New Musical Express : 7 May 1983


SPK UT
Brixton Ace
[Ut part]
Welcome to the crazy world of SPK. Graeme, Sinan and A.N. Other appear clad as Hell's blacksmiths, sweaty musculature gleaming in the flames of two gluttering torches. The acrid smell of fire and brimstone assailed our nostrils, and the evening looked quite promising.
But 'twas not to be. After fifteen minutes it was clear that SPK do nothing that Collapsing New Building don't do much better. Blixa and his Berlin wrecking crew have an intensity, drama, humour and variety which SPK conspicuously lack. Indeed, they are single-mindedly narrow in their scope of operations. A Gristle-style throb runs as a spine around which Sinan chants and our two mediaeval torturers beat out a violent tatto on steel sheets, oil drums, iron bars, housebricks, gas cylinders, chains, an electric drill and so on.
Once started they look set to go on forever. No highs or lows, they coast along on an even keel. Maybe they're aiming for a mantra of cacophony, but the exercise grows increasingly tedious and pompous. A fan assures me that their recorded works are much more interesting: that wouldn't be difficult. "The energy needed to break out of this claustrophobia" is what we wanted, but ersatz Einsturzende Neubaten is what we got.

Mat Snow 


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