THE STERILE RECORDS STORY
by Trevor Allsop
The small Sterile Records label is remarkable in
that it carried many of the first releases of some of the most influential
and famous industrial noise groups of the 1980s. The Sterile Recordscompany
operated from 1979 until it was effectively dissolved in 1986. Growing
from the mail art networks, the concept was to create a new form
of music. It was an alchemical combination of the experiments of musique
concrete and Fluxus combined with the critical eye of
conceptual art; the spontaneity and energy of punk rock.
The dark humour of industrial music and the incomprehensible
nonsense of various ultra-leftist political fractions were an essential
part of the mix.
Sterile Records used both commercial and non-commercial media to deliver anti-capitalist messages, multi-coloured noise and information overload. It was a small and very independent label, which was self- funded on a shoestring budget for most of its activities. Output included cassettes, records and videotapes.
It was essentially a cottage industry, run by two or three friends from a squatted terraced house in London SE5.
What follows is an attempt at a chronological
disc-ography and tape-ography of this seminally influential record label.
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