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Laibach – Also Sprach Zarathustra (cd 2017)

During their long activity Laibach made quite a few things that I enjoy, but also a lot that is not my taste. Therefor I do not follow them closely. Perhaps it was the title of the new album that caught my attention, but I put on the new album and it is great!

“Also Sprach Zarathustra” is something like a hearplay, but there are not too many vocals. The music is slightly orchestral, tranquil, minimal and every now and then there are the typical low frequency Laibach vocals (spoken). I guess parts of Nietzsche’s book.

There is not much more to say about the album. Musically it does not represent the best-known side of Laibach, but that certainly is no problem to me.

Links: Laibach, Mute

2nd Gen * Irony Is (cd 2000 mute records limited)

I had never heard of this guy until last weekend when I saw him at a nice and free festival in Rotterdam (NL). An earblowing piece of industrial techno combined with noise and digital hardcore-like elements. On the cd (at a more modest volume) it isn’t that hard, but still this is fairly hard for a techno cd. On the other hand, this guy from Manchester (UK) was signed on the same label as my country mate Speedy J (NL) who also knows his way with industrial techno (see reviews elsewhere).
Anyway, slow distorted beats, some influences of noise, relatively tranquil and heavy tracks and some difference in quality of the tracks are the elements that describe this cd. One last thing: it is very short, 40 minutes. All in all pretty nice.

Speedy J * Public Energy no.1 (cd 1997 mute records limited)

Yes I know this cd is old, but here we have a techno-cd that deserves more attention from the industrial scene. This Dutch techno-pioneer went very experimental on this cd and left his danceble sounds much for what they are. This resulted in a kind of music with a lot of resemblances to ‘our’ rhythmical industrial releases. Not the danceble cds I mean here, but “Public Energy” does bring some heavy beats, is fairly rhythmical, has some noisy undertones and strange sounds. A description that may remember you of old style industrial cds, not?
This cd is thought of highly in the techno and even pop scenes and got high rankings in pop and techno magazines. I wonder if that would also have been the case if the artist didn’t bare the name Speedy J, but for example Dive….
All in all a cd that deserves a listen from everyone who enjoys experimental industrial (or techno). <10/7/00><3>

Speedy J * A Shocking Hobby (cd 2000 mute records limited)

This is where Jochem Paap continues after “Public Energy”. “A Shocking Hobby” opens with some dark ambient-like soundscapes and continues with a heavy rhythical industrial track. This latest offering of Speedy J is full of industrial rhythms with a minimal slightly technoish approach. Some tracks are more soundscapes, but most contain a rather slow industrial rhythm and a few sounds to finish the track. However this is still said to be techno, it is hardly danceble and I think that this will appeal to many people who enjoy rhythmical industrial. <18/2/01><3>

Speedy J * Loudboxer (cd 2002 novamute)

I read an interview with our Dutch Jochem Paap about this new cd. It suggested that in contradiction to Speedy’s previous experimental/difficult cds, this one was heavy, straightforward techno. With Speedy’s industrial influences in mind, I was really anxious to hear it. Well, it is straightforward techno, but not really that hard. It is more like the popular minimal 4/4 techno but slightly harder. “Loudboxer” is recorded live (in the studio) and mixed together to give a live-feeling, but I think that Speedy’s live- sets are more serious. I don’t know for sure, since I never saw him. Anyway, a nice cd, but not brilliant. <21/6/02><3>

Laibach (dvd 2004 mute records)

Also known as “The Best Of Laibach” and “Videos”, this untitled DVD contains 13 videoclips by Laibach and a documentary about the making of the album “Wat”. I never really paid much attention to music DVDs, I only have a few metal videos of many years back. When I noticed this Laibach DVD in a mailorder list, I decided I would like to have it, just because I was curious what a Laibach video would be like. Like I said, there are 13 clips on this DVD, mostly the well-known tracks, such as “Tanz Mit Laibach”, “Final Countdown” and “Sympathy For The Devil”. The clips are ordered chronologically (I think), so the first clips look very cheap and the last ones very sci-fi. There are a few marvelous clips on it and the rest is very funny to see some time and since all tracks are enjoyable, you can also just play the DVD if you feel like playing a “best of Laibach”. I don’t watch music tv-channels, so I have no idea if these clips where every shown on MTV or whatever, but like this I can watch them whenever I like. The band obviously inspired industrial and neofolk bands in appearance, the members of Laibach wear uniforms in virtually every video and the stage-appearance looks similar too. Further there is definately room for humour (like in the music itself of course) and society-critical texts and images. A very nice DVD, also if you don’t really like Laibach. The tracks are mostly the more ‘accessible’ ones and especially the later tracks are rather ‘technoish’, the clips are often (for the present day) fairly cheap computer films, sometimes live shots.