"Extreme Electronic Music - Please acquire with due caution."
Thus states the warning on back cover of Whitehouse's crucial debut album from 1981. They really weren't kidding, either. By today's standards, Whitehouse's first album sounds almost ascetic when you compare it side-by-side with the blastwalls of noise employed by many current power electronics artists, but cranked to upper levels of volume and allowed to run it's course on your deck, Erector is a goddamn demon. The opening title track, for example, is little more than a minimal juddering bass frequency fluttering underneath the controlled bursts of static white noise that are interspersed between the squealing high-pitched feedback and distorted, processed vocals that howl and whine high up in the mix. But as minimal as this recording is, it's still extremely abrasive listening, evoking the drooling lust of a sexual predator transmitting an assortment of obscenities via short succinct blasts of electronic shock. The same formula is repeated on "Shitfun", but the high frequency sounds are even harder on the ears and nervous system, the feedback tones almost disappearing into the upper range while noxious bass rumbles and microphone abuse are strewn over Bennett's fey, ranting vocals. On the other side, the band switches to a simple fluctuation electronic pulse on "Socratisation Day", sounding like a warning signal being emitted from a malfunctioning mainframe computer while other wriggling feedback tones and a steady stream of granular hiss appear. When Bennett's voice comes in, it's a ghastly processed howl that is almost impossible to understand. The album's most menacing track though is the closer, "Avisodomy"; here, Bennett dials down the hysterics and instead offers a contemptuous sneer and orgasmic wailing as the synths spew bubbling rivulets of black filth and shrill, noxious, fluttering feedback. Essential early power electronics required listening for any newcomer to the art form for a true understanding of what "PE" truly means. Prurient, Masonna, Genocide Organ, The Grey Wolves, Nicole 12, Wolf Eyes, Bizarre Uproar - it all seeps from the putrid black lacerations of Erector.
Finally available again on vinyl thanks to Very Friendly's recent reissue campaign of the Whitehouse back catalog, this record features the original censored artwork (created by Stephen Stapleton from Nurse With Wound) and an otherwise super-minimal jacket design that includes a jet-black blank inner sleeve. A perfect visual summation of the voids captured in the grooves of this record.