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Laibach is a music and cross-media group originated in Trbovlje, Slovenia (former Yugoslavia) in 1980. It can be considered one of the pioneering bands of Industrial music, along with others as Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle or SPK. But not only that, as they have reinvented themselves over and over again, staying active until today and going through many sound changes and experimenting. Their cover version songs are well known, where they use to subvert the meaning or interpretation of the song and creating their own one. “Live is life” by Opus may be the most famous, although they deconstructed other classics like the full Beatles “Let it be” album. They have even reworked Johann Sebastian Bach and Richard Wagner‘s works lately, and composed the soundtrack for the “Iron sky” movie. Apart from that, they have released a lot of albums of their own composing, from their early harsh industrial ones to the new, refined and innovating releases.
Their visual imagery, or “Laibach Kunst”, is an ambiguous, controversial and exquisite mixture of media. Not falling into cheap and simple provocation, their message is intelligent and elaborated. Their use of totalitarian aesthetics and their “political rally” style concerts have granted them accusations of being both far left and far right, with them giving equally brief and ambiguous responses. “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.” (Richard Wolfson).
Being a huge fan of the band, and loving their imagery, the idea of making Laibach related tattoo machines was around my head for a long time. I finally decided to talk with them about the project, and with their approbation and support it turned into a real thing. These machines, as my other builds, are unique and will not be repeated. They were a very limited run of 5 machines, made one at a time and, apart from being excellent running machines, perfect for any daily tattoo work, they were intended to be works of art and collector items. All five machines are sold out.
For further info about the band, visit http://www.laibach.org