||From the Vault...
© Mute Records
Year of Release: 2006
Laibach related sites:
I have a confession: I am a huge Laibach fan. Laibach is an obscure band, from Germany. They have recorded albums since 1985, and continuing to
record and tour today. Their music is hard to describe for some: Industrial would be the most efficient. They're recorded albums in different styles, yet
their "comedical" style is their "rough-and-rugged voice" tracks. "Life Is Life" would probably be the one best for those interested. Another
common style would be Techno. They're also touched on Heavy Metal, or to some would call "Alternative," yet different than the standard Alternative.
Their 2006 release, Volk takes a look at various countries' National Anthems. A different theme approach for the band. Yet they put their
own personal touches in the Laibach style for each. The Slovenian band, Silence, collaborates with Laibach on this album. Silence is described as
an electronic, synthpop and soundtrack music duo. Boris Benko (singer/songwriter) and Primoz Hladnik (keyboards/arrangements).
The opener, "Germania" is based on "Das Lied der Deitschen," from Germany. It's almost Classical. It's quite beautiful. "America"
is based on "The Star Spangled Banner" (USA). As it starts out as the typical standard, it kicks in, giving a different approach to this anthem.
Then again, this is Laibach.
Techno music gets the nod on "Anglia" -- based on "God Save The Queen" (UK). The next track is based on the post-2000 "Gosudarstvenny
Gimn Rossiyskoy Federasti" and "The Internationale" (Russia). This is your typical "Laibach German Rock," equipped with the rough vocal style
Laibach is known famous for. "Francia" based on "La Marsellaise" (France) has the style of one of the songs famous by Echo & The Bunnymen,
"Killing Moon" in some spots. Again, this is another typical Laibach styled track.
"Italia" is based on "Il Canto degli Italiana" (Italy). This one starts out very beautifully, with "normal" vocals, as in
"America." And, it ends in pretty much your typical Laibach. "Espana," based on "Marcha Real" (music) and "Jose Maria Peman
version" (lyrics) (Spain) is more of a Rock song, U2'ish.
"Yisra'el," based on "Hatikvah" (Israel) and "Fida'i" (Palestine), is another "you know this is from Germany, it's Laibach!"
Mysterious as Industrial Music gets, this is "Turkiye," based on "Istikal Marsi" (Turkey). This goes the same for "Zhonghua," based on
"March of the Volunteers" (People's Republic of China). Oh yeah, this one is really unique!
"Nippon," based on "Kimi ga Yo" (Japan) starts out again with calming vocals, yet increasingly gets unique, or to some, bizarre -- as,
like other tracks, has a mysterious surrounding throughout the entire track. It's what I would call "Classical Avante Garde."
"Slovania," based on "Hey, Slavs" (anthem of former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and unoffical anthem of Pan-Slavism), is
another one of Laibach's typical, unique, and bizarre style. Oh yeah, it's different, it's mesmerizing, it's hypnotizing. It's Laibach!
"Vaticanae," based on "Inno e Marcia Pontificale" (Vatican City) has a hypnotizing church choir atmosphere. It's a short track, with an
humming noise, sounding just as bizarre. "NSK" has a grand sound, as if an sporting event theme. This anthem has the same arrangement as one of
the band's tracks from a previous album - Opus Dei. The track, entitled "The Great Seal," has words based on Winston Churchill's famous "We
shall fight on the beaches" speech.
As I research the national anthems for this album, I credit Wikipedia's article of this Volk album. Laibach also credited Wikipedia as their
source on the information/research for these anthems, on this album as well. The album cover has a double meaning. The German word "volk" means
"nation" or "people" This is an allusion to the fascist flirations of this album. The second meaning is the Slavic word for "wolf." The sheeps shown
on the album cover represent victims of the wolf.
Volk starts out in a Classical sense, yet it increasingly becomes a standard and typical sounding Laibach album, with it's "rough-and-rugged
vocals," it's German-ish musical atmospheres, and it's unique, and bizarre sounds, that has made Laibach's popularity as "a unique, yet gifted band, from
Germany." As mentioned, the term "Avant Garde" would probably best describe Laibach. As referrerd to it's defintion, "avant garde" is "new and unusual
or experimental ideas, espeically in the arts, or the people introducing them." Unusual, yes. Experimental, yes. The Arts, yes, it's music, music is
referenced as an art. Laibach may not be for everyone, but their uniqueness does strike your interest. To some, some music fans may just turn off their
interests in learning more of Laibach. But for some who can give a listen, their music is quite mesmerizing, hypnotic, and yes, interesting. The band
continues to record, as their latest albums have been a soundtrack (Iron Fist) and studio album, released in 2014, Spectres. They announced
a 2015 tour of North Korea.
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