NATO

Product code: CDSTUMM121
Format: CD Album
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Mute
Originally released: October 11, 1994
Re-released: 2003

NATO is the seventh in a sequence of official Laibach LP releases that have artistically redefined the political map of Europe. The LP’s themes are flagged by the single release of Europe’s Final Countdown. The NATO title is taken from the initials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the mutual military support group founded in 1949 by the USA, Canada and various European countries. Following the break-up of the Soviet bloc, NATO has recently signed friendship treaties with Russia and other former Warsaw Pakt countries with the aim of promoting peace and prosperity in the upper Northern hemisphere. Meanwhile, in the Balkans, the war goes on.Now Laibach take NATO where NATO itself has refused to go. The selections on NATO: the album have been determined by the group’s response to changing Europe and changing world orders.

Before NATO, these songs had a different life, carried different meanings. Choosing to re-work pre-existing materials is a Laibach tradition extending as far back as “Panorama” – their second single release – a superbly drilled disco record also based on Mars, from Holst’s Planet suite.

As with their later takes of Queen, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, these NATO appropriations operate on a number of levels. First and foremost they can be enjoyed at a purely musical level, for this is possibly Laibach’s most musically considered album. Its combination of characteristic Laibach – big choruses, martial sound and beats – and contemporary electronic dance technology makes it their most accessible release since Let It Be. Once seduced by its surface attractiveness, you find yourself entering the Laibach labyrinth of meanings and motivations. In context of NATO and the new political-cultural map in which they’re placed, these sons are now weighted with different significance’s. Yet traces of their original meanings resonate through Laibach’s re-models- and understanding Laibach’s original versions.

For the Laibach method is based on the premise that traumas from the past affecting the present and future can only be healed by returning to the initial conflict. Tracking the traces of these original songs brings you to the source of present traumas.

Tracklist

1. NATO
2. War
3. The Final Countdown
4. In the Army Now
5. Dogs of War
6. Alle gegen alle
7. National Reservation
8. 2525
9. Mars on River Drina