Metal Dance 12''
Industrial Noise Synthpop
01. Metal Dance (12'' mix)
02. Will to Power
SPK, formed in 1978 in Sydney, Australia, was a 1980s and early 1990s industrial music and noise music group. One member, Graeme Revell, would later go on to become a successful Hollywood movie composer.
The group was formed when Revell (aka Operator, Oblivion, EMS AKS) met up with Neil Hill (aka Ne/H/il). They were both working at a psychiatric hospital when they became inspired by the manifesto of the German radical Marxist group known as the Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv (SPK). The band also recruited two teenagers, David Virgin and Danny Rumour, who helped create the first recordings of SPK in 1979. The following words, inspired by the SPK manifesto, are used on one of the band's first recordings, Slogun (1979): "Kill, Kill, Kill for inner peace/ Bomb, Bomb, Bomb for mental health/ Therapy through violence!" Dominik Guerin (aka Tone Generator) joined in 1980, and was later to concentrate on the band's notorious visual content. Guerin and Revell recorded the first album, Information Overload Unit (1981), in a Vauxhall squat (during the Brixton riots in London) with the help of Revell's brother Ash (aka Mr.Clean) and Wilkins (guitar/bass). After the recording of SPK's second album, Leichenschrei ("The Scream of the Corpse")(1982), they were joined by Sinan Leong, who had initially auditioned for a planned SPK side-project, Dance Macabre. She and Revell were later to marry. In the first week of February 1984, just short of his 28th birthday, Neil Hill committed suicide two days before his wife Margaret Nikitenko died as a result of complications from anorexia.
Other musicians working with SPK included Danny Rumour and David Virgin of Sekret Sekret, who were on the band's first recordings that were done in 1979, James Pinker and Karel van Bergan, who toured the U.S. in 1982 with Guerin and Revell, Brian Williams of Lustmord, John Murphy of Forresta di Ferro (better known as Kraang) and Derek Thompson, who later had a brief stint in The Cure and went on to record as Hoodlum Priest. Thompson claims that he left SPK when founder member Revell wanted to take the band in what Thompson perceived as a more commercial direction.
The meaning of the SPK abbreviation is deliberately unclear; the album covers suggest several different alternatives. The most well known is Sozialistisches PatientenKollektiv, but there are also others, such as Surgical Penis Klinik, System Planning Korporation, SePuKku, Selective Pornography Kontrol, Special Programming Korps and SoliPsiK.
The most notable recordings of SPK are early: Information Overload Unit, Leichenschrei and AutoDaFe. SPK's music is best described as disturbing and psychologically disorienting, in line with their nihilistic, subversive philosophy. Live performances included video backing (some of which was issued in two Twin Vison videos, Despair and Two Autopsy Films), transgressive performances with animal carcasses and other attempts to make the audience uncomfortable. The group issued manifestos, such as DoKuments 1 and 2, "The Post-Industrial Strategy", which appeared in RE/Search's Industrial Culture Handbook. There is a clear dichotomy between early industrial SPK (1978–83) and the more commercial music later favoured by Graeme Revell. Later releases, such as Machine Age Voodoo (1984), were more synthpop-oriented than industrial. Still later, the group moved into electronic orchestral work, with the release of Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers (1986).
Information Overload Unit - LP/CD - 1981
Leichenschrei - LP/CD - 1982
Machine Age Voodoo - LP - 1984
Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers - LP/CD - 1986
Digitalis Ambigua: Gold & Poison - LP/CD - 1987
Oceania - LP/CD - 1988
Auto-Da-Fé - LP/CD - 1983
Box - CD - 1992
Singles, EPs, cassettes
"No More/Kontakt/Germanik" - Single - 1979
"Factory"/Retard/Slogun" - Single - 1979
"Mekano/Kontakt/Slogun" - Single - 1979
"Meat Processing Section" EP (Slogun/Mekano) - Single – 1980
"See Saw/Chambermusik" (as SoliPsiK) - Single - 1981
"At The Crypt" - Cassette - Sterile Records - 1981
"Last Attempt at Paradise" - Cassette - 1982
"Dekompositiones" - 12"EP - 1983
"From Science To Ritual" - Cassette - 1983
"Metal Dance" - Single - 1984
"Junk Funk" - Single - 1984
"Flesh & Steel" – Single - 1985
"In Flagrante Delicto" - Single – 1986
"Off the Deep End" - Single - 1987
"Breathless" - Single - 1987
"Digitalis Ambigua: Gold & Poison" - Single - 1987
Videos and films
"Despair" - SPK Video by Twin Vision - 1982
"Two Autopsy Films" - SPK Video by Twin Vision - 1983
"Despair" - Digitally extracted DVD by Twin Vision - 2007