The ambitious Whitehouse Vinyl Collection Series has produced high quality vinyl reissues of much of Whitehouse's catalog going back to their earliest releases; unfortunately, these reissues are already becoming hard to come by, some of the titles having already gone out of print, with others available in very limited quantities. We did manage to get some of these Lps in stock though, and with much of the Susan Lawly catalog now out of print, this is the only way to get some of these albums in physical form.
Probably the most notorious band to come out of the British post-industrial underground of the 1980s, Whitehouse has released a formidable catalog of recordings over the past three decades which has had a profound influence on the field of extreme electronic music, including pioneering the whole "power electronics" sound, a term coined by the leader of Whitehouse himself, William Bennett.
I still rank 1984's Great White Death as one of the most terrifying noise albums in my collection. It's crucial early 80s power electronics helped to formulate the template of extreme electronics, and even though this material seems rather primitive compared to the heavier, more densely constructed recordings that Whitehouse created in the 90s, these six tracks are ferociously violent and psychologically confrontational. Compared to other albums, the sound on Great White Death seems less overtly abrasive and ear-wrecking, with more focused placed around extreme low frequency synth drones. It begins with the slurred horrific black mass of the title track, a flock of chirping feedback, pitch shifted voices, and grinding distortion, and continues with the classic transgressive anthem "Ass-Destroyer", whose orgiastic bass abuse, screeching vocals, manipulated tape speed and delay is used to craft one hell of a harrowing psychological nightmare. Another classic sado-anthem is "You Don't Have To Say Please", which seethes with crushing bass synth drone and Bennett's maniacal vocals, followed by the claustrophobic anguish of "Rapemaster" and the shrill sinewave abuse of "I'm Comin Up Your Ass". The lethal combination of extreme electronic noise and the themes of brutally violent sexual behavior, sadism and abuse still make for a seedy, skin-peeling listening experience, and it's essential for any fans of early power electronics.