PUBLISHED ON NEO'S ATOMIC BLOG

Portion Control - A Great Divide

 

Portion Control are one of the most influential artists in the canon of  electronic music, and name-checked by some of the biggest underground artists in electronic music, including Front 242, Skinny Puppy, and Depeche Mode.  Even Trent Reznor cited them recently as a major influence.  Yet for some reason, Portion Control are still virtually unknown to many; which is a crime, because they wrote some of the best hard rhythmic electronic anthems ever during the years of 1982-1986.stageThis south London trio started their rhythmic chaos in 1980. 

 

Their earliest cassettes resembled  sounds of layered cut up industrial noise that the geniuses Cabaret Voltaire manipulated.  As PC progressed further, their sound got harder.  Imagine if you will the furious noise of Throbbing Gristle spliced into the electro funk of Grand Master Flash. Combine hard analogue keyboards with propulsive beats, noises, but several melodic elements. Add Dean Piavani's voice, rather punk and gruff to contrast the cold machines. It's the perfect foil that gave rise to a new genre of music coined by the UK music press in '84, "electro punk".

 

However, it was 1985 when Portion Control flirted with possible stardom with the seminal 12 inch single, The Great Divide.  What was so great about this song was that it bridged a gap musically to very diverse sub-cultures. Nihilistic post-industrialists, B-Boy rappers, punk rockers, and house DJs all were mesmerized by how Portion Control used and abused the beat.  In fact, back in the day, the cool kids used to break dance in the clubs to the "The Great Divide."  Even to this day, one can go to a club, and chances are the DJ might have a copy of "The Great Divide". 

 

In 1986, after the release of "Psycho-Bod Saves the World,"  they stopped recording music under the name, and tried a different project called Solar Enemy. The legend grew around the band only for them to re-surface in 2004.  Since their return to 'rapid response electronics,'  Portion Control has been very busy releasing a double album, two full lengths, EPs, and a 7" rebuild version of one of their biggest hits, "Chew You To Bits.   There are some people that would argue that Portion Control are better than ever.  The counting continues once more.

© 2014 by Jennifer Kachikian @ designerinchicago.com