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Laibach – An Introduction To…/Reproduction Prohibited


With London’s Olympic opening ceremony still reverberating freshly, it’s time to consider the next logical step in the bombast and nationalistic celebration: Laibach and their art host entity NSK conducting the premier global televisual propaganda occasion should Slovenia ever host the Games. Handily, it seems that if budgets are tight in straitened financial times to come, then An Introduction To Laibach/Reproduction Prohibited (not actually their greatest hits album as such, and one which contains some stunning new covers) could provide a pre-packaged soundtrack and perhaps a few ideas on how to proceed with the most bombastic show on earth.

Just imagine the possibilities for irony on as grand a scale as only Laibach could envision, the repurposing of anthems aplenty as the British and German teams parade their differing views of the European integration across the field of play; the “Final Coundown” sounding out as the national squads of a globe riven by war and fiscal crises prepare to continue their rivalries by other means on track, field and in the pool (the two female drummers who often accompanied live shows were often rumoured to be members of the Slovenian Olympic women’s swimming team). Truly this is the spectacle of “Alle Gegen Alle,” all against all, sport red, yellow, black green and blue in tooth and claw, wrapped up in the notional ideals of “Bruderschaft,” here a remake of Laibach’s own 1983 track “Brat Moj” in suitably Kraftwerkian style. But look at Laibach’s own video for “Leben Heist Leben” – doesn’t that already look like it could be used straight off as an advert for both sporting prowess (at archery) and the mountain splendour that is waterfall-drenched Slovenia?

Unsporting behaviour can be scolded by the harshly imagined cover of The Beatles‘ (a band who it seems must be represented at the opening ceremony in some form or another – preferably a cover or two – if the London event is anything to judge by) “Get Back,” motherhood and apple-pie celebrated by “Mama Leone” in all its alternate Eurovision immensity – and yes, the cyclists of either the Olympiad and/or Ljubljana’s Critical Mass can be celebrated by the uncharacteristically electro take of The Normal‘s “Warme Lederhaut.” Just in case there is any doubt as to who’s really in charge, whole cathedrals of sound and vision can be conjured for the immensity of “God Is God” – this would be where some kind of giant inflatable militaristic Jehovah or similar could rise up into the upper levels, glaring sternly and gesturing with patriarchal power over the worshipful throng in the stadium and watching on global TV, just as Milan Fras does at Laibach live shows.

For the finale, what other song could possibly sound out as the whole stadium lifts bodily into the upper atmosphere before heading to colonise new worlds than the utopian call to arms of their epic reworking of fellow Slovenians Siddharta‘s “B-Maschina,” blasting out across the Alpine region from speakers the size of tower blocks as Laibach finally set off free and clear “Across the Universe”…

..it’s a dream.

-Richard Fontenoy-

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