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Laibach is a Slovenian avant-garde music group, strongly associated with industrial, martial, and neo-classical musical styles. Laibach formed June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia. Laibach represents the music wing of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective. The name 'Laibach' is the German name for Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana. The band sings in Slovenian, German and English.

Laibach’s first public performance was in 1982 under the name 'Dotik zla’ ('Movement of the angry'). It was also the last performance with founder and singer Tomaž Hostniks who committed suicide at the end of the year. In 1984 they founded the NSK movement with new singer Milan Fras. Meanwhile the band was banned from public performance by the officials reasoning that their German type name and the fact that their stage act and clothes showed a resemblances to Nazi imagery the band members will probably be Nazi sympathists themselves. Over the years Laibach has frequently been accused of both far left and far right political stances due to their use of uniforms and totalitarian-style aesthetics and also due to the Wagnerian influence found in some of their music. The band members themselves have always stated that the imagery they show is just their way of exposing the ugly faces of political totalitarianism.

Their first albums where in their native tongue starting with 'ŠKUC Ropot’, 'Rekapitulacija 1980-1984' and 'Nova Akropola'. Early on in their career Laibach also started touring outside Yugoslavia. This resulted in an international recorded and released album on the Britisch label Mute. Released in 1987 it featured two cover versions - 'Geburt einer Nation', a German cover of Queen's 'One vision' and a rework of Austrian band Opus' sole hit single 'Live Is life'. The rest were translated songs from their first three albums. The attention this album received from MTV and led to Laibach's first worldwide tour.

Returning to Yugoslavia two years later they gave a typical statement during a concert in Belgrade, warning the public for the rhetoric of Slobodan Milosevic and showing old German propaganda films of the bombing of the city in WOII. In 1992 the war broke out. In reaction the NSK (and Laibach) redefined itself from an organisation to a state, a state within time and not within boundaries. Laibach continued to have two seperate careers. The international one, toying with teutonic covers of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Europe and so on. And a national one where the sought the experiment with electric projects like 'Kapital', 'Wat’ and 'Ljubljana-Zagreb-Beograd'.
In 2006 they released the project 'Volk’, a concept album that is a collection of thirteen songs inspired by national or pan-national anthems, plus the anthem of the NSK State. The album is a collaboration with another Slovenian band Silence. The German band Rammstein named Laibach as one of their mayor influences. The band returned the favour with a remix of the Rammstein song 'Ohne dich’. In 2012 the record the soundtrack for the SF-movie 'Iron sky' which is the basis for their album 'We come in peace'

On the web:

- Laibach's official site: http://www.laibach.nsk.si

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Daniel Landa (Czech Republic)

Rammstein (Germany)

What do we think:

DB: The question we should ask ourselves is not if Laibach is political correct. They give such an opening for critism that as artists they are either very stupid or very smart. Considering the time they’ve been around and the continuity in their approach i give them the benefit of the doubt and dub them political correct in a strange way. Laibach’s approach is not to give their message nice, they ram it down your throat. I believe that what they try to say is genuinly a warped attempt to make you aware of all the political wrongs. The way they do it is a bit drastic and unsubtle however. Their coverversions of known songs sometimes give the band a bit of a funny bone (if you know the original songs). For fans of the European industrial scene this band is one of the best. Dark, teutonic, thunderous, massive.

Recommended albums:

♪♪♪ - Nova akropola - 1987

♪♪♪♪ - Opus dei - 1987

♪♪ - Let it be - 1988

♪♪ - Jesus Christ Superstars - 1996

♪♪♪♪ - Volk - 2006

Further listening:

Laibach - 1985; Rekapitulacija 1980-1984 - 1986; Slovenska Akropola - 1987; Macbeth - 1990; Sympathy for the devil - 1990; Kapital - 1992; NATO - 1994; WAT - 2003

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided