Deconstructing rock 'n' roll, forsaking the song for the lift to experience, inspired by Velvet psychology and Iggy raw power, Suicide’s minimalist electronic art; dark claustrophobic expressionism, remains a paradigm shift within contemporary popular music.
Craig Leon, co-producer of the band’s debut LP, had previously worked with dub sorcerer, Lee Scratch Perry and this influence can be heard throughout the album in terms of harnessing delay and echo to create sounds from the ultra-world.
In Clinton Heylin’s excellent book, “From the Velvets to the Voidoids”, Alan Vega states:
"We found a 10-dollar Japanese keyboard, it was probably the first prototype computerised keyboard, but we couldn’t get a sound out if it, it was a piece of shit, so what we did was get a load of effects boxes, Electro Harmonix, we must’ve had ten in a row! All lined up! Just to get the sound out of this keyboard we needed all this juice…The sound itself…psychologically created an ambience, so people were looking at me now through a sound thing as well, because the sound was so overwhelming…..People were coming in off the streets, coming into a performance arena where they were hoping they’d be escaping and all we were doing was shoving the street back in their face again”.
Suicide were an integral part of American punk, a movement then unnamed, which began in the 60’s with the MC5, Stooges, The Bit a Sweet, The Wailers, Count Five and a host of other bands who below the garage doors off. By 74, Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and The Ramones were taking the quantum leap. Suicide not only influenced guitar music rooted in the spirit of Punk, but also heavily influenced industrial, electronic and dance music.
In honour of this great group, smash the lights on the Christmas tree, sit in the dark and fill the room with the sound of Ghost Rider and Rocket USA.
A cheap Japanese keyboard has never sounded so good.