SPK – Zamia Lehmanni / Songs Of Byzantine Flowers (CD Album – Cold Spring)

By Jan 5,2020

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Genre/Influences: Industrial, experimental, cinematographic.

Background/Info: Australian formation SPK remains one of the uncontested pioneers and leaders of the so-called experimental- and industrial music movement. Driven by the genius of Graeme Revell the project released core albums such as “Information Overload Unit” (1981) and “Leichenschrei” (1982). “Zamia Lehmanni” brings us back to 1986; this album is a re-release of this work originally released by Side Effects. It has been remastered while Graeme Revell added some essential notes referring to his influences. It’s also interesting to realize he considered this work as the debut of the post-industrial era. Notice by the way the album is also available on vinyl.

Content: You clearly hear SPK took some distances from their electro-industrial- & noise-like experiments. This album was touched by elements of world music and cinematic compositions. It’s interesting to rediscover the song “In Flagrante Delicto”, which later on was used on the soundtrack of the film “Dead Calm” (1989). From cinematic music featuring industrial sound treatments to epic arrangements to the reinterpretation of neo-classic music, the work remains first of all an experimental legacy from the work of SPK.

+ + + : The sound production is absolutely noticeable. SPK has a rather unpolished sound and yet it sounds powerful and professional. From a purely artistic point of view, this work is diversified and original. I can understand why Revell called it ‘post-industrial’ as it doesn’t follow the steps of the ‘classical’ industrial releases from that period. The artist also felt comfortable experimenting with all styles.

– – – : You sometimes get the impression listening to a compilation instead of an album properly speaking. It feels like a sonic exorcism of too many ideas.

Conclusion: Speaking for me this album didn’t get a similar impact as the aforementioned “Information Overload Unit” and “Leichenschrei”, but it clearly sounds as an album announcing a new direction for SPK.

Best songs: “In Flagrante Delicto”, “Invocation (To Secular Heresies)”, “The Doctrine Of Eternal Ice”, “Palms Crossed In Sorrow”.

Rate: (7½).


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