slick beat (I WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY, GO) — showing clearly that they’re out to gain, out to win, out to take my vote and go, and I have to cede to that.

    Mexico and Brazil impressed me less so. Mexico showed some interesting percussion play in the midfield that managed to keep my interested amid their housey stabs and swaths which were a bit less so, but still managed to keep me interested. Brazil’s tactics in the outset don’t appeal to me, though it’s more engaging than a lot of reggaeton I’ve heard. The Brega remix doesn’t score in my book.

  12. 12
    Chelovek na lune on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Croatia definitely scoring points for the creative use of brass and strings. Cameroon sounds like a grower too. No red cards yet, though.

  13. 13
    Job de Wit (@JobdeWit) on 24 Jan 2014 #

    Ik vertegenwoordig ons land in de Pop World Cup dit jaar! Groep A is vandaag al begonnen, NL binnenkort in het veld. http://t.co/tOKjlHU3Au

  14. 14
    tonya on 25 Jan 2014 #

    Voted Brazil and Cameroon. I liked everything about Croatia but the vocal. Must be a World Cup with Mexico underachieving already.

  15. 15
    @garrymck on 25 Jan 2014 #

    The Pop World Cup 2014 is GO First up Brazil, Mexico, Cameroon and Croatia: http://t.co/XdQZ17YOCr Vote for your fave songs. Frivolity ahoy!

  16. 16
    Garry on 25 Jan 2014 #

    For me it’s Croatia for bonkersness and the frivolous one-take Unfinished Sympathy-style clip. Also chose Brazil for the single-minded bounce-along fun. Mexico and Cameroon put in fine performances using internationally renowned tactics but the other two shaded it for purely on the big grins I imagine they wore when putting those tracks together.

  17. 17
    @SteveKiviat on 25 Jan 2014 #

    The freakyTrigger popsong World Cup has started w/ Brazil, Mexico, Cameroon & Croatia http://t.co/rVv2aynKWB

  18. 18
    @LunesFelices on 26 Jan 2014 #

    Viste que se lanzó el campeonato mundial de canciones en FT @lucasg ? http://t.co/nJWkJH7kCB

  19. 19
    Rory on 27 Jan 2014 #

    Croatia and Mexico here. “Dubidup” is a definite earworm, so I’m keen to see what Croatia has in store for us next. The other tracks all have their attractions, but Mexico’s is the sort of thing I’d actually plonk onto my iPod.

  20. 20
    Cumbrian on 27 Jan 2014 #

    Brazil – pass it around effectively at pace, with good tempo and decent rhythm over the top of what seems like a steely muscularity. Ultimately lacking goal scoring penetration though.

    Mexico – slick and classy, like a team full of playmakers but unlike Brazil, lack muscle to impose themselves on the opposition.

    Cameroon – have the Maradona of this group in the guise of the rapper holding the team together from the middle and allowing the rest of the team to pay off on her good work.

    Croatia – throwing together the best players they’ve got and hoping they gel into a team – and miraculously succeeding, scoring an early tap in, in what will become a familiar fashion as the game wears on and they rack up the goals. Also have some scary Martin Skrtel look-a-like in defense who obviously likes his metal.

    Croatia and Cameroon play a draw against each other and joint top the group for me. Brazil beat Mexico in their match and come third. I suspect Brazil and Mexico might be cursing the draw. Tough group.

  21. 21
    Query on 27 Jan 2014 #

    Based on this first outing, my cheeky fiver is on Brazil and Cameroon qualifying for the Round of 16.

  22. 22
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    You have about 9 hours left to vote in this one! (It’s close-ish, too)

  23. 23
    Matt DC on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Blimey, very close indeed. The Brazil management are cautiously optimistic but this is a reminder that there are no easy games at this level.

  24. 24
    jeff w on 31 Jan 2014 #

    Too late now but Mexico and Croatia were robbed. I immediately hit replay on the Croatia track.

  25. 25
    Erithian on 18 Feb 2014 #

    Agree with Jeff there – Croatia’s quirkiness definitely the highlight of the group so far.

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