Portion Control - I Staggered Mentally LP
Label: Dark Entries
Portion Control were always an obscure proposition despite their longevity. This British trio started in the early '80s crafting a hyper minimal form of claustrophobic electronica that proved to be a huge influence on the work of Skinny Puppy and Depeche Mode; but their influence on these acts never trickled down to bring them greater acclaim over the duration of their career. During the '80s, they issued a handful inventively reductivist / muscular electronics girded by proto-techno rhythms and fleshed out through filtered and flanged electronics. The monotone barked vocals have been hyper compressed and shoved way in the back of the mix are pretty much the same technique that Nivek Ogre brought to Skinny Puppy a few years later. Portion Control were never intending on making poptunes of the shock-horror model or angsty youth model that those bands they influenced became so known for; instead, Portion Control's skeletal, hard rhythms thrusts immediately to the foreground with the metallic-flanged vocals, idiosyncratic / disjointed sequencing, and unidentifiable police scanner activity muffled at the background. When a melody comes along as on the strident "He Is Patriotic" or on the jittery death-dub of "Mass Disorder" or the proto-acid squelchiness of "Fiends", it can be quite a shocking juxtaposition given the calculated minimalism throughout the rest of this work. Imagine an even more stripped down DAF or Liaisons Dangereuses, with those Skinny Puppy vocals! The Portion Control back catalogue has gone through various reissue campaigns, including a ponderous 7lp boxset on Vinyl On Demand; and an even more comprehensive 5cd boxset, with I Staggered Mentally featured prominently on both sets. But here, we get another excellent reissue from Dark Entries, who give it a great remastering job, a booklet with tons of information and a bonus track!