Mar 30, 2016

RhoDeo 1613 Aetix

Hello, just had a rather uneventful Easter holiday, maybe it was that Shiva weed but i slept a lot. That said last week with the attacks from the Daesh death squads and the death of the greatest football player that ever lived, Johan Cruyf, the world had plenty to contend with. Curiously there was the discussion about weather Easter is a pagan or Christian holiday, well at the time when Christian faith was expanding across Europe, first thing they did was usurping the feasts the pagan's held and give it a Christian touch, be it Samhain which became All Souls day or the winter solstice which became Christ birthday . Easter then became the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As pagans celebrated the rebirth of nature on the equinox of 21st of March.equating it with the the rebirth of Christ is a shoe in, and that's how the Christian faith managed to usurp Europe, this and a cynical policy of keeping people ignorant....

Today's artists are an Australian industrial music and noise music group formed in 1978. They were fronted by mainstay member, Graeme Revell on keyboards and percussion. In 1980 the group travelled to the United Kingdom where they issued their debut album, Information Overload Unit. They were "at the forefront of the local post-punk, electronic/experimental movement of the late 1970s ... their music progressed from discordant, industrial-strength metal noise to sophisticated and restrained dance-rock with strange attributes".. ..N'Joy

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SPK was formed in 1978 in Sydney when New Zealand-born Graeme Revell (aka "EMS AKS", "Operator", "Oblivion") met Neil Hill (aka "Ne/H/il"). Revell was working as a nurse on a psychiatric ward at Callan Park Hospital where Hill was also working. Hill and Revell shared a house and an interest in the manifesto of the German radical Marxist group known as the Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv (SPK). The duo were influenced by Kraftwerk, Can, Neu!, Faust, and John Cage – they started playing their own variety of industrial music as SPK. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane the acronym SPK is variously given as "SoliPsiK, SepPuKu, Surgical Penis Klinik, System Planning Korporation and Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv". The band recruited two teenagers, Danny Rumour on lead guitar and David Virgin on bass guitar (both ex-Ugly Mirrors, and went on to form Sekret Sekret), on early recordings by SPK in 1979. In that year they independently released three 7" pressings: SoliPsiK as a three-track extended play in April, "Factory" as a single in August and "Mekano" in November.

Dominik Guerin (aka "Tone Generator") joined on synthesisers in 1980, and later concentrated on the band's visual content. In May they issued an EP, Meat Processing Section, as Surgical Penis Klinik. Without Hill, SPK relocated to London where Guerin and Revell recorded their debut album, Information Overload Unit, in a Vauxhall squat with the help of Revell's brother Ashley Revell (aka "Mr.Clean") and Mike Wilkins (guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals). The album deals with psychotic states and mental retardation. The original 1981 release on Side Effects has a black cover with a small picture of head being operated on, the 1985 version on Normal is blue and pictures a man in a wheelchair and the 1992 CD reissue has System Planning Korporation with the initials SPK highlighted in red. McFarlane suggested "the album's harsh, thumping sound appealed to fans of Throbbing Gristle and early Cabaret Voltaire". In June 1980 they issued the single, "Slogun", with lyrics inspired by the Marxist manifesto: "Kill, Kill, Kill for inner peace / Bomb, Bomb, Bomb for mental health / Therapy through violence!" Other musicians working with SPK included James Pinker (drums, percussion) and Karel van Bergan (violin, vocals), who toured with them to the United States. In July 1981 in Australia, the M Squared label released another single, "See Saw". The cover depicts SoliPsiK with members given as Kitka (aka Kit Katalog), Sushi (aka Margaret Hill), Charlyiev (aka Paul Charlier) and Skorne (Neil Hill). Both tracks are co-written by Charlier and Hill.

In 1982 SPK's Guerin and Revell were joined by Brian Williams (aka Lustmord), John Murphy of Forresta di Ferro (aka "Kraang") and Derek Thompson (who later had a brief stint in The Cure and went on to record as Hoodlum Priest). SPK's second album, Leichenschrei (English: The Scream of the Corpse) (1982), shows Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv (English: Socialist Patients' Collective). After its recording they were joined by Sinan Leong on vocals, who had initially auditioned for a planned SPK side-project, Dance Macabre. Leong and Revell later married. In 1983 Thompson left SPK because Revell "wanted to make a very commercial sounding album which I did not". McFarlane found that "SPK had softened the approach somewhat with discernible synth melodies and dance beats coming to the fore amongst the noise". In August 1983, the group issued a compilation album, Auto Da Fé, showing SepPuKu written with SPK in red capital letters.[6] It included three studio tracks recorded in 1981. Bush suggested the album was the "beginning of a more organized approach for SPK material, Auto Da-Fé presents an intriguing industrial-disco fusion, reminiscent of prime contemporary material by Cabaret Voltaire and DAF ... Although fans probably thought of [it] as an unconscionable crossover attempt, it's still quite experimental in retrospect". The three-track EP, Dekompositiones (also by SepPuKu) followed soon after. Its tracks were added to a later version of Auto Da Fé.

In early February 1984, just before his 28th birthday, Neil Hill committed suicide.[citation needed] Two days later his wife Margaret Hill (née Nikitenko) died as a result of complications from anorexia.[citation needed] In March SPK issued another single, "Metal Dance", which was co-written by Revell, Leong and Thompson. SPK returned to Australia for a tour and recorded their third album, Machine Age Voodoo, in Sydney which was issued in 1984 on WEA Records. For the album, SPK's Revell and Leong were joined by Jeff Bartolomei on keyboards, Mary Bradfield-Taylor on vocals, Graham Jesse on saxophone, James Kelly on guitar, Sam McNally on keyboards and Phil Scorgie on bass guitar. McFarlane saw the album as "mixed mainstream disco-pop and sweet vocals with electronic experimentation (sort of like Blondie meets Kraftwerk)". While Bush felt it was "another leap towards dance-rock and away from the group's industrial past". The album spawned a single, "Junk Funk" in 1985.

Leong and Revell returned to Australia and added Karina Hayes as vocalist. They issued Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers in 1986 which provided a single, "In Flagrante Delicto". It was followed by Digitalis Ambigua: Gold & Poison in 1987. Allmusic's Sean Carruthers observed that Revell "was in a period of transition... [s]omewhere between the industrial noise of the early years and his later soundtrack work".[9] In 1988, the band issued a live album, Oceania... In Performance 1987 but disbanded during the year. In 1989, Revell moved into work on scores and soundtracks. SPK's track "In Flagrante Delicto" was used by Revell for his work on the soundtrack for the 1989 film, Dead Calm. By 1991 Leong and Revell had moved to Los Angeles.

McFarlane regarded SPK to be "at the forefront of the local post-punk, electronic/experimental movement of the late 1970s ... [their] music progressed from discordant, industrial-strength metal noise to sophisticated and restrained dance-rock with strange attributes"

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Released in 1981, Information Overload Unit was the first album from Australian musical project SPK. Initially lumped in with the first wave industrial crowd, the groups dissonant noise experiments eventually gave way to a stab at commercial success with the heavily synth pop/new wave orientated 1984 release Machine Age Voodoo, later albums focusing on ambient and electronic territory such as Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers and Digitalis Ambigua: Gold & Poison. It all started with SPK's best known works Information Overload Unit and Leichenschrei however, which first garnered Graeme Revell and a revolving door of musicians some recognition and helped pave his way to become the successful hollywood film composer he is today.

If there is one way to describe this album, it is horrifying. Information Overload Unit is a soundscape full of dread, coming from the mind of a drugged patient under a medical experiment gone wrong drifting in and out of consciousness occasionally punctuated by fits of pure terror and an inability to cope with it. It is comprised entirely of repetitive sounds treatments, first and foremost this a noise album and harsh, uncomfortable frequencies permeate throughout. Voice samples are heavily used, seemingly culled from sources such as medical documentaries and other esoteric material the group had sought an interest in whilst the sparse use of clanking, metallic percussion is the only real sense of rhythm to be found. The entire album runs along these lines, never missing a heartbeat when it comes to an uneasy atmosphere. I get the feeling of what I suspect dying on an operating table much be like from listening to Information Overload Unit, something I don't particularly want to immerse myself in that often but when I do it is always a visit I feel all the better for having endured.

If there is anything to flaw, SPK's approach here may be a little too repetitive for it's own good. Information Overload Unit is certainly a hard pill to swallow for the novice and veteran music listener alike, it is long, and about as far from easy listening as you can get with it's disjointed structures and sharp, painful textures. Although follow-up album Leichenschrei would ultimately eclipse it, it is worthy as a footnote in the early development of industrial and noise music, still standing up well enough today.

SPK - Information Overload Unit (flac  248mb)

01 Emanation Machine R. Gie 1916 5:23
02 Suture Obsession 5:06
03 Macht Schrecken 5:19
04 Beruftverböt 5:30
05 Ground Zero: Infinity Dose 4:18
06 Stammheim Torturkammer 4:33
07 Retard 4:25
08 Epilept: Convulse 2:32
09 Kaltbruchig Acideath 4:32

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Songs that just penetrate your psyche and compel you to do gruesomely illegal things and unforgivable things to the ones you love. Vocals subliminally voicing messages into your mind under a wall of ominous percussion and synthesized noise. The only line I could really make out on this whole record was "He tried giving me syphilis by rubbing his cock on my sandwich". Now that's the kind of imagery that makes me want to go into a nursing home during lunchtime and just fucking reek STD-fueled havoc.

Musically however, the album is bloody brilliant. You've got your percussion that sounds like it came straight from hell or the fields of some steel plant. The best songs are those that seem relatively calm, but lead into a demented world of screeching feedback and the blood-curdling screams of the innocent. It's like this is some sick industry that's creating a giant cage to lock up a random assortment of innocent stockbrokers. It's fierce, it's intimidating, and best of all, it's bloody excellent. You have to be one twisted fuck to enjoy this stuff in its entirety, and it just so happens to be that I am one twisted fucker. Oh happy day! I particularly like "Despair" with its occult chanting and orgasming women. Ooh, and I also particularly like the out of control "The Agony of Plasma", with its tribal drumming and a woman screaming bloody murder. And how can I forget "Wars of Islam", which is like Mozart; albeit a criminally insane Mozart. Heck, I particularly like this entire album and all of its primal rape energy.

SPK - Leichenschrei (flac  255mb)

01 Genetic Transmission 3:17
02 Post- Mortem 2:24
03 Desolation 1:18
04 Napalm (Terminal Patient) 2:39
05 Cry From The Sanatorium 2:26
06 Baby Blue Eyes 2:38
07 Israel 2:46
08 Internal Bleeding 1:46
09 Chamber Music 3:27
10 Despair 4:45
11 The Agony Of The Plasma 3:03
12 Day Of Pigs 4:18
13 Wars Of Islam 4:32
14 Maladia Europa (The European Sickness) 3:50

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The beginning of a more organized approach for SPK material, Auto Da-Fe presents an intriguing industrial-disco fusion, reminiscent of prime contemporary material by Cabaret Voltaire and DAF. An assortment of synthesizer stabs and progressive beats are the backing for lyrics best explained by titles like "Retard" and "Heart That Breaks." Although fans probably thought of Auto Da-Fe as an unconscionable crossover attempt, it's still quite experimental in retrospect. Mute's CD reissue of the album also includes tracks from SPK's 1978 single "Surgical Penis Klinik," 1979's Meat Processing Sektion EP, and 1983's Dekompositions EP.

SPK - Auto Da Fe (flac  342mb)

01 Contact 4:22
02 Germanik 6:09
03 Mekano 2:13
04 Retard 3:01
05 Slogun 6:14
06 Metal Field 5:57
07 Walking On Dead Steps 6:15
08 A Heart That Breaks (In No Time Or Place) 4:30
09 Another Dark Age 6:59
10 Twilight Of The Idols 4:24
11 Culturecide 4:49

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This is SPK's attempt at a commercial album. For anyone familiar with Information Overload Unit, and Leichenschrei, two defining industrial/noise albums if there ever were any, Machine Age Voodoo may come as a bit of a shock. Hiring a female vocalist in the form of Sinan Leong (who later went on to become Revell's wife), gone is the harsh sound frequencies, mechanical dark ambience and disturbing samples of old. In is 80's dance pop, and damn, is it upbeat and energetic. Hell, the opening title track may be one of the best New Wave songs i've ever heard with it's tribal beats, horns and vocals. Machine Age Voodoo, the song, sets a high standard for industrialised synthpop. Flesh & Steel is what I would consider another essential cut on here. With it's infectious bassline and percussion, and sensual vocals it rivals the title track on a whole different level.

Unfortunately whilst not quite as good, the rest of the album is no slouch either. High Tension, Metal Dance, Seduction and One World are highly energetic and could have been minor club hits back in the day. With Love From China sticks out like a sore thumb almost, for one it's much slower than anything else on here and feels more like a New Wave ballad, even if it wouldn't be correct to label it as such. It is still good though. The two mid-paced songs on here, Metropolis and Crime of Passion, provide a nice break, the latter predominantly featuring bluesy guitar licks completely unlike anything else on the album. All these songs are a mixed bag of stuff that kind of blends into one another, but as a whole it sort of works.

Overall, Machine Age Voodoo is just kind of patchy. It's a refreshing listen for anyone who enjoys new wave and 80's dance pop, but may find itself at odds with anyone who is seeking more of the soul-crushing noise which was predominant on Information Overload Unit and Leichenschrei. Hell, this album is all about the hooks. To me, along with other seminal 80's releases by industrial artists who went synthpop (such as Cabaret Voltaire's Micro-Phonies and Chris & Cosey's Heartbeat), I find Machine Age Voodoo a slight, but worthwhile listen for gauging the direction of industrial music at the time. The title track and Flesh & Steel are essential, though.

SPK - Machine Age Voodoo (flac 282mb)

01 Machine Age Voodoo 4:07
02 With Love From China 5:48
03 High Tension 4:30
04 One World 4:29
05 Flesh And Steel 5:24
06 Metropolis 4:27
07 Metal Dance 3:42
08 Seduction 4:27
09 Crime Of Passion 4:16
10 Machine Age Voodoo (Junk Funk) (special crash mix) 5:53

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VanceMan said...

Thanks so much for these. I know their work in bits 'n' pieces, so it's great to have a full view!

bobbysu said...

thank you very much

apf said...

Thank you so much!

Matt said...

Rho, I'm really appreciating your recent spat of 'industrial' posts (not to say these are the only posts of yours that I appreciate - my favorite blog by far and your write ups are good reading). IOU & Leichenschrei are great records (depending on who you ask) and Auto Da Fe has been on my turntable a lot over the years along with Portion Control, Chris & Cosey, Cab and many others of the same ilk - my kind of disco... I've still got all these LPs, 'cept for MachAgeVooDoo which I'm going to give another try (didn't go very far with me way back when), thanks for sharing the digitals.


AJ said...

Hi Rho, Can you re-up this heavy weight post of bone crushing music?
Thanks In Advance

Anonymous said...

Can you reup SPK? Thanks

Anonymous said...

SPK Leichenschrei link directs me to The Trentemøller Chronicles download.

Rho said...

Not Sure what happened there but you can hear the corpses scream now. N.Joy

Anonymous said...

I will thanks for fixing the link.