S.P.K.* ‎– Auto-Da-Fé



Metall Field
Walking On Dead Steps
A Heart That Breaks In No Time Or Place

Versions (10)

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, SPK4CD, 5016025680573 SePpuKu* Auto Da Fe(CD, Comp, RE) The Grey Area, The Grey Area, Mute spk 4cd, SPK4CD, 5016025680573 Europe 2000 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


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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 about 1 year 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.