GUINESS BOOK OF INDIE/NEW WAVE : 1995


SPK
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 1988). 

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