GUINESS BOOK OF INDIE/NEW WAVE : 1995
This industrial noise band has advocated that their name stands for
Surgical Penis Klinik, Systems Planning Korporation and other connotations
at various points in their career. They begin in 1978 when percussionist
Derek Thompson was working in a mental hospital looking after brief SPK
member Neil, a patient. Together they joined female banshee Sinan, the
original conception of SPK being an alias for Sozialistiche Patienten Kollective.
This evolved out of homage to the German movement of the same name trying
to force improved rights for mental patients. They gained notoriety at
early gigs by parading slides and films of medical operations, though later
they would embrace flame throwers, oil drums etc. as part of their stage
act. In so doing they shared links with the 'metal dance' outfits whose
dealings were mainly in metallic percussion: Test Department and Einsturzende
Neubauten. However, at a London Venue gig in December 1983, one of their
members almost hit members of the audience (including one particularly
unimpressed journalist) by swinging a metal chain out in to the auditorium.
Such activities would do little to endear them to a largely cynical press,
who had already collared them as being too eager to draw any sort of reaction.
The situation was exascerbated by the dire mutant industrial creation,
'Metal Dance'. Earlier recordings, notably the the inhospitable climate
of searing noise and pain which was 1982's Lichenschrei, snapped
at the heels of what Throbbing Gristle were doing without ever capturing
the essence. However, things improved with the arrival of Graham Revell;
who brought them to a recorded peak with Zamia Lehmanni, which deliberately
evoked the sounds of fifth century Byzantium. By the 90s Revell had turned
to soundtrack composition and using 'insect' sounds.
Albums: Leichenschrei 1982, From Science To Ritual (Plasma
1984), Information Overload (Normal 1985), Zamia Lehmanni
(Side Effects 1986), Auto-Da-fe (Walter Ulbright 1984), Digitalis,
Ambigua, Gold & Poison (Nettwerk 1988), Oceania (Side Effects
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