Sounds : 14 May 1983 (1)

SPK: From Australia but residing in England at the moment. The mastermind behind the whole thing is Graeme who along with Dominik formed the group in '78. Members now are Graeme and Sinan although other people, notably Lustmord have assisted recently. Graeme: "From the start I've always had a negative way of working where I always rejected 90% of the things I came up with, simply because they sounded like someone else. It's extremely important to have an encyclopedic knowledge of what's gone before.
Extracts from a conversation with Graeme: "The first album was a classic ultra noise album, I suppose, and the next one was more constructed, tape experimentation.
"I think I was originally influenced by Neu and Can but the one influence I have really is isolation.
When SPK started I was working as a psychiatric nurse and in Germany SPK stands for Socialist Patients Kollective which was a group of patients in Hidleberg who were making an important parallel between sickness and capitalism. We thought it was a good name because we wanted to use that kind of medical deviant imagery. It was a totally opposite step from what Throbbing Gristle were doing. They were taking the Manson's of this world and making them heroes and I thought it was a mistake because it was like the Sunday newspapers making stars out of these people.
What we were trying to say was that it wasn't some kind of marginal thing it was central to the whole society."
SPK music has varied over the years, latest recordings reveal a hybrid of metal percussion and underlying noise - eg the 1982 LP 'Leichenschrei' on Thermidor in the USA. Their first LP 'Information Overload Unit', 'Leichenshrei' and a new 12" 'Dekompositiones' are all currently available from Rough Trade and an interview with SPK will be featured in Sounds in the near future.
SPK also stands for Surgical Penis Klinik and SEPPUKU. 

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