As the World Cup field narrows, we imagine a parallel competition in which each nation still in it puts forth a musical entry. Soccer and music are longtime companions: Witness the crowd drumming when Brazilian or African sides take the pitch, or how English stadiums sway as fans sing their players to victory. Both soccer and music are exuberant representations of place -- and universal languages by which whole cultures meet and mingle. In the World Cup spirit of celebration, here are some sounds of the world. SIDDHARTHA MITTER
Rammstein: Aggressive and industrial, these standard-bearers of ‘‘New German Hardness’’ have a habit of dropping into mariachi music or sweet soulful melody.
Los Pibes Chorros: They are leaders of cumbia villera, Argentina’s oddly melodic sound of social discontent. One fan is soccer phenom Carlos Tevez, who could score today.
Nicola Conte: A Thievery Corporation acolyte, this cult figure/producer from Bari is a highly sought-after remix artist for his perfect alliance of jazz and house sensibilities.
Vopli Vidopliassova: A fixture of the Kiev scene, the high-energy, goofy band known as ‘‘VV’’ produces antic pop-rock that is deeply infused with Ukrainian folk influences.
Roots Manuva: The champion of straight-ahead UK hip-hop, his tales of daily life haven’t been export sensations, perhaps because they lack clubby glitz and aren’t larded with hipster irony.
Sara Tavares: Away from fado ortho-!doxies, the supple singer draws on! Cape Verdean roots and Brazilian con-!nections to bring to life a Lisbon that’s !as diverse as the national soccer team.
DJ Marlboro: The patron saint of funk carioca, the fantastically edgy electronica genre born in Rio’s favelas and as rough, exhilarating, and cosmopolitan a sound as exists today.
Disiz La Peste: Smooth and eloquent, ‘‘Inspector Disiz’’ travels the banlieue calling out crooked cops and fake MCs. Named best hip-hop artist of 2006 in the French equivalent of the Grammys.