The first track from Laibach’s soundtrack (due out on Mute in August 2019) for Iron Sky – The Coming Race, launches today.
Laibach embark on The Sound of Music Tour, and extensive European tour that starts on 21 February in Vienna. The tour continues through March, April and May with two UK shows, on 1 March at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire (with a screening of Liberation Day) and on 3 March at Glasgow’s SWG3.
The tour will see Laibach joined by guest vocalist Marina Martensson performing songs from The Sound of Music. Audiences will also able to hear other selected songs from Laibach’s repertoire, including Sympathy for the Devil and Laibach Revisited… as well as new songs created for Iron Sky – The Coming Race, the sci-fi comedy directed by Timo Vuorensola launching soon in European cinemas.
The Sound of Music was conceived when Laibach were infamously invited to perform in North Korea in 2015. The band performed several songs from the 1965 film’s soundtrack at the concert in Pyongyang, chosen by Laibach as it’s a well-known and beloved film in the DPRK and often used by schoolchildren to learn English. The album gives the Laibach treatment to tracks such as ‘My Favorite Things’, ‘Edelweiss’, ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and ‘Maria’, here reworked as ‘Maria / Korea’ (“How do you solve a problem like Maria / Korea?”).
While the majority of the tracks on the album are from the film, the band also included ‘Arirang’, an interpretation of a traditional Korean folk song considered the unofficial national anthem of both North and South Korea (and released recently to mark the historic summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un), as well as the workout of the Gayageum, a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument, performed by students from the Kum Song Music School in Pyongyang and a recording of the band’s “welcome” speech to Korea from Mr. Ryu, an employee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Committee for Cultural Relations.
Laibach’s performance in North Korea was documented by director, artist and cultural diplomat, Morten Traavik in the film Liberation Day (described by MOJO as “a humorous, disturbing, illuminating and sometimes moving immersion into an anomalous communist mirror-world …”) which is out now on DVD following its screening for Storyville on BBC4.
For nearly forty years now, from their genesis in the then-Yugoslavian industrial town Trbovlje, Laibach are still the most internationally acclaimed band to have come out of the former Communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Founded in the death year of the country’s founding father, Josip Broz Tito, and rising to fame as Yugoslavia steered towards self-destruction.
Recently published book Gesamtkunstwerk Laibach offers exciting new interpretations of a band that continues to thrive artistically, astonishing the international cultural scene with their unpredictability and genius for provocation. Laibach can make you think, dance and march to the same music.
“… stirring, funny and thought provoking” – The Guardian
“Playful, poignant, sublime and ridiculous, in The Sound Of Music Laibach continue to hold up a mirror to a divided world.” – The Quietus
“A version of The Sound of Music that you can march to” – New Internationalist
“… perceptive recasting of the beloved 1965 Julie Andrews musical” – MOJO
Watch the video, directed by Timo Vuorensola for Iron Sky Universe and edited by Tuomas Tuppurainen, featuring footage from the forthcoming film, here: