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definition - Laibach_(band)

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Laibach (band)

                   
Laibach

Laibach, Celje Castle, July 2007
Background information
Origin Slovenia
Genres Avant-garde, Industrial, Martial industrial, Experimental
Years active 1980–present
Labels Mute
Associated acts 300.000 V.K., Kazimirov Kazneni Korpus, Profili Profili
Website http://www.laibach.nsk.si/
Members
Fras
Eber
Saliger
Dachauer
Keller

Laibach [ˈlaɪbax] is a Slovenian avant-garde music group associated with industrial, martial, and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach formed June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia (then Yugoslavia). Laibach represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective, of which it was a founding member in 1984. The name "Laibach" is the German name for Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana.

Contents

  Cover songs

Laibach is known for their cover versions, which are often used to subvert the original message or intention of the song — a notable example being their version of the song "Live is Life" by Opus, an Austrian arena rock band. In this example, Laibach recorded two new interpretations of the song, which they titled Leben Heißt Leben, and Opus Dei. The first of these two interpretations was the opening song on the Laibach album Opus Dei (1987), and was sung in German. The second version, Opus Dei, was promoted as a single, and its promotional video (which used the title "Life is Life") was played extensively on American cable channel MTV.[1] Opus Dei retained some of the original song's English lyrics, but was delivered in a musical style that left the meaning of the lyrics open to further interpretation. Whereas the original is a feel-good pop anthem, Laibach's subversive interpretation twists the melody into a triumphant, rolling military march. With the exception of the promotional video, the refrain is at one instance translated into German, giving an example of the sensitivity of its lyrics to context. Opus Dei features a cover of Queen's "One Vision" with lyrics translated into German under the title Geburt einer Nation, revealing the ambiguity of lines like "One race one hope/One real decision". In NATO (1994), Laibach also memorably re-work Europe's glam metal anthem "The Final Countdown" as a bombastic disco epic.

Other notable covers include the Beatles album Let It Be (1988) — with the exclusion of the title track — and their maxi-single Sympathy for the Devil (1988) which deconstructs the Rolling Stones song of the same name with seven different interpretations of the song.

In 2004, Laibach covered the song "Ohne Dich" by Rammstein in a significantly altered version. Unlike the solo male vocals in the Rammstein original, this cover features both male and female vocals (supplied by Laibach's Milan Fras and Mina Špiler from the band Melodrom), and the orchestral sound of the original has been supplemented — and in some sections even replaced — by a more electronic element. The lyrics of the song were also subtly altered, most noticeably in the chorus: the original version was "Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein" (roughly: "without you I cannot exist"), whereas Laibach's reworked chorus declares "Ohne mich kannst du nicht sein" (roughly: "Without me you cannot exist").

Laibach do not only reference modern musicians through reinterpretation, but also sample or reinvent older musical pieces. For example, their song "Anglia" is based on the national anthem of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen". This song, and other based on national anthems are released on "Volk" album, which is a collection of Laibach's versions of national anthems of such countries like United States or Russia. On this album they also made an anthem for their NSK State in Time, which is based on their song "The Great Seal" from "Opus Dei" album.[2]

They are also currently touring with an audio-visual performance centered on Johann Sebastian Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge. Since this work has no specifications of acquired instruments and is furthermore based on mathematical principles, Laibach has argued that the music can be seen as proto-techno. Therefore, the band found Die Kunst der Fuge to be ideal for an interpretation using computers and software.

In 2009 Laibach also reworked Richard Wagner's "Overture To The Tannhäuser And The Singers' Contest At The Wartburg", "Sigfried-Idyll" and "The Ride Of The Walkyries" in collaboration with Symphonic orchestra RTV Slovenia, composed and conducted by Izidor Leitinger. Laibach's version is titled "VolksWagner".[3]

In addition to cover songs, Laibach has remixed two songs of the Florida death metal band Morbid Angel. These songs appear on the Morbid Angel EP "Laibach Re-mixes".[4]

In 2009 Laibach made a new versions of their own songs from the early 1980s such as "Brat moj", "Boji" and "Smrt za smrt".[5]

  Aesthetics

Although primarily a musical group, Laibach has sometimes worked in other media. In their early years, especially before the founding of Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), Laibach produced several works of visual art. A notable example was MB 84 Memorandum (1984) an image of a black cross that served as a way to advertise Laibach's appearances during a period in the 1980s when the government of Yugoslavia banned the name "Laibach".[6] Cross imagery, and variations on the cross are apparent in many Laibach recordings and publications.

The visual imagery of Laibach's art (or 'Laibach Kunst', as it calls itself) has been described as 'radically ambiguous',[7] An early example of this ambiguity would be the woodcut entitled 'The Thrower,' also known as Metalec ("The Metal Worker"). This work features a monochrome silhouette of a figure with a clenched fist holding a hammer. The work could be seen by its original Slovene viewers as a poster promoting industrial protest, but the poster could have also been interpreted as a symbol of industrial pride. Another aspect of this woodcut is the large typefaced word 'LAIBACH', evoking memories of the Nazi occupation of Slovenia (when the capital city was briefly known as Laibach). This piece was featured prominently during a TV interview of Laibach in 1983, during which the interviewer Jure Pengov called Laibach "enemies of the people." [8]

  Music

Some early Laibach albums were pure industrial, with hard industrial percussion, heavy rhythms, and roaring vocals. Later in the mid-80s, the Laibach sound became more richly layered with samples from classical music including from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. The band began their tradition of cover songs in 1987 with the album Opus Dei, where their sound was changed again.

  Controversy

Laibach has frequently been accused of both far left and far right political stances due to their use of uniforms and totalitarian-style aesthetics. They were also accused of being members of the neo-nationalism movement, which reincarnates modern ideas of nationalism. When confronted with such accusations, Laibach are quoted as replying with the ambiguous response "We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter".[9]

The members of Laibach are notorious for rarely stepping out of character. Some releases feature artwork by the Communist and early Dada artist/satirist, John Heartfield. Laibach concerts have sometimes aesthetically appeared as political rallies. When interviewed, they answer in wry manifestos, showing a paradoxical lust for, and condemnation of, authority.[9]

Richard Wolfson wrote of the group:

Laibach's method is extremely simple, effective and horribly open to misinterpretation. First of all, they absorb the mannerisms of the enemy, adopting all the seductive trappings and symbols of state power, and then they exaggerate everything to the edge of parody... Next they turn their focus to highly charged issues — the West's fear of immigrants from Eastern Europe, the power games of the EU, the analogies between Western democracy and totalitarianism.[10]

  Influence

  Martial music

Some early material by Laibach and later neoclassical releases by the band — such as 1990's Macbeth release — were influential on certain artists within the martial music genre.

  Rammstein

The popular German musical group Rammstein has acknowledged influence by both the aesthetic approach and material of Laibach. When members of Laibach were asked by an interviewer about Rammstein "stealing" from them, they responded that "Laibach does not believe in originality... Therefore, Rammstein could not 'steal' much from us. They simply let themselves get inspired by our work, which is absolutely a legitimate process. We are glad that they made it. In a way, they have proven once again that a good 'copy' can make more money on the market than the 'original'. Anyhow, today we share the territory: Rammstein seem to be a kind of Laibach for adolescents and Laibach are Rammstein for grown-ups"[11] Laibach would later provide a remix for the Rammstein single "Ohne Dich".

  Re-releases

Out on July 9, 2007 via Laibach's own label NSK are 4 releases by the Laibach side-projects 300.000 VK and Rotor. From the electronic project Rotor featuring Mina Špiler (Melodrom/Laibach) comes "Phonophobia" and "Rotorsphere" which both combine 'modern technology effects, live-experimentations, DJ-compatible rhythms and techno-industrial mayhem' as they call it. Next is 300.000 VK with two reissues, "Hard Drive : Bill Gates" and "Paracelsus", the first holding mostly hard and fast drum and bass techno. "Paracelsus" from its side has been out of print for several years since its original release on 31 October 1994.[12]

  Documentaries

Laibach has been the subject of several documentaries:

  Members

In 1978, Dejan Knez formed his very first band Salte Morale.[17] Basically, Salte Morale was the first incarnation of Laibach. During summer holidays 1980 after the suggestion of Knez' father, famous Slovenian painter and artist Janez Knez, the band changed the name into Laibach. This incarnation included Dejan Knez, Srečko Bajda, Andrej Lupinc, Tomaž Hostnik and Bine Zerko. Soon after that, Knez's cousin Ivan (Jani) Novak and Milan Fras joined the band. In the first period Laibach were a quintet, but soon after that they declared that Laibach has only four members – ‘Vier Personen’. Sometimes those four members of the band were signed with their pseudonyms: Dachauer, Keller, Saliger and Eber.[18] From the mid ‘80s until mid ‘90s the four full time members were Dejan Knez, Milan Fras, Ervin Markošek and Ivan (Jani) Novak. From time to time, some other persons, such as Oto Rimele (from Lačni Franz band), Nikola Sekulović, famous bass player from the Demolition Group, and some other musicians (such as Matej Mršnik and Roman Dečman) joined Laibach. Slovene singer and radio announcer Anja Rupel has also performed with the group.

On the press photos for Volk album were Ivan Novak, Milan Fras, Boris Benko and Primož Hladnik. Benko and Hladnik are members of the group Silence, and collaborators on the Volk album.

  Current (Volk lineup)

  • Milan Fras - vocals
  • Ivan Novak - lights and projection
  • Mina Špiler or Boris Benko or Jadranka Juras - vocals, synthesizer
  • Janez Gabrič - drums
  • Luka Jamnik - synthesizer
  • Sašo Vollmaier - synthesizer
  • Eva Breznikar - (member of Slovenian group Make Up 2) vocals, percussion
  • Nataša Regovec - (former member of Slovenian pop group Make Up 2) vocals, percussion
  • Damjan Bizilj - synthesizer

  Current (KunstDerFuge Tour lineup)

  • Luka Jamnik - electronics
  • Iztok Turk - electronics
  • Janez Gabrič - drums
  • Sašo Vollmaier - electronics
  • Ivan Novak - electronics and voice

  Current (Laibach 'music soirée' lineup)

  • Dejan Knez - electronics and voice
  • Srečko Bajda - electronics
  • Marko Košnik - electronics
  • Andrej Lupinc - electronics and bass guitar

  Previous

  • Tomaž Hostnik - singer (deceased)
  • Dejan Knez - (founder and forming member) keyboards, electronics, drums (left the band after album WAT)
  • Ervin Markošek - drums, keyboards, electronics (left the band in 1989, returned for the next album Kapital, appears on press photos until WAT)
  • Roman Dečman - drums
  • Nikola Sekulović - bass
  • Matej Mršnik - guitars
  • Dragoslav Draža Radojković - drums
  • Srečko Bajda (founder and forming member)
  • Dare Hocevar - bass
  • Borut Kržišnik - guitar
  • Oto Rimele - guitar
  • Andrej Lupinc (founder and forming member)
  • Mina Špiler - vocals
  • Anja Rupel - vocals
  • Bine Zerko (founder and forming member)
  • Jože Pegam
  • Peter Mlakar

  Appearances in popular culture

  • In 2002, Laibach Appears for the first time in popular media in the movie Spider-Man, with the song "Panorama".[19] This song was first released on their 1985 self-titled debut album.
  • Von Bach, a fictional superpowered character modeled after Milan Fras, appears in the DC comics graphic novel Kingdom Come, by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. In it, he appears dressed in Laibach-style uniform and displays the group's cross tattooed on his chest. He is described as follows: "German-speaking superhuman and would-be dictator is the example of the Hitleresque villain that had so much symbolic importance in the Golden Age of comic books. The blocky cross on his chest is evocative of the kind of bold symbols used by fascists. Von Bach has the words 'liebe' (love) and 'hass' (hate) tattooed on his arms and, in fact, his entire body has been covered with one large tattoo of that dark color that most tattoos become, with his natural flesh color only coming through in the designs on his body". On the NSK State website, the band states they have "been paid with uncommon honour" by this.[20]
  • In 1999, a tribute album to Laibach titled Schlecht und Ironisch - Laibach Tribut[21] was released.
  • Laibachs version of the Juno Reactor song "God is God" (which was inspired by Laibach "Life is Life") from album Jesus Christ Superstars appears on soundtrack for computer game Command & Conquer - Alarmstufe Rot[22] and on album "The Blair Witch Project: Josh's Blair Witch Mix".[23]
  • Canadian industrial doom metal band Zaraza released a tribute EP called "Montrealska Akropola - A Tribute to Laibach" [24] in 2004.
  • The crowd-funded film Iron Sky makes use of the song "B Mashina" in several of its trailers. The official soundtrack to the film was written by Laibach and released as an album[25].

  Discography

  7" Singles

  12" Singles

  CD Singles

  Albums

  Vinyl releases

  CD releases

  Cassette only releases

  Exclusive tracks appearing on compilations

  • Trans Slovenia Express (1994) – Zrcalo Sveta (Das Spiegelglas Der Welt), Lie-Werk (credited to Kraftbach)
  • An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music / Second A-Chronology 1936-2003 (2003) – Industrial Ambients (recorded in 1980-82)
  • Trans Slovenia Express Vol. 2 (2005) – Bruderschaft
  • Looking for Europe (2005) - Predictions of Fire
"The previously unrelased track "Predictions of Fire" which Laibach readily contributed to this compilation functioned in an early version as background to a 1994 speech of the NSK philosopher Peter Mlakar and is followed by an ecstatic dance orgy."

  Video releases

  VHS releases

  DVD releases

  • Laibach: Videos / A film about WAT (2004)
  • Laibach 2: A Film from Slovenia / Occupied Europe Nato Tour 1994–95 (2004)
  • Laibach 3: Divided States of America / Laibach Live (2006)
  • Laibach 6: Volk – Dead in Trbovlje · videos · screens (2008)

  Side projects

  Notes

  1. ^ Monroe, Alexei. Interrogation Machine: Laibach and NSK. MIT Press, 2005. p 231
  2. ^ "Volk". Laibach. 2006-10-09. http://www.laibach.nsk.si/volk.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Laibach Volkswagner". Laibach.nsk.si. 2009-04-18. http://www.laibach.nsk.si/volkswagner/. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Discography". MorbidAngel.com. http://www.morbidangel.com/laibach.html. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  5. ^ Laibach http://www.laibach.nsk.si/. "Recent News". Laibach. http://www.laibach.nsk.si/rec.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  6. ^ "ARTMargins - Winifred M. Griffin: Review of Laibach and Irwin". http://www.artmargins.com/content/review/griffin.html. Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  7. ^ Monroe, Alexei. Interrogation Machine. MIT Press, 2005. p76.
  8. ^ Monroe, Alexei. Interrogation Machine. MIT Press, 2005. p161.
  9. ^ a b "VH1.com Laibach Biography". http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/laibach/bio.jhtml. Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  10. ^ Richard Wolfson, "Warriors of weirdness", The Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2003
  11. ^ "Interview: Laibach". http://www.legendsmagazine.net/139/laibach.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-22. 
  12. ^ "4 Laibach side-project releases". Side-line.com. 2007-06-18. http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=23812_0_2_0_C. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  13. ^ Consoriana (www.consoriana.com), copyright Sašo Podgoršek 2009, all rights reserved. "Sašo Podgoršek - Director". Sasopodgorsek.com. http://www.sasopodgorsek.com/?menu=3. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114176/
  15. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1181457/
  16. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095487/
  17. ^ "Ferfolja". the Slovenian. http://www.theslovenian.com/articles/ferfolja.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  18. ^ "Laibach ] [ Konzert Fuer Das Kreuzschach Und Vier Schauspieler ]". Nskstate.com. http://www.nskstate.com/laibach/reviews/laibachkunstderfuge.php. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  19. ^ "Soundtracks for Spider-Man (2002)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145487/soundtrack. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  20. ^ "Laibach among superheroes". Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. http://web.archive.org/web/20080101142141/http://www.nskstate.com/laibach/reviews/laibach_among_superheroes.php. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  21. ^ "Various - Schlecht Und Ironisch - Laibach Tribut (CD, Comp) at Discogs". Discogs.com. http://www.discogs.com/Various-Schlecht-Und-Ironisch-Laibach-Tribut/release/466365. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  22. ^ "Various - Command & Conquer - Alarmstufe Rot (2xCD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. http://www.discogs.com/Various-Command-Conquer-Alarmstufe-Rot/release/411353. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  23. ^ "Various - The Blair Witch Project: Josh's Blair Witch Mix (CD, Comp, Enh) at Discogs". Discogs.com. http://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Blair-Witch-Project-Joshs-Blair-Witch-Mix/release/445100. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  24. ^ "Montrealska Akropola - A Tribute to Laibach (2004)". http://www.last.fm/music/Zaraza/Montrealska+Akropola+-+A+Tribute+to+Laibach. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  25. ^ "Iron Sky Soundtrack by Laibach release date confirmed". http://mute.com/laibach/iron-sky-soundtrack-by-laibach-release-date-confirmed. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 

  References

  External links

   
               

 

All translations of Laibach_(band)


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