Słowenia / Slovenia
Date of establishing :
Laibach is an industrial project that started in Trbovlje, Slovenia, in 1980. Their name is taken from the German name for Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, and this reference to World War II occupation was the first of many provocative and ambiguous statements in their long and chameleonic career. Laibach were founder members of the art movement NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst — “New Slovenian Art”) and are one of the few musical groups able to claim real influence on the history of their home country. Laibach are best known for their cover versions of pop songs which have been rerendered in such a way as to reveal formerly hidden or unnoticed messages, often commenting on political totalitarianism or rock stardom’s own forms of dictatorship. This was done most successfully on Opus Dei, especially on their cover of One Vision. Named Geburt Einer Nation after D. W. Griffith’s classic film The Birth of a Nation, Queen’s lyrics are sung in German to a strident military beat. All of a sudden lines like “one flesh, one blood, one true religion” start sounding suspiciously familiar... However the bulk of Laibach’s output is their own work. Their own early experiments with totalitarian ambiguity led to their being outlawed in then-Communist Yugoslavia; their name was made illegal so the band resorted to using their black-cross emblem on posters instead. To this day their work deals with similar ideas but frequently Laibach reference their own legendary status and tongue-in-cheekily play with the kinds of in-jokes a band accrues in over 25 years of work. Laibach’s musical s tyle has varied a lot over the years. They began as avant-garde industrial musicians, producing what could best be described as ambient noise but soon discovered the joys of the martial rhythm. Having produced a couple of albums of heavy martial industrial music, they began to expand sonically.