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Sunday, January 10, 2010

SPK - Leichenschrei



12 comments:

said...

Zero,
Great post. Always truly dug early SPK.
You're observation that they were "one of the most overlooked and underrated" bands & that "due to the change in style which would accompany their later releases...Unfortunately, SPK would not release another album of this caliber again." is so accurate. Had they stayed true to the sound of Leichenscrei, they would be much more listened to & remembered today. Hope everyone who doesn't have this great work gives it a listen.
Excellent.

Secular Heretic said...

Sorry to disagree with you both but I strongly feel that "Zamina Lehmanni: Songs of The Byzantine Flowers" is SPK's masterwork. check it out for yourselves.

http://alternativekids.blogspot.com/2009/08/spk-zamia-lehmanni-songs-of-byzantine.html

icastico said...

When this came out, I remember liking it a lot. I do think they are not as recognized as, perhaps, they deserve, but that is in part because this came out at a time when music was in such a state of creative flux that other things overshadowed it.

Thanks for the reminder.




http://freemusicarchive.org/music/aboombong/
“I really feel like my problem isn't piracy...It's obscurity.” - Cory Doctorow

Zer0_II said...

Secular Heretic: I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. Leichenscrei is SPK's best output in my opinion, and a very influential album at the time it was released, making it an important part of the history of industrial music.

said...

Well, it's been almost two weeks since Zero posted this. I've been listening to Leichenschrei on a regular rotation basis. Then Secular Heretic commented with the opinion about Zamina Lehmanni & I have also been listening to it as regularly. I must say that both are excellent pieces of musick & that I still agree with Zero as to the historical importance of Leichenschrei. That said, I am also in agreement with Secular about the masterwork quality of Songs of the Byzantine Flowers. I find myself loving both for very different reasons & emotions that they evoke in me. I would be hard pressed to pick one over the other as better. The very difference adds to the excellence of both. Since I already thanked Zero for his great post, I must hereby thank Secular Heretic for his great comment. Anyone else want to weigh in here with their 'best of SPK'? I had thought while relying on faded memory alone that Zero was correct, but having now refreshed my earholes with both offerings I realize how biased memory can be, being so influenced by set/setting/time as it is. Just thought I'd say.

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Audiozobe said...

If I may add my own two cents on this debate, here's how I see those 2 albums. For one thing, Leichenschrei is indeed a pretty unique masterpiece in the industrial scene, one of those one-of-a-kind record that propels a career. Except this is industrial music, and there's nowhere to be propelled to. If you look a the acts that managed to remain successful and kept a strong following over the years (think Einstuerzende Neubauten, for example), they had to find ways to reinvent themselves and keep the music (noise) fresh. Even if others are happy to dish out albums after albums of noise, where do you go after a while? Even as a listener, you eventually yearn for some diversity. SPK took a route that brought them on very different terrain, and that was a good thing. Zamia Lehmanni is a masterpiece that came out of this change of pace for the band. Unfortunately, those are the only two albums that make the cut when looking at the output of SPK, and they don't give any sense of continuity because there are no other releases of the same strentgh to join the dots. In retrospect, they almost appear as flukes. And I believe that's the unfortunate reason why SPK is often overlooked as infuence goes.

said...

Audiozobe,
Thanks for joining the fray. Your comment is well thought out & most accurate. These being the only really strong SPK releases & being so far removed musickally indeed makes one wonder 'fluke'? There fate & fame would likely have been different had they been able to sustain a higher quality & 'join the dots'. Great insight.

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Anonymous said...

you guys are fOrgetting about
Dominic Guerrin who proberely defined spk more than grahAM.
His visual defined them.

Audiozobe said...

I'd have to argue that the albums are the legacy. Much as I know how visual artists can be an integral part of the processs of creating music, when looking at a past artist, I am left with only the musical documents to judge. The rest becomes accessory, anecdotal to how a band chooses to construct itself. It is of biographical interest, but does little to put the music in perspective with its own time.