System Planning Korporation* ‎– Information Overload Unit

The Grey Area ‎– spk 1cd, Mute ‎– spk 1cd
CD, Album, Reissue

Companies, etc.


  • Design, TypographyDisinformation (3)
  • Guitar [Uncredited], Bass [Uncredited], Tape [Uncredited], Vocals [Uncredited]Wilkins*
  • Supervised By [Compact Disc Edition Planned & Supervised By]B. Lustmord*
  • Synthesizer [Uncredited], Effects [Treatments - Uncredited]Tone Generator
  • Synthesizer [Uncredited], Performer [Rhythms - Uncredited], Effects [Treatments - Uncredited], Vocals [Uncredited]Operator (6)
  • Technician [Uncredited]Mr. Clean (3)


Originally released by Side Effects Records 1980.

℗ 1980 Side Effects Records.
© 1992 The Grey Area of Mute Records.
Printed in Great Britain.
All titles SPK Music 1992.

Photography p. 6 - Stammheim Prison, Stuttgard, 1976.

Released in a standard jewel case with twelve page booklet.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 5 016025 680405
  • Barcode (String): 5016025680405
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 1): SPK 1 252
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 2): SPK 1 CD · .MASTERED. BY NIMBUS

Other Versions (5 of 8) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ser01 System Planning Korporation* Information Overload Unit(LP, Album) Side Effects ser01 UK 1981 Sell This Version
spk 1cd, SPK1CD, 5016025680405 System Planning Korporation* Information Overload Unit(CD, Album, RE) The Grey Area, The Grey Area, Mute spk 1cd, SPK1CD, 5016025680405 UK & Europe Unknown Sell This Version
NEU 1 System Planning Korporation* Information Overload Unit(Cass, Album, RE, Unofficial) Not On Label (SPK) NEU 1 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
spk 1cd, SPK1CD, 5016025680405 System Planning Korporation* Information Overload Unit(CD, Album, RE) The Grey Area, The Grey Area, Mute spk 1cd, SPK1CD, 5016025680405 UK & Europe Unknown Sell This Version
NORMAL 9 System Planning Korporation* Information Overload Unit(LP, Album, RE) Normal NORMAL 9 Germany 1985 Sell This Version



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June 4, 2012
The first of what might be described as the 'Three Ages Of SPK' begins with "Emanation Machine R. Gie l9l6", and establishes it's 'musical' leaning from early on - this is an extreme, Pure Noise effort, taking the alienated factors of the earlier Industrial artists & turning it into an alienating noise. Listening to this, a mass of churning grey/white noise over a distant Latin American rhythm, sets the nerves a-twitching. "Suture Obsession" opens with spoken voice, builds gradually on a drum machine rhythm & bassline, but is filled with waves of echoing noise, like extremely irate spirits, screaming in the air. Unlike the opening track, this has a little more space to breathe, a more varied sound, while avoiding 'tune' or 'subtlty' "Macht Schrecken" opens with spoken words in both sexual & horrific subjects. The fuzzed mass of distorted sound twists into amorphous configurations in the background, seeking a clawhold in structure, crawling through the massed groupings of snarling sound & trash detritus. A non-beat piece used as a backdrop for 'found' voice. "Beruftverböt" has a drum rhythm not unlike something from "20 Jazz Funk Greats" after being dragged through the primordial ooze of discarded machinery. it has a leaning towards regular composition which, although raucous & mind-scratching, has a certain control. It also has vocals - a shouted roar like the last words of a man drowning in treacle. "Ground Zero: Infinity Dose" has a rhythmic structure which might be found in some futuristic war zone - explosions of noise over a slowed-down "Discipline"-like drum pattern, surrounded by a nasty swell of grey distortion. Vocals on this track also lean towards the strange - muffled, asphyxiated words, as if the last will and testiment of a man buried in the war zone rubble. A sound which drives through the ears like a steel nail brings WHITEHOUSE to mind. "Stammheim Torturkammer" is a slower, less dense piece based on a fractured drum rhythm over which noise of much distorted guitar & feedback screech combine with passive voice to create a 'tune' out of non-tuneful sounds. And it works! "Retard" opens quietly with distant turn-on/turn-off machine sounds, computer talk in blanket rhythm, 'found' voice all brought together in a surprisingly composed way. "Epilept: Convulse" is perhaps the most 'advanced' piece an the whole album - based on a sharp-but-mute rhythm pattern, it takes found tape, spoken word & weaves them around various machine-like noises, most prominantly a sharp sound ascending through the sounds like feedback with a steel shark's fin. "Kaltbruchig Acideath" closes the album; a subtle piece held way back, musted down into a groundswell of Industrial noise. Heard over the top is the spoken confession of a self-administered abortion - creepy and disturbing as almost anything THROBBING GRISTLE ever made, this finally shows they don't need extreme noise to get their message across.
Dating back to 1980, this is a noisy & primitive album which perhaps influenced groups/artists like MERZBOW, THE NEW BLOCKADERS, THE HATERS etc. to take the sound even further. It has moments of grim clarity amid its snarling cacophony, but its heart rests in Pure Noise.

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.