Personnel: William Bennett (vocals, synthesizer); Paul Reuter (synthesizer).
Recording information: Ips Studios,Foldhawk Road, London (1980).
Lazy meandering waves of white noise and effect-laden vocals are spread across the six tracks on Birthdeath Experience. Whitehouse's first release is interesting primarily for the formation of their extreme philosophy. Vocalist William Bennett is just beginning to be comfortable with themes of domination, and his relatively timid vocal style only hints at the strength he would later attain. Setting the stage for extreme experimental noise, tracks such as "The Second Coming" mix synthesizer gurgles with shards of feedback, while "On Top" manipulates sound via delay and reverb with only mildly terrifying results. The synthesizer duties are shared by both Bennett and Paul Reuter, with Peter Mckay credited for the effects and engineering duties. The high point of the record is "Rock and Roll," where Bennett ironically asks the listener "I wanna know are you ready for some rock & roll?" while a relentless synthesizer pulse and squeals of electronics make it quite clear that Whitehouse in no way intends to deliver with any semblance of convention. "Rock and Roll" functions to distinguish themselves from the deluge of U.K. post-punk bands, while simultaneously making the genre seem tired and spent compared to the innovative approach of Birthdeath Experience. Recommended for fans interested in the history of experimental electronics but of only mild interest to the casual fan. Reissued on CD by Susan Lawly in 1993. ~ Peter Schaefer