A band? An art project? A shadowy cabal of political provocateurs? We are lifting the lid on Laibach for this month’s cover feature – and we have a fantastic transparent red vinyl seven-inch featuring two tracks by the idiosyncratic Slovenian collective to accompany the magazine as well.
Formed at the start of the 1980s in a mining town in what was then Yugoslavia, Laibach’s interest in the culture and national identity of Slovenia frequently upset the authorities during the early days of the band. At one point, they were effectively banned in their home country. But despite dealing with weighty matters and provoking controversies at every turn, they have always tackled issues with such fearless invention, not to mention plenty of good humour, that it’s hard not to marvel at their incredible body of work. And if you’re wondering why frontman Milan Fras is holding an owl on the opening page of our feature, well, we have no idea. It’s Laibach, innit?
We have a dazzling supporting cast elsewhere in the magazine. Hannah Peel talks about her new project with Paraorchestra and Tears For Fears reflect on their first album in nearly 20 years. Nik Colk Void, Loraine James and Kavinsky are among our other main interviews and we’ve got a very busy front section too, including Betty Boo and Sonic Boom, plus a great story about a short film inspired by Andrew Weatherall‘s famous “Fail we may, sail we must” tattoo.
Everything that Laibach does comes as a surprise and the two tracks on our limited edition seven-inch accompanying this issue prove the point. The A-side, ‘Love Is Still Alive (Surfing Through The Universe)’, is an edit of a 40-minute suite the group recorded for the soundtrack to ‘Iron Sky – The Coming Race’ in 2012. It sounds like Suicide meets The Doors in outer space. On the flip side, meanwhile, ‘Ordnung Und Disziplin (Müller Versus Brecht)’, finds Laibach delving deep into sound art territory, slicing up and fragmenting vocals, strings, ephemeral rhythms and water noises. It all adds up to a brilliant package – and on transparent red vinyl too.
As with all of our music releases, this seven-inch is strictly limited and is only available to readers of Electronic Sound, so make sure you get your copy right away.