SPK [Special]

SPK [Special]

SPK, formed in 1978 in Sydney, Australia, was a 1980s and early 1990s industrial music and noise music act featuring Graeme Revell, who would later go on to become a successful Hollywood movie composer. The group was formed when Revell (aka Operator) met up with Neil Hill (aka Ne/H/il). They were both working at a psychiatric hospital when they became inspired by the manifesto of the German radical Marxist group known as the Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv (SPK). The following words, inspired by the SPK manifesto, are used on one of the band's first recordings, Slogun (1979): "Kill, Kill, Kill for inner peace/ Bomb, Bomb, Bomb for mental health/ Therapy through violence!". Dominik Guerin (aka Tone Generator) joined in 1980, and was later to concentrate on the band's notorious visual content. Guerin and Revell recorded the first album, Information Overload Unit (1981), in a Vauxhall squat (during the Brixton riots in London) with the help of Revell's brother Ash (aka Mr.Clean) and Wilkins (guitar/bass). After the recording of SPK's second album, Leichenschrei ("The Scream of the Corpse")(1982), they were joined by Sinan Leong, who had initially auditioned for a planned SPK side-project, Dance Macabre. She and Revell were later to marry. In the first week of February 1984, just short of his 28th birthday, Neil Hill committed suicide two days before his wife Margaret Nikitenko died as a result of complications from anorexia.

Other musicians working with SPK included Danny Rumor and David Virgin, who were on the bands first recordings that were done in 1979, James Pinker and Karel van Bergan, who toured the U.S. in 1982 with Guerin and Revell, Brian Williams of Lustmord, John Murphy of Forresta di Ferro (better known as Kraang) and Derek Thompson, who later had a brief stint in The Cure and went on to record as Hoodlum Priest. Thompson claims that he left SPK when founder member Revell wanted to take the band in what Thompson perceived as a more commercial direction .

William S. Burroughs the American writer was photographed with the band at his home in Lawrence, Kansas in 1982. From left to right: Graeme Revell, Karel vanBergan, William S. Burroughs (uncle Bill), Dominik Guerin, and James Pinker.

The meaning of the SPK abbreviation is deliberately unclear; the album covers suggest several different alternatives. The most well known is Sozialistisches Patienten Kollektiv, but there are also others, such as Surgical Penis Klinik, System Planning Korporation and SePuKku.

The most notable works of SPK are the early works Information Overload Unit, LeichenschreiAutoDaFe. SPK's early music is best described as disturbing and psychologically disorienting, in line with their nihilistic, subversive philosophy. Live performances included video backing (some of which was issued in two Twin Vison videos, Despair
and Two Autopsy Films), trangressive performances with animal carcasses and other usually successful attempts to make the audience very uncomfortable. The group issued radical manifestos, such as DoKuments 1 and 2, "The Post-Industrial Strategy", which appeared in RE/Search's Industrial Culture Handbook. There is a clear dichotomy between early industrial SPK (1978- 83) and the more commercial music inspired by Graeme Revell. Later releases, such as Machine Age Voodoo (1984), were more synthpop-oriented than industrial. Still later, the group moved into electronic orchestral work, with the release of Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers (1986).

[Web sites]

SPK - No More (single)Download
SPK - Information Overload UnitDownload
SPK - Meat Processing Section (single)Download
SPK - Auto Da FeDownload
SPK - See-Saw (single)Download
SPK - Garibaldi's 29 April 1979Download
SPK - From Science To RitualDownload
SPK - Live At The Crypt 1981Download
SPK - Human Post Mortum (Despair)Download
SPK - Live at SO36 Club, Berlin, 19 Nov 1982Download
SPK - Live Neroberg Wiesbaden, 2 Dec 1982Download
SPK - Live at Al's Bar, L.A., 24 April 1982Download
SPK - Live at the Danceteria, NY, 13 June 1982Download
SPK - Brikkwerz Performance, Australia 1982Download
SPK - LeichenschreiDownload
SPK - Last Attempt At ParadiseSide A/ SideB
SPK - Live At Pandora's Music Box 1983Download
SPK - Wars Of IslamDownload
SPK - Angst PopDownload
SPK - DekompositionesDownload
SPK - Angst PopDownload
SPK - In Flagrante Delicto 12"Download
SPK - Machine Age VoodooPart 1/ Part2
SPK - Theaterfabrik Manege, 7 June 1987Part 1/ Part2
SPK - Oceania Live 1987 pw: sickness - abounds. blogspot.comPart 1/ Part2
SPK - Gold & PoisonPart 1/ Part2
SPK - Off The Deep End (single)Download
SPK - Zamia LehmanniDownload
SPK - Compilation TracksPart 1/ Part2
SPK - Exhumation: Greatest HitsDownload
SPK - The Peel Sessions (1983) Download
SPK - Live In Chicago-82 MC Download
SPK - Live 19 Nov. 1982 SO36 Club, Berlin, Germany Download


One Response so far.

  1. Paul says:

    SPK has produced some very cool music.. Also the early solo project from Graeme are great!