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Laibach - Volk

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 29 / 11 / 2006

Laibach - Volk
Label: Mute Records
Format: CD


Rewarding and surprisingly easy listening latest album from ever-eccentric Slovenian group Laibach, who have reworked on it various national anthems from across the globe.

Laibach return with an album based on national anthems of various countries which is for them almost easy listening... Each number is co-sung by a native of that country and the whole album was co-produced and written with the band, Silence. 'Volk' means people as in people of a nation and there are an additional 24 players on this CD. It opens with 'Germania' which uses a song originally written back in 1797 as its base and which was used by Germany as its national anthem after World War 1. It starts off as a mellow acoustic number. The vocal is soft and almost choir like. The tune then speeds up becoming more electronic, and sounding something like a gothic Queen or David Bowie might have sung in the 70's. The vocal becomes more narrative and ends switching from German to being sung in English. 'America' starts off as an abrasive and industrial electronica number, before it develops a dance groove and smoothes out into an offbeat version of 'The Land of the Free', which has very politically Anti-American lyrics and expresses the decent view point that America has committed sins against the world and should face trial. 'Anglia', is the English song and merges bird calls and violins with the tune of 'God Save the Queen', the anthem sadly rather than the Sex Pistols track. An industrial beat soon kicks in which fronts a political song about England's Queen. 'Rossiya' is a soft, narrative tale, this time about Russia. The child's choir which backs it sounds like Yoko Ono on 'Give Peace A Chance'. 'Francia' is moody and sung in French. Its softly spoken vocals are sung as a duet in both English and French. It gets more upbeat as it progresses, developing a bigger sound, some piano and Bjork-like dance beats. 'Italia', is mellow and very gently sung, and has a pleasant melody but eventually becomes more beats-led. 'Espana' is based on 'Viva la Espana; and sounds like Queen at their most dramatic. 'Yisrael' is the Israeli number. It recalls Bjork in its tune with its heavy beats and its lyrics which are based around Jewish culture. 'Turkiye' begins as a post rock number and then becomes more industrial. 'Zhonghua', the Chinese track, has wacky beats,while 'Nippon', the Japanese has a jazz based feel and minimal, basic piano country 'Slopvenia' is the theme for Laibach's home country and has an earthy and heartfelt sound. 'Vaticanae', the theme for Vatican City, sounds like it was recorded in a church before it fades out amidst soft electronica. It ends with' NSK', a theme for a state in time without territory and national boundaries which the band have been linked with since 1992 This is a fantastic piece of work from a band who hard to get into, but who prove well worth the journey.

Track Listing:-
1 Germania
2 America
3 Anglia
4 Rossiya
5 Francia
6 Italia
7 Espana
8 Yisra'el
9 Turkiye
10 Zhonghua
11 Nippon
12 Slovania
13 Vaticanae
14 Nsk

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