Although my affection for Industrial music started in the beginning of the 90s with several American bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Malhavoc, I can trace the roots of my affection and affiliation back to bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten and Laibach. Even further, in my humble opinion the whole Neue Deutsche Härte (“New German Hardness”) movement it’s build upon not a German, but on the edge cutter and envelop pusher work of a Slovenian avant-garde music group formed on June 1, 1980 in Trbovlje, Slovenia, at the time SFR Yugoslavia: Laibach (the German name for Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana).
After the breath taker “Monumental Retro-Avant-Garde, Live at Tate Modern”, Laibach now are back with another history lesson, a retrospective of the band’s history, the compilation released by Mute on September 3rd. Back then (July 21st) I wrote a quite exhaustive history of the band.
The rumors were that the band re-recorded these songs for the compilation, now that thing was not mentioned and the songs sound exactly as the original releases, so at most, they were re-mastered. Still, Laibach sounds massive and irresistible.
In an ocean of quite boring and predictable music, surprisingly, even a retrospective compilation by Laibach sounds fresh and edge cutting. Regarding the similarities with Rammstein and their influence upon the German band, they noticed that sometimes “good ‘copy’ can make more money on the market than the ‘original’ – and – “Rammstein seem to be a kind of Laibach for adolescents and Laibach are Rammstein for grown-ups”.
On the other hand, six years after their outstanding “Volk” album, Laibach still didn’t manage to deliver a new material and “Volk” seems to be an album nearly impossible to beat.
The art work of the album titled “Reproduction Prohibited” was painted by members of the group in 1981 as the reinterpretation of the famous Rene Magritte’s work, “Not to be Reproduced”, from 1937.
As the release note of Mute highlighted:
“The mirror, a fragile and sometimes distorted reflection of reality, was of great interest to Magritte, as it is to Laibach. When viewing one of his images, or when listening to Laibach’s covers, there is a sense that a content, placed within a frame/the context, might, by a twist of perception, be seen as a reflection in the mirror, a perception that suddenly turns the space of the picture/song inside-out.
By quoting and interpreting this significant work by Magritte, Laibach offer a clear tool, if not a perfect key, how to solve the riddle of understanding their method, their philosophy and their humour in cover versions, as we hear them on this album.”
And we’ve got a quite exciting trip into the covers delivered by Laibach in the last decades.
01 – Warme Lederhaut
02 – Ballad Of A Thin Man
03 – Germania
04 – Anglia
05 – Mama Leone
06 – B Mashina
07 – Bruderschaft
08 – God Is God
09 – Final Countdown
10 – Alle Gegen Alle
11 – Across The Universe
12 – Get Back
13 – Leben Heit Leben
14 – Geburt Einer Nation
15 – Opus Dei
An excellent opportunity to get used with the dramatic-militant universe of one of the most dark and experimental Industrial acts from Europe.