Today's artists an industrial group whose members prefer to be known as a collective rather than reveal individual names; they've been seen as fascists and of practicing Germanophilia because of their music's Wagnerian thunder and their military attire. According to them, "We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter." Since fascism needs a scapegoat to flourish, the members mocked it by becoming their own scapegoat and willingly sought alienation. Showing a ridiculous lust for authority, their releases featured artwork influenced by anti-Nazi photomontage artist John Heartfield, and the group's live shows portray rock concerts as absurd political rallies. In interviews their answers are wry manifestos, and they never break character... ..N'Joy
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Laibach was formed on June 1, 1980, in Trbovlje, a mining-industry town. Laibach is the German language name of the city of Ljubljana, a name used during the period when Slovenia was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and the World War II occupation of Yugoslavia. At the time, the group collaborated with art groups Irwin (painting) and Rdeči Pilot (theatre).
The first live appearance and an exhibition entitled "Žrtve letalske nesreče" ("Victims of an Air Accident") took place in January 1982 at the Ljubljana club FV, followed by performances in Belgrade and Zagreb. At the time, the group's musical style was characterized by critics as "industrial rock", and for their live performances they used gramophones, radio devices and electronic instruments constructed by themselves. Instead of the dry ice stage effect, the group used original military smoke bombs which was as unpleasant for themselves as for the audience. At the Novi Rock festival in Ljubljana during the same year, the frontman Tomaž Hostnik appeared in a military uniform and despite being hit by a bottle in the face, causing him serious injuries, he managed to bring the performance to an end. However, Hostnik committed ritual suicide in December 1982 by hanging himself from one of the most powerful Slovenian national symbols – the kozolec near his hometown, Medvode. Laibach disapproved of his act of suicide and posthumously expelled Hostnik from the group, returning him to his private identity. Despite this, the group often referred to him and dedicated various projects to him, including an installation entitled Apologia Laibach, created around Hostnik’s self-portrait.
In April 1983 the group resumed its activities with a live appearance in Ljubljana, featuring guest performances by the English bands The Last Few Days and 23 Skidoo, for which recordings of dogs barking and snarling were used as the concert intro. The day after the performance, the group received considerable media coverage for a concert at the Zagreb Biennale entitled "Mi kujemo bodočnost" ("We Forge the Future"), during which the group used simultaneous projections of a pornographic movie and the film Revolucija še traja (The Revolution is Still Going On). The performance was eventually interrupted by the police, forcing the group to leave the stage after the appearance of a penis and Josip Broz Tito at the same time on the screens. The subsequent debut television appearance on June 23, 1983, in the informative-political program TV Tednik, caused major negative reactions after which they were banned from using the name Laibach as well as performing in public.
The group then started an international The Occupied Europe Tour '83, with the group The Last Few Days, which included sixteen dates in eight Eastern and Western European countries. The performances provoked a lot of interest in the European media, especially with the totalitarian musical and visual style. The socialist realism background, effective live appearances and a dissident status in their home country provided the group with a swift increase of interest of the Western countries. Their provocative usage of symbols from Nazi Germany firstly provoked the Slovene WW2 Veteran Organization in Yugoslavia. By combining the imagery of socialist realism, Nazism and Italian futurism, the group created a unique aesthetic style which could not pass unnoticed by the public. The song lyrics were initially written in German language, but having included cover versions of English language songs, the group focused more on the latter language.
In 1984, the group moved to London and started working as labourers, acted as soldiers in Stanley
The following year, the group released their debut studio album, Laibach, through the Ljubljana ŠKUC Ropot label, which did not feature the group name on the album cover, due to its ban, and a sample from a speech by Tito on one of the album tracks was also censored. During the same year, the German label WUS released a compilation album Rekapitulacija 1980–1984 (Recapitulation 1980-1984). With the Gledališče Sester Scipion Nasice, the group performed in their own play Krst pod Triglavom (A Baptism Under Triglav) at the Ljubljana Cankarjev dom. During 1985, the group also released its second album Nova Akropola (The New Acropolis) via British independent record label Cherry Red. After the album release, the group performed its first legal concert in Hum (Slovenia), entitled "Krvava gruda, plodna zemlja" ("Bloody Land, Fertile Soil"). They had asked the 12th congress of the SSO of Slovenia to be allowed to use the name Laibach and have public performances, a request which had been accepted. The group subsequently got the "Zlata ptica" ("The Golden Bird") award at the Yugoslav Youth Day.
In London, the famous disc jockey John Peel recorded three songs with the group for his show, and the group performed in the Michael Clark play No Fire Escape from Hell. Having signed for Mute Records, the group started recording their third studio album, Opus Dei, with Slavko Avsenik Jr. The inner sleeve of the cover featured a swastika consisting of four bloodied axes designed by John Heartfield, an anti-Nazi artist. The record was sold secretly in some European countries, as the meaning of the cover was not recognised. The usage of Nazi symbols and the name "Opus Dei" caused the Catholic institution of the same name to sue the group but the case was eventually decided in favour of Laibach. Following the album release, the group embarked on a European tour, during which they stated at a press conference in France that their influences are Tito, Toto and Tati.
In Hamburg, the group performed and wrote the music for an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, which was eventually released in 1989 as Macbeth. In 1988, the group released the album Let It Be, featuring cover versions of all the songs from the Beatles album of the same name, with the exception of the title track, which they did not record owing to lack of studio time, and "Maggie Mae", which was replaced by the German anthems "Auf der Lüneburger Heide" and "Was Gleicht Wohl Auf Erden". A part of the recorded material from the album was broadcast by Paul McCartney before his concerts.
to be continued next week
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Despite their eventual transformation into one of the more entertaining and accessible groups in the industrial underground, the first few years of Laibach's career produced some of the most challenging music ever committed to record. Much like the early work of Einstürzende Neubauten or Throbbing Gristle, this is a very politically motivated form of expression that utilizes terror, unease, and fear to motivate listeners. On Rekapitulacija 1980-84, these early years are documented into a collection that sums up this period accurately, from the gruff chalk-drawings that adorn the packaging to the militaristic imagery found in the booklet. The music inside is nearly impossible to penetrate, from the harsh sounds of metal scraping (a commonly used "instrument") to the deep-voiced groans that spew words of political uprising in their native language. Hailing from the Republic of Slovenia (which was still a part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia), the group's unconventional approach seems appropriate considering the grim political situation of the time. These songs have meaning on several levels, since the band's inception was part of a high-concept idea that the Western music industry was a capitalist business plan that thrived on political rallies disguised as rock concerts and media manipulation based in repetition. On top of that, their homeland had been ravaged by Nazi Germany in the '40s, and the memory of those events had plagued their population for years after. So the music here is not only extreme in the sense that it barely resembles known recorded music, but the use of this sort of imagery and language brought to mind the German propaganda that was feared even in the early '80s. Extreme in almost every way, Rekapitulacija was also a significant step forward in the evolution of industrial music. By showing that the genre had the ability to make a significant political statement, they not only made an impact in Europe but gained the ability to break into the Western market, their intended target. Although hard to take even years later, Rekapitulacija is an important record that reflects how vital and passionate the genre felt at the time, and why this would inspire legions of angry youth to pick up samplers and make their own statement.
Laibach - Rekapitulacija 1980-84 (flac 463mb)
01 Cari Amici Soldati 2:17
02 Zmagoslavje Volje 5:00
03 Jaruzelsky 5:02
04 Smrt Za Smrt 2:46
05 Sila 4:00
06 Dokumenti 4:25
07 Sredi Bojev 8:16
08 Panorama 14 0:52
09 Mi Kujemo Bodočnost 4:44
10 Brat Moj 6:01
11 Slovenska Žena 4:25
12 Boji 8:20
13 Ti, Ki Izzivaš 5:44
14 Perspektive 4:39
15 Mars 0:22
16 Vade Retro Satanas 4:30
17 Smrt Za Smrt 7:29
Laibach - Rekapitulacija 1980-84 (ogg 177mb)
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Laibach's self-titled 1985 debut was regarded as an early industrial album, you can definitely hear where future alterna-electronic stars (Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, etc.) learned their stuff. Since the band hailed from a small industrial town in Yugoslavia, it was only natural for their music to reflect their surroundings (look no further than the repetitive, pulsating factory-clang of the track "Battles"). But the band was also bent on incorporating politics into the mix, with songs like "Panorama," which cuts up a speech by a Yugoslavian president, and re-arranges it as a nonsensical narrative. The band also caused a stir visually by wearing traditional Alpine outfits and using the anti-Nazi art of Jon Heartfield (many people, especially outside Europe, mistakenly interpreted the band as a bunch of neo-Nazis). The music is consistently dark, creepy, and stark, which shows that Laibach were extremely cutting edge, and sadly far ahead of their time.
Laibach - Laibach (flac 360mb)
01 Cari Amici Soldati 1:51
02 Sila 4:03
03 Sredi Bojev 8:09
04 Država 4:20
05 Dekret 4:27
06 Mi Kujemo Bodočnost! 4:47
07 Brat Moj 5:59
08 Panorama 4:57
09 N.Y. 1984 - Policijski Hit (300,000 V.K.) 3:28
10 Prva TV Generacija (300,000 V.K.) 3:03
11 Der Zivilisation (Strom Und Klang) 4:50
12 L'Homme Arme (Strom Und Klang) 4:19
13 One Plus One (Strom Und Klang) 9:06
Laibach - Laibach (ogg 144mb)
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A complete concert recorded Live In Hamburg in 1985 during "Die Erste Bombardierung über dem Deutschland Tour". The official release of the semi-official, legendary 1000 only vinyl from 1985. Remastered, with an 12-page booklet including a new text about LAIBACH and NSK of the time by Alexei Monroe (commissioned exclusively for this release by Laibach), plus never before seen images from the NSK archive.
Laibach - Neu konservatiw (flac 270mb)
01 Vier Personen 5:37
02 Nova Akropola 13:12
03 Vade Retro Satanas 4:47
04 Die Liebe 5:19
05 Du Der Du Herausforderst 4:12
06 Der Staat 10:18
Laibach - Neu konservatiw (ogg 108mb)
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