Monday, May 7, 2007

Portion Control-Gaining Momentum ,tape,1981,UK

Portion Control are a band who never acheived success in their own time, and are barely remembered at all except by the most avid collector of electronic and industrial music. Their influence, however, lives on through the sub-genres of EBM and darkwave, most notably because of the importance they had to the initial sound of Canadian industrial titans Skinny Puppy. Formed in London whilst in catering college, from where their name is derived, Portion Control released a slew of cassette only releases and various compilation album appearances, before finally releasing their debut album, I Staggered Mentally, in 1982. The album was a hugely original work, one of the very first albums to meld punk aggression to electronic sequences and rhythms, genuine dance beats fighting against the manic shouts and yelps of frontman Dean. Later releases led to a more commerial, but no less inventive sound, the raw garage agression being toned down in favour of melody and more harmonic vocals. Around the time of the 1984 album, ....Step Forward, such was the promise of the outfit they gained support slots with then mainstream darlings Depeche Mode and Blancmange. The decision not to release a single from the album seems to have halted their drive to commercial success, and the group went back to the studio, to try once again for a succesful formula and a new direction. This new direction was embodied in the computer game inspired Psycho Bod Saves the World, a frenetic mess of funk, punk, electronics and the occasional genuine pop tune. However, such a bizarre mix of styles was unlikely to garner much success, which proved to be the case, and matters weren't helped by the distributor, Red Rhino, going into liquidation. Portion Control effectively ceased activities from that point on. The group had a brief lease of life under the name Solar Enemy during the early 1990s, an outfit geared more towards the burgeoning IDM scene, but once again, sales were very dissapointing. For nearly two decades, the Portion Control name was laid to rest, and nothing was heard from the group at all since the early '90s. However, 2004 saw the group reforming for the internet-only release of Wellcome, a release co-inciding with a support slot for the reformed Skinny Puppy on the London leg of their world tour.

get this gem here


mike said...

I don't know about tape contents, but most of their singles and LP-released album tracks were compiled in the 90s on The Man Who Did Backwards Somersaults. Good stuff, the Raise The Pulse 12" is definitely a really influential one.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Thanks for this one, I've been a Portion Control fan for many years, but didn't have this one. If you need any others from them, let me know.
-- Mason (

mutantsounds said...

i guess this is THE Mason Jones....very honoured you visited my blog

Anonymous said...

cool stuff...recently bought ther box with al record releases. Al great stuff. One thing that intresst me much is the "Dining on the fresh" release. I've heard short sampels of it and it sounded great...might be a request if its possible?

good work by the way....droping by every day to check out!

cheers & beers


W. said...

Excellent quality, innovative sounds, highly listenable.

Thanks for posting this, I hadn't expected to ever hear it.


Anonymous said...

Could've at least credited rateyourmusic for the bio, one of my better works that is.

Must remember to grab this.