Sounds : 25 June 1983


SPK
'Leichenschrei'
(Side Effekts SER 02)
*****
'LEICHENSCHREI' is like an evening watching the television when there's so much on that you incessantly skip across the channels, picking up snippets of each programme. In stead of grasping the full meaning of any programme, you inevitably end up with a self-controlled hybrid of many.
In this case though, the controls are firmly embedded in the hands of SPK and the programmes presented go to make a vivid document of the birth of percussion intertwined with reportage news, medical footage, pictures of the post industrial revolution and a tragi-comedy of sex and horror.
From the restrained rumblings of 'Genetik Transmission' to 'Chamber Musik' on side one, it's an electric jolt of fragmented sound and, as the rhythm begins to come together on side two, it builds superbly into a cacophony of crashes mingling with rat-a-tat beats and synthesiser soundscapes documenting the arrival of technology.
Recorded nearly two years ago, 'Leichenschrei' was released in America on the Thermidore label to much critical acclaim. It's the earliest and most precise statement on metal percussion which uses the medium not merely as a means of rhythm but also as an image of scrapheap independance, a screeching siren bringing together likeminded individuals who have been isolated by the technological rush for perfection - as catalogued in Alvin Tofler's 'Future Shock'.
'Leichenschrei' is a rallying call with a dance beat, a mixture of old and new moulded into a ritual orgy of noise. SPK have already moved on but this is still a valid artefact which is probably more relevant today than when it was conceived some years ago.

DAVE HENDERSON 


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