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Laibach

Laibach has frequently been accused of both far left and far right political stances due to their use of uniforms and totalitarian-style aesthetics and also due to the Wagnerian influence found in some of their music, notably the thunder in "Sympathy for the Devil (Time for a Change)" and releases such as Macbeth. Laibach always denied this strongly, pointing out that, as fascism needs a scapegoat, they had become their own scapegoat in the name of satire. Milan Fras, vocalist, is quoted as saying "We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter" when confronted with such accusations. [1]

Laibach is notorious for rarely stepping out of character. Some releases feature artwork by the Communist and early Dada artist/satirist, John Heartfield. Laibach concerts have sometimes aesthetically appeared as political rallies. When interviewed, they answer in wry manifestos, showing a paradoxical lust and condemnation for authority. [2]

Laibach's method is extremely simple, effective and horribly open to misinterpretation. First of all, they absorb the mannerisms of the enemy, adopting all the seductive trappings and symbols of state power, and then they exaggerate everything to the edge of parody... Next they turn their focus to highly charged issues — the West's fear of immigrants from Eastern Europe, the power games of the EU, the analogies between Western democracy and totalitarianism. [Wolfson, 2003]

Laibach is also known for their cover versions, which are often used to subvert the original message or intention of the song - most notable being their cover version of the song "Life is Life" on the album Opus Dei, which completely changes the meaning of the original song ("Live Is Life") from the original writers' (Opus (band)), an Austrian arena rock band) intentions. Whereas the original is a feel-good reggae anthem, Laibach's subversive interpretation twists the melody into a sinister, rolling military march. The refrain is at one instance translated into German, giving an eerie example of the sensitivity of its lyrics to context.

Other notable covers include the entirety of the Beatles album Let It Be (with the exception of the title track) and their album Sympathy for the Devil which deconstructs the Rolling Stones song of the same name with seven different covers of the song. Opus Dei (itself titled apparently in reference to their cover of Opus's reggae anthem "Live is Life") features a cover of Queen's "One Vision" with the lyrics translated into German under the title Geburt einer Nation, starkly revealing the ambiguity of lines like "One race one hope/One real decision". In NATO, they also memorably rework Europe's hair-metal anthem "The Final Countdown" as a Wagnerian disco epic.

Laibach recently covered the song Ohne Dich by Rammstein in a significantly altered version. It features male and female vocals (supplied by Laibach's Milan Fras and Mina ©piler from the band Melodrom), as opposed to the solo male vocals in the Rammstein version. The orchestral sound of the original has been supplemented, and in some sections replaced, by a more electronic element.
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