SPK
Information Overload Unit


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
December 11th, 2010 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist


Released in 1981, Information Overload Unit was the first album from Australian musical project SPK. Initially lumped in with the first wave industrial crowd, the groups dissonant noise experiments eventually gave way to a stab at commercial success with the heavily synth pop/new wave orientated 1984 release Machine Age Voodoo, later albums focusing on ambient and electronic territory such as Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers and Digitalis Ambigua: Gold & Poison. It all started with SPK's best known works Information Overload Unit and Leichenschrei however, which first garnered Graeme Revell and a revolving door of musicians some recognition and helped pave his way to become the successful hollywood film composer he is today.

If there is one way to describe this album, it is horrifying. Information Overload Unit is a soundscape full of dread, coming from the mind of a drugged patient under a medical experiment gone wrong drifting in and out of consciousness occasionally punctuated by fits of pure terror and an inability to cope with it. It is comprised entirely of repetitive sounds treatments, first and foremost this a noise album and harsh, uncomfortable frequencies permeate throughout. Voice samples are heavily used, seemingly culled from sources such as medical documentaries and other esoteric material the group had sought an interest in whilst the sparse use of clanking, metallic percussion is the only real sense of rhythm to be found. The entire album runs along these lines, never missing a heartbeat when it comes to an uneasy atmosphere. I get the feeling of what I suspect dying on an operating table much be like from listening to Information Overload Unit, something I don't particularly want to immerse myself in that often but when I do it is always a visit I feel all the better for having endured.

If there is anything to flaw, SPK's approach here may be a little too repetitive for it's own good. Information Overload Unit is certainly a hard pill to swallow for the novice and veteran music listener alike, it is long, and about as far from easy listening as you can get with it's disjointed structures and sharp, painful textures. Although follow-up album Leichenschrei would ultimately eclipse it, it is worthy as a footnote in the early development of industrial and noise music, still standing up well enough today.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
December 11th 2010


5524 Comments


Emanation Machine R. Gie 1916 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9b89PFYZ5g
Suture Obsession - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP14t2BP3VM
Retard - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxdbL2jSQ-w

Meatplow
December 11th 2010


5524 Comments


Anyway I can see Deviant liking this for some reason and possibly Willie as well.


lol don't count on that, we come from very different musical worlds sometimes

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2010


7281 Comments


Solid review. Pos.

And the avatar is um...won't even begin speculating on how old those girls are intended to be.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Meatplow
December 11th 2010


5524 Comments


I like to think of them as youthful looking women it helps me sleep at night

I think it was just the aussie thing going on there, even if Dev does comes from New Zealand.


australasia ftw

Willie in particular would hate this though, I am sure of it

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2010


31163 Comments



lol don't count on that, we come from very different musical worlds sometimes


So this isn't dubstep? Shit....

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Meatplow
December 11th 2010


5524 Comments


lol not by any stretch of the imagination

later albums are bit more dancey at times, though

Bitchfork
December 12th 2010


7584 Comments


byzantine flowers is better

Meatplow
December 12th 2010


5524 Comments


byzantine flowers is better


yeah

Machine Age Voodoo is my favourite though, even if it is their most poppy and accessible

Sabottheory
December 12th 2010


355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is probably my favourite SPK album out of the first three. I haven't heard much better noise tracks than Ground Zero: Infinity Dose and Stammheim Torturkammer.

Bitchfork
December 12th 2010


7584 Comments


Come on guys we all know that Wraiths is the best noise-related band out there. I mean, Plaguebearer, you know? Just rubs my death industrial funny bone.

Meatplow
December 12th 2010


5524 Comments


not first wave enough

become my first RYM buddy

YankeeDudel
February 18th 2013


9313 Comments


man Leichenschrei is so good. it needs a review but im a lazy slob.

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

somnolence
July 14th 2013


405 Comments


sadism
._.



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