S.P.K.* ‎– Auto-Da-Fé


Versions (11)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
WULP 002 S.P.K.* Auto-Da-Fé(LP, Comp) Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien WULP 002 Germany 1983 Sell This Version
WULP 002 SPK Auto-Da-Fé(LP, Comp, M/Print) Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien WULP 002 Germany 1983 Sell This Version
WULP 002 S.P.K.* Auto-Da-Fé(LP, Comp, RP) Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien WULP 002 Germany 1983 Sell This Version
WULP 002 SPK Auto-Da-Fé(LP, RP, Comp) Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien WULP 002 Germany 1983 Sell This Version
SP25-5265 S.P.K.* Auto-Da-Fé(LP, Comp, RE) SMS Records SP25-5265 Japan 1986 Sell This Version
SPK 4 CD S.P.K.* Auto Da Fe(Cass, Comp, Promo) The Grey Area SPK 4 CD UK 1992 Sell This Version
spk 4cd, SPK 4 cd SePpuKu* Auto Da Fe(CD, Comp) The Grey Area, The Grey Area spk 4cd, SPK 4 cd UK 1993 Sell This Version
ALCB-694 SePpuKu* Auto Da Fe(CD, Comp) Mute ALCB-694 Japan 1993 Sell This Version
spk 4cd, SPK 4 cd SePpuKu* Auto Da Fe(CD, Comp) The Grey Area, The Grey Area spk 4cd, SPK 4 cd UK Unknown Sell This Version
spk 4cd, SPK4CD, 5016025680573 SePpuKu* Auto Da Fe(CD, Comp, RE) The Grey Area, The Grey Area, Mute spk 4cd, SPK4CD, 5016025680573 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
spk 4cd, SPK4CD, 5016025680573 SePpuKu* Auto Da Fe(CD, Comp, RE) The Grey Area, The Grey Area, The Grey Area, Mute, Mute, Mute, Side Effects, Side Effects, Side Effects spk 4cd, SPK4CD, 5016025680573 Europe Unknown Sell This Version


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August 11, 2018
referencing Auto Da Fe, CD, Comp, RE, spk 4cd, SPK4CD, 5016025680573
This release brings together pieces from three periods. The first six are from the early industrial phase of the band, 6-8 are from the post dance phase, and the last three are the EP 'Dekompositiones'.

The industrial pieces are driven by temendous energy, and inventiveness. Raw diamonds and volcano eruptions, difficult to listen to, but as such first class and worth repeated listenings.

'Metall field' is the first climax. Very danceable, but in a cross-grained way with endlessly delayed and reverberated bells and the pseudo german spoken lyrics. It should be a club classic, but is probably too ambitious. The following two pieces seem more a postlude to 'Metall field' to me, completing it and necessary, but not necessarily on their own. Still they are of course worth listening.

The last three pieces are definitely the climax, a release of the EP 'Dekompositiones'. After 'Information overload unit' and 'Leichenschrei', this is the third masterpiece of the band. It is 'undanceable dance music' and remain true classics, not alone by the metal percussions. In 'Another dark age', suspense is being built up and broken constantly by the fragmented percussions. 'Twiliwght of the Idols' brings piercing vocals, and 'Culturecide' once again has an almost undanceable tribal rhythmn. This EP brings together the tribal percussion of world music and the noise and syncopated rhythms of industrial machinery.

Absolutely essential.


July 8, 2018
referencing Auto Da Fe, CD, Comp, spk 4cd, SPK 4 cd
Formed in Australia by a psychiatric nurse, Graeme Revell, and Neil Hill (a.k.a. "Ne/H/il"), a psychiatric patient, SPK took its name from Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv, a radical anti-psychiatry movement founded in Heidelberg in 1970. Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv asserted that the only legitimate therapy for capitalism-induced mental illness is to “turn illness into a weapon.” For Revell and Hill, Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv provided a fitting orientation for sculpting an assault of noise, films of dismemberment, and life-threatening performance using chainsaws and scrap metal. Despite claims that the band never intended to be provocative for its own sake, such was their fate in the context of musical catharsis. By the early 1980s, SPK cashed in on “metal disco” (metal, here, is meant literally and not generically) before Revell turned to soundtrack work for Hollywood blockbusters. So much for therapeutic revolution. Compiling singles and EPs, Auto Da Fe maps SPK’s trajectory, 1979-1983; from the band’s origins as post-punk agitators, to post-industrial conceptualists, up to metal disco.


November 28, 2016
referencing Auto-Da-Fé, LP, RP, Comp, WULP 002
A very special recording made in Hamburg by a special record store who was selling mainly industrial music. "Metal Field" is a great track that walks the line between industrial, dance and ambient. A real must have!


July 10, 2016
edited over 2 years ago
referencing Auto-Da-Fé, LP, Comp, WULP 002
Without doubt, SPK's finest hour/s. A proper introduction to start and catch up with their work between the extreme (past) and the accessible (future).

The "junk" here sounds less funky but definitely more appealing in provoking thought. While the Walter Ulbricht LP would always be a welcome addition to anyone's personal collection, it is the Grey Area CD version that steals the show, adding three more tracks at the compilation's tail end.

Early material is merciless, biting with rawness, while from the middle it becomes (only remotely) accessible, adding proper dance rhythms but still refusing to give up the mental confines, tickling the word "gothic" with its own slab of macabre-ish intensity.


June 4, 2012
referencing Auto Da Fe, CD, Comp, spk 4cd, SPK 4 cd
This album combines the "Dekompositions" EP, the "Surgical Penis Klinik" single & the "Meat Processing Sektion" EP with three more tracks. As such it has a more commercial, approachable sound than "Information Overload Unit" & much of "Leichenschrei", while still maintaining the harsh, dissonant noises. The opening track "Contact" reminds me a little of ULTRAVOX's "Hiroshima Mon Amour" put through enough FX to distort & boost it, combining it with elements of BUZZCOCKS' "Noise Annoys" & coming out with something like a harsh, early DOME with added aggro. "Germanik" is a far less straightforward piece, again having elements of GILBERT & LEWIS's compositional approach, yet combining it with masses of blistering white grunge & ear-mashing electronics. Vocals, equally pushed to distortion, are broken up into jigsaw detritus, then reconstituted into the whole like a bad patchwork Frankenstein's creature. "Mekano" is a more complete piece, having Punk elements which, having been taken out, battered, polished, bitten & excreted, are put back together into a monsterous beat piece, a horrr reflection of it's former self. "Retard" uses a more irritating chirruping sound high above while guitars snarl & feedback in gross shapes & structures, defying any attempt at forming music. Vocals, hidden within, are pushed to the point of pain. "Slogun" again uses a series of harsh, distorted electronics, forced almost to the pain threshold, forming into a fast beat piece with drum machine motoring like a manic generator. It dissolves into a churning maelstrom of metallic-grey noise before motoring once more into the outer limits, way beyond Punk, through the gates of Industrial & into the agony-painted wastelands of Insanity. And within this terrible place it mutates into worse creatures still... "Metal Field" fills the howling void left as the previous track abruptly closes, creating a soundscape of related, but weird echoed percussions, joined & melded together soon by a bass sequence, drum machine, then further keyboard patterns, showing a new SPK - still valuing the harshness of their early sound & the cold images, yet forming a danceable, composed piece which might even appeal to a Techno audience (and yes, there are elements of EBM here, albeit a cold, mutant version). "Walking On Dead Steps" blasts in, again forming into a danceable electronic piece, a wide sounding beat/sequence skeleton under which is slung distant metal-like slithering sounds & over which is half-spoken, half-sung a series of lyrics suggesting Nazi imagery. It reminds me a little of THROBBING GRISTLE at their most commercial, mixed with elements of HUMAN LEAGUE, DEPECHE MODE & D.A.F.. "A Heart That Breaks (In No Time Or Place)" comes next, keeping much to the style of the previous two tracks, yet has a darkness to the rhythm & a chill, scratching harshness to the sounds which layer like terrible horns over the top. The female vocalist speaks her words like a lyrical reproduction of a COUM TRANSMISSIONS exhibition. The words suggest sex & violence, while the mass of sounds whip the listener mercilessly. In my opinion, this is the most effective track here, combining SPK's dissonance with their later dance logic, even giving a brief glimpse of later, more ethnic-influenced beat music. "Another Dark Age" comes next, showing yet another face of their music, a darker, more brooding piece beneath which all manner of sounds occur in reverberating atmosphere. It's a mainly percussive piece reminding me a little of NEW ORDER circa "In A Lonely Place", again showing advancement over previous pieces. It also has elements of ceremony or ritual, a medieval 'feel', of things brought into existance by superstition, lurking in the shades of forests, or within the shadows of your dwelling place. "Twilight Of The Idols" again shows a tendency towards booming, scattering percussion & dark imagery - chanting voices in the distance & metal, hammered to keep away foul spirits. It's a more image-provoking sound, painting pictures in dark hues. "Culturecide" draws the album to a close, the female vocalist combining Eastern wailing with a pained, metal anxiety, a head crushed in the Stygian pincers of a waking nightmare. It opens out into another piece built on drumming & monk-like chanting, the beaten sounds scattering in patterns alien to 20th Century Western logic. There are elements of later Ethnic imagery here, forming a sort of halfway mark between the distinct SPK stages.
A good midway point to approach SPK from, if you're interested but unfamiliar. Earlier material was a lot more harsh; later music ("Zamia Lehmanni" to the orchestral music of REVELL's "Hand That Rocks The Cradle" soundtrack) more composed, mellow, pictorial. And those of you who are familiar with SPK will find it a treat, offering a wide range of styles, without touching either extreme.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.