27 Jul 1999

Klasse Kriminale, Sham 69 and Luther Blissett United in Struggle!

Klasse Kriminale & Luther Blissett
*Mind Invaders*, vynil 7", 33 RPM
1999, Mad Butcher Records,
Bergfeldstrasse 3, 34289 Zierenberg, Germany

The legendary Italian Oi!/punk band Klasse Kriminale have re-recorded their last year 7" titled *Mind Invaders* (mind-slashing lyrics written by Luther Blissett), and re-issued it with a new cover (a Blissett whose face and clothes are a precarious synthesis of different youth subcultures). An old-fashioned jewel for the many fans of vynil records.
The song was re-recorded at the Hach Farm Studios in Hersham, London, and produced by Jimmy Pursey, singer and leader of Sham 69 - possibly the most important street punk band ever. Pursey wrote the notorious skinhead anthem *If the Kids Are United* (which was later covered by thousands of bands all around the world). Now the track has a more solid sound and, at the end of the tune, you hear Stanley Kubrick's *Spartacus* peak scene, with all the captured slaves yelling: "I AM SPARTACUS!". That scene was cited numberless times in Luther Blissett's writings and video productions. The funny thing is that Klasse Kriminale used the Italian-dubbed edition of the movie! The cross-fertilization between Luther Blissett and Klasse Kriminale is yet another statement of creative freedom, against all absurd stereotypes about skinheads being unable to criticize identity, and the Luther Blissett Project being just an evasive heap of technophiles and apologists of the "Immaterial". Actually, among "historical" subcultures, nowadays skinheads are possibly the most active scene on the Net (command a query on Altavista and you'll see with your own eyes), while in the LBP - where a bunch of style-conscious guys has always had connections with the Mod and Skinhead scenes - many people lay the stress on a necessary insurrection of bodies, on being street-wise and martial. Incidentally, I must say that Klasse Kriminale - just like the LBP Bologna column - are committing a "Seppuku" (samurai ritual suicide).
Their *1st Class Kriminale* newsletter (whose heading is a detournement of the Calvin Klein logo) bears this motto: "We can't fucking stand Klasse Kriminale anymore... Klasse Kriminale are dead... Long live Klasse Kriminale". It is worth translating and reproducing the lyrics of the song. We also remind that the multi-use title *Mind Invaders* derives from an imaginary noise-rock band "founded" by Piermario Ciani and Chris Lutman in the early Eighties. Later, *Mind Invaders* became the title of both the first book authored by LB in Italy (1995) and an anthology of cultural guerrilla warfare and "semiotic terrorism" edited by Stewart Home (Serpent's Tail, London 1997). "My name is your name / Without names everybody is free / One name for the whole world / One name for the music / United, united, so much united / that we don't even have names / If they don't recognize us they won't emprison us / If they can't distinguish us, they won't knock us down / YOU ARE ME, I AM YOU / WITHOUT NAMES, EVERYBODY'S FREE/ IF THEY DON'T RECOGNIZE US THEY WON'T EMPRISON US / IF THEY CAN'T DISTINGUISH US THEY WON'T KNOCK US DOWN/ I am Nobody, you are Nobody / like Ulysses vs. the Cyclop / if I am nothing I'll be free/ if you are nothing you'll be free / YOU ARE ME, I AM YOU / WITHOUT NAMES, EVERYBODY'S FREE/ IF THEY DON'T RECOGNIZE US THEY WON'T EMPRISON US / IF THEY CAN'T DISTINGUISH US THEY WON'T KNOCK US DOWN!" Collectors, multi-use name bearers, fans: order the single via the mail, by sending an international money order (7 euros) to:

Klasse Kriminale, c/o Marco Balestrino,
c.p. 426 centrale,
17100 Savona, Italy
For more info and direct contacts: kkconnection@angelfire.com