Having successfully returned from North Korea where they were the first western rock band to play Pyongyang, pioneers of a sound exploited by Rammstein, the orinigal Laibach come to Berlin in 2016 for a special performance at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Walking a fine line between humour and austerity, the cult band bring a whole new meaning the term entertainment. This is sure to be a phenomenal performance.
35 years on from their genesis in Yugoslavia, Laibach are the most internationally acclaimed band to have come out of the former Communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe, and one of the most enigmatic, prophetic and authentic music (and art) groups in the world. Founded in the industrial city of Trbovlje, in the so-called revolutionary Red District area of Slovenia in the year of the then-Yugoslavia’s leader Tito’s death, and rising to fame as Yugoslavia steered towards self-destruction, Laibach have consistently opposed labels of any kind, be they “rock”, “pop”, “techno” or “industrial”. Self-styled engineers of human souls, Laibach can make you think, dance and march to the same music.
With their latest album SPECTRE (released on Mute in 2014, almost two years before the newest James Bond film with the same title!) Laibach created an important step forward in their career. The group – which has never defined itself politically, but has constantly analysed politics through its work – comes across as politically engaged as never before. SPECTRE sounds like a political manifesto in poetic form. Laibach, who have always given the impression of controversy – particularly in terms of political orientation, now very clearly takes a position on the political spectrum, probably irreversibly abolishing its own political ‘freedom’ and neutrality.
This position adds a new dimension to the recent concert in Pyongyang. In August 2015 Laibach became the first ever band of its kind to perform in the secretive country of North Korea, a reclusive garrison state as well-known for its military marches, mass gymnastics and hymns to the Great Leader, as for its defiant resistance to Western popular culture.
Laibach’s Liberation Day’s concert coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonization and its subsequent division into two enemy states, which confront each other in an uneasy truce to this day. The concert was a great success and provoked a massive media debate around the world. The event and the whole of Laibach’s visit to North Korea was been filmed and will be the subject of a documentary scheduled for premiere in 2016.
The full-length documentary will premiere in early spring 2016. The film trailer and an exclusive sneak preview of footage will be presented at Laibach’s Sound of Music Tour. Last year Laibach returned from a successful tour across North America, and celebrated their 35th Anniversary with a special 4th of July concert at their home town of Trbovlje, followed by a traditional party gathering at nearby Mt. Kum and a rooftop concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb few days later.
Thursday,14th January 2016 | 20:00 CET
Haus der Kulturen der Welt / HKW | John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 | 10557 Berlin/Tiergarten