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Reviews
Laibach - Volk
Sunday, April 01 2007 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: ChAwech

Volk

Artist: Laibach Slovenia

Title: Volk

Label: Mute Records United Kingdom

Genre: Military Pop / Folk / Neoclassical

01 Germania
02 America
03 Anglia
04 Rossiya
05 Francia
06 Italia
07 Espana
08 Ysra'el
09 Turkiye
10 Zhonghua
11 Nippon
12 Slovania
13 Vaticanae
14 NSK

Finally, Laibach returns with a new album, simply entitled 'Volk'. Being well known for their criticism wrapped in a form that can be interpreted in various forms, a new work from this formation should be highly interesting. When one looks at the titles, one sees the names of various countries. Not only countries, but also NSK, Neue Slowenische Kunst. NSK is an art movement from Slovenia, of which Laibach is a member for a long time already, and most probably the best known member. So, controversy, art, criticism, music. All are keywords for Laibach.

I certainly enjoyed their previous album, WAT, with the big NSK logo on the front. The front of Volk however is quite different. Three sheep and in the background a mountain. This surely means something. Let's get back to this later.

The music then. What is it? All songs are based on anthems and national well known songs. Surely you know some of the phrases. "God save the queen", "Home of the free, land of the brave". England and America indeed. The songs Laibach produced this time are heavily edited versions of the anthems, to combine the ancient and the modern. They put the anthems in a new perspective, with a whole load of criticism and warnings. The song America for instance has these lyrics in the end: "The end of history, the end of time, the end of family, the end of crime." Can you figure out what they mean? I do feel as if Laibach missed something in the America song though. The well known ridiculing phrase "Home of the free, land of the slave" could have been used. Maybe should have been.

Volk is a global journey. In the start you switch between Western Europe and two of the biggest countries (America & Russia), then it's to Southern Europe with France, Italy and Spain. From there the journey goes through Israel and Turkey on to China and Japan. Logical structure until here. Then all of a sudden we're transported back to Europe, now to Slovenia, the Vatican and as last the NSK-movement. I believe the order in which the songs (and thus: countries) are placed have a meaning, I just can't figure it out.

     


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