Label: Side Effects - SER 09 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: UK • Genre: Electronic • Style: Industrial, Ambient
They coalesced around a shared interest in the ways emergent technologies might provide greater compositional subtlety in the manipulation of sound sources, and equally wondered how artists might combine interests, influences and the manifest desire to affect audiences within a musical practice. First released inthis was an intriguing release upon its first appearance and remains a fascinating, puzzling and, at times, problematic encounter.
By SPK had charted a unique trajectory through popular and unpopular music. The members would relocate to the UK in and quickly followed a series of independent single and EP releases with their first album, Information Overload Unita scrappy and noisy collection of grinding soundscapes, electronic pulses and stolen Arrivederci Claire - Andy Borg - Single Hit-Collection 1982 - 1992 of film dialogue mixed with the now compulsory short wave broadcasts.
Alongside and underneath, more traditional instruments pulse and struggle, proto-samples and tape loops are manipulated and the whole thing sits comfortably at the Throbbing Gristle-end of the noisy industrial music spectrum. Having then developed a Heartfire - David Arkenstone - Visionary practice with the formal manipulation and structuring of noises, filtered through an emergent pop sensibility in the later album and singles, Revell would return to orchestration and produce a work that was then both a product of certain currents of the moment and which remains an important touchstone for anyone interested in what happens when post-industrial musical practices are filtered through the western orchestral canon.
Instead this is Necropolis - SPK - Zamia Lehmanni - Songs Of Byzantine Flowers as a new musical form somewhere between world and folk and industrial and classical where longer-form movements appear to more naturally succeed the tape splices and grinding noises of the earlier albums. A little digging reveals that these call-and-response chants are recordings from former inhabitants of the Bikini Atoll, relocated by the U.
Instead, they float without location, drifting underneath and through the swaths of synthetic noise and rhythm, just another anonymous element utilized as a ready-made sound source. The presence of culturally-specific material utilized simply because it provides a kind of exotic ambience is ethically troubling, to say the least.
As a result, what remains is tainted by a form of exploitation that muddies the intention of an otherwise fascinating album. As the various threads of dark ambient have developed and progressed, the ongoing influence remains startlingly clear, such that Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers might no longer be an essential album; but it absolutely remains an important one.
Scott Wilson is a New Zealand-based writer and proudly unaffiliated academic with a keen interest in, amongst too many other things, unpopular music, hostile architecture and the cinema of Necropolis - SPK - Zamia Lehmanni - Songs Of Byzantine Flowers Cronenberg.
Remains a fascinating, puzzling and, at times, problematic encounter. About the Author. Scott Wilson Scott Wilson is a New Zealand-based writer and proudly unaffiliated academic with a keen interest in, amongst too many other things, unpopular music, hostile architecture and the cinema of David Cronenberg.
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