? : November 1982


Note : translated from the German

Blood, Sweat and Tears

SPK is an Australian experimental music group. They are here a secret for insiders only, a typical "cultband".
Walter B. Baumann (who brought also Throbbing Gristle to Frankfurt), Klaus Mäck from RipOff in Hamburg and Skumek Sabattka from Einstürzende Neubauten / Berlin got the group"nonprofit" and on own risk to Germany (SPK were in England); there will be 3 concerts. In Berlin at the SO 36 on 20 November, in Hamburg at 25 November and in Frankfurt - maybe not in Frankfurt (There was first a commitment for 2 December in the Batschkapp, but after 3 weeks Batschkapp withdrew their agreement. Eventually there will be a concert in Wiesbaden at the Neroberg, on 2 December. For the exact time and place please check the newspapers...)

In the San Diego neuropsychiatric lab, testpersons are shown a series of shock films, of which the intensity goes higher and higher. Turning away is impossible since the head of the testperson is locked, the eye lids are forced to stay open with a device, like the one from "Clockwork Orange". One of the first films shows the foreskin removal ritual of an African tribe. It is clearly shown that the knife is bold (and the act is done without anaesthetics...). After the showing of the film, the tespersons are asked questions like "Which symbols were on the knife ?" or "How many men held the boy ?".
This belongs to the test. The testprocedures are called STRESS REDUCTION TRAINING and are described in "Dokument One", the visual booklet from the first LP of the Australian musicgroup SPK, "Information Overload Unit".
The name SPK means "Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv", "Surgical Penis Klinik" or also "System Planning Kooperation" (System Planning Cooperation = the US-american Biological & Chemical Warfare Development Division). The group formed in 1978/79 from OPERATOR, who worked as a nurse in the Psychiatry and together with one of his patients, the schizophrenic NEHIL and two "Punktypes, who left and became popstars", made on their own label "Side Effect Records" the EP's "Germanik / Contakt / No More" and "Factory / Slogun / Retard". NEHIL committed later suicide, OPERATOR went to Europe in 1980 and gave a show in London with the newly formed SPK. Genesis P. Orridge from "Throbbing Gristle" said after this concert: "SPK is the most deranged group I've ever come across!". Then there was SPK's next record (single "Mekano / Slogun"), in Australia, then the LP "Information Overload Unit". On the covertext it says : "to express the content of various psycho-pathalogical conditions, especially schizophrenia, manic - depressive psychosis, mental retardation and paranoia. "SONICS FOR MANIACS" as a medium, mental experiences through sound".
On 16 May 1981 OPERATOR and Throbbing Gristle gave in San Francisco the fifth performance from SPK: a long table with two microphones, cassettedecks, synthesisers, a pneumatic machine and two sheep heads. Rhythm sounds going full volume. Screams from the band. The two actors wearing israelian army uniforms. Highlight of the evening came when OPERATOR took a big knife and splitted one of the sheep heads, taking the bloody brains in both hands and putting them in his mouth.
Meanwhile the film THE HAEMOPHILIAQUE STATE is projected. Mr. OBLIVON from SPK says of it: "We believe that this film shows the Wiener Aktionisten Otto Mühl what they COULD have done!"

Walter Hatmann / Ret Law


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