Slovenian avant-garde group Laibach have announced a new EP entitled Party Songs, which will feature six new unpublished tracks from the band’s 2015 performance in North Korea. This latest record will be released on vinyl and digital platforms via Mute Records on November 22nd.
The group have also debuted their track “Honourable, Dead or Alive, When Following the Revolutionary Road (Arduous March Version),” in support of this EP release. A music video, shot earlier this year at the prestigious Cankarjev dom venue in Ljubljana, Slovenia, was also made.
This track was based on the North Korean revolutionary opera Tell, O Forest, one of five national operas created for the country. The video shows the band performing this song in front of many propaganda images of North Korea, ending with an image of three statues, showing the two former leaders of the country Kim Il Sung, and Kim Jung Il, and a statue of the lead singer standing besides them.
The track features experimental instrumentation, blending elements of avant-garde, pop and electronic music, backed by the singer’s delivery. The lyrics also channel the nostalgia of early North Korean propaganda, describing the strength of nations, and maintaining state power. This falls inline with their style of either parody or pastiche of totalitarianism, which they have utilized throughout the entirety of their career.
Laibach has a “curious,” relationship with North Korea, being one of the few western artists invited to perform in the country, and also using elements of the nation’s iconography during their performances. Last year the group released a cover album of the classic Broadway musical The Sound of Music, which used numerous references to the nation. The group is expected to hold several talks, film screenings and events in Tel Aviv next month.
Party Songs EP
1. Honourable, Dead or Alive, When Following the Revolutionary Road (Arduous March Version)
2. Honourable, Dead or Alive, When Following the Revolutionary Road (Single Hearted Unity Version)
3. We Will Go to Mount Paektu
4. Arirang (Live at Kum Song Music School, Pyongyang)
5. Honourable, Dead or Alive, When Following the Revolutionary Road (Live at Kum Song Music School, Pyongyang)
6. We Will Go to Mount Paektu (Live at Ponghwa Theatre, Pyongyang)
Laibach Tel Aviv Events
11/1-20 – Tel Aviv Cinematheque – Tel Aviv, Israel, -The Art Of Liberation: Cultural Clashes and Exchanges in A State of Siege – Behind the scenes photo exhibition of the documentaries Liberation Day & War Of Art
11/21 – Studio Bank Gallery 6:30pm – Party Songs EP launch and exhibition featuring photographs by Daniel Miller, Valnoir and Joerund F.Pedersen
11/21 – Tel Aviv Cinematheque 9:00pm – Tel Aviv, Israel, – Liberation Day screening plus Q&A with director Morten Traavik and Laibach’s spokesperson, Ivan Novak
11/22 – Tel Aviv Cinematheque 2:00pm – Tel Aviv, Israel -War of Art screening – new documentary on extreme cultural diplomacy in North Korea with protagonist Morten Traavik Q&A
11/22 – Reading 3 10:00pm – Tel Aviv, Israel, – Laibach live in Concert
11/23 – Alphabet Club 1:00am – Tel Aviv, Israel, – Laibach afterparty with Daniel Miller DJ set