Laibach configured a template to transform music into an art form moving beyond consumer genres. Emerging from the ashes of middle European punk but filtered via Transistor airwaves into a Central European mindset. One that was trapped in the iron grip of a softcore authoritarianism, the big daddy of Tito who oversaw a land of bland marching columns, Laibach imbibed the anger, rolled it around the throat and growled it out.
Drawing together elements of Lydon and P-Orridge, incorporating John Heartfield and Irwin Kunst they fused artistic conceptual philosophical frameworks,especially Dada along with their Centeuro culture to fuse into something unique.
This album is one side a multi faceted mask, it builds upon a number of surrogate national anthems to inject some passion into the moribund dirges which breastbeat national identity. Nationalism emerged within the 19thC as a defining force and then nearly annihilated the 20thC.
As they rework the tunes, they emerge from the brass clang of a tear in the eye to something haunting, ethereal and in most cases deeply moving. The musical backdrop incorporates critiques of various national mindsets; chiding the Germans away from marching to return to farming, the British for their imperial arrogance, the Americans for a vision drift, along to Turkey, Russia, Israel China, France, Italy and themselves as NSK. Appears to have hit the mark according the UTube comments pages, where outraged nationalists have voiced their collective wounds and desire to incorporate these hymns.
Drawing together a growl, soothing opera, rock bombast, multi hued acid grounded within a rock and other artistic sentiments - this is sublime. It all somehow makes perfect sense.
One qualm is Laibach are not as world dominant as U2 or Tracey Emin.
Why is it that mediocrity is rewarded and true visionaries derided?