Laibach Announce "Party Songs" EP; Watch the Video For The First Track

Courtesy: Laibach (hi-res)
LAIBACH, in collaboration with Silence, have announced a six-track EP, Party Songs, featuring unpublished tracks from the repertoire of the band’s 2015 performances in North Korea, as documented by Morten Traavik and Uģis Olte’s Liberation Day film (2016). Mute will release the EP on vinyl 12-inch and digital platforms on November 22.

Watch the video for “Honourable, Dead or Alive, When Following the Revolutionary Road (Arduous March Version),” the first track to be taken from the EP here. Filming for the video took place earlier this year at the prestigious Cankarjev dom venue in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Party Songs coincides with a series of events throughout November in Tel Aviv, curated by "fellow engineers of human souls Traavik.info." The events include a live performance from Laibach, film screenings and the opening of an exhibition of photographs of the band’s historic performance in DPRK in 2015, including those by Mute’s Daniel Miller. Full details below.

Pre-order Party Songs here.

“Honourable, Dead or Alive, When Following the Revolutionary Road” is based on an aria from the classic North Korean revolutionary opera Tell, O Forest (1972), one of five famous revolutionary operas in the DPRK. It was written and produced under the guidance of the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. Laibach’s re-interpretation was prepared for the 2015 Liberation Day concert at the Ponghwa Theatre in Pyongyang, but deemed too “confusing” by the North Korean hosts and struck from the concert repertoire. The band later performed a version of the same song at Kum Song Music School, arranged by the students of the school.

“Arirang” is an all-Korean folk song, performed by Laibach in Pyongyang. It is estimated to be more than 600 years old and often considered the unofficial national anthem of North and South Korea. There are about 3,600 variations of 60 different versions of the song, and it’s included twice on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list after both South and North Korea submitted it on different occasions.

“We Will Go to Mount Paektu” is a pop hit – originally performed by the by the all-female Moranbong band – that was supposedly created under the creative guidance of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un. A seemingly innocuous and upbeat ode to the joys of mountain trekking, the song is in fact deeply political and patriotic as Mount Paektu (Korean: Paektusan) is both the “holy mountain” of the ruling Kim dynasty and the mythological birthplace of the Korean people 5000 years ago. At the hopeful suggestion of the North Korean hosts, Laibach recorded an English-language cover version. However, upon hearing the results, State censors swiftly requested the song be removed from the repertoire out of concern that the local audience would react with “confusion, anger and mayhem.”

Laibach Tel Aviv Events
November 1-20 @ Tel Aviv Cinematheque – 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

November 21 @ Studio Bank Gallery 6:30pm – Party Songs EP launch and exhibition featuring photographs by Daniel Miller, Valnoir and Joerund F.Pedersen

November 21 @ Tel Aviv Cinematheque 9:00pm – Liberation Day screening plus Q&A with director Morten Traavik and Laibach’s spokesperson, Ivan Novak

November 22 @ Tel Aviv Cinematheque 2:00pm – War of Art screening - new documentary on extreme cultural diplomacy in North Korea with protagonist Morten Traavik Q&A

November 22 @ Reading 3 10:00pm – LAIBACH LIVE IN CONCERT

November 23 @ Alphabet Club 1:00am – Laibach afterparty with Daniel Miller DJ set

Party Songs Tracklist
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)