Power Electronics

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Some whores from back in the day. (Whitechapel, circa 1888)

Power Electronics was invented in 1888, when an unidentified man killed 5 prostitutes in the Whitechapel area of London, England. He became known as Jack the Ripper. Typical Ripper murders were perpetrated in a public or semi-public place; the victim's throat was cut, after which the body was mutilated. Some believe that the victims were first strangled in order to silence them and to explain the lack of reported blood at the crime scenes. The removal of internal organs from some victims has led to the proposal that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge or skill.

Jack the Stripper was the nickname given to an unknown serial killer responsible for what came to be known as the London "nude murders" between 1964 and 1965 (also known as the "Hammersmith murders" or "Hammersmith nudes" case).

His victimology was similar to Jack the Ripper's. He murdered six — possibly eight — prostitutes, whose nude bodies were discovered around London or dumped in the River Thames. The victim count is ambiguous because two of the murders attributed to him did not fit his modus operandi.

His confirmed victims, prostitutes Hannah Tailford, Irene Lockwood, Helene Barthelemy, Mary Flemming, Margaret McGowan, and Bridget "Bridie" O'Hara, were all found in similar conditions. They were killed by asphyxiation. They were also found naked, except for their stockings. Their bodies had been stored near intense heat, and there were flecks of paint on four of the corpses. It is believed that the killing was committed using a ligature, possibly one fashioned from the clothing of the victims - a persistent belief is that the victims actually suffocated on the penis of their murderer, but that has been dismissed as "a fairytale".

The two uncertain cases, prostitutes Elizabeth Figg and Gwyneth Rees, were manually strangled, but both were found naked except for their stockings with their knickers lodged in their throats. The sexual deviances of the crimes led many to believe that Jack the Stripper was guilty of these two murders, as well.

There is some speculation that Chief Superintendent John Du Rose of Scotland Yard, the detective put in charge of the case, was responsible for stopping the murders. After interviewing almost 7,000 suspects, he held a news conference, falsely announcing that the police had narrowed the suspect pool down to 20 men. After a short time, he announced that the suspect pool contained only 10 members, and then three. The Stripper did not kill any more after the initial news conference.

Peter Sutcliffe's power electronics setup

Another important influence was the Yorkshire Ripper (real name Peter Sutcliffe), convicted in 1981 of the murders of thirteen women in the north of England and attacks on seven more from 1975 to 1980.

Other acts such as Whitehouse, Sutcliffe Jugend and Ramleh emerged from the UK scene in the early 80s. The late 80s and early to mid 90s marked an increase in PE acts from continental Europe and the US. Few were ever identified.

In all seriousness

Power Electronics was originally coined by William Bennett as part of the sleevenotes to the Whitehouse album Psychopathia Sexualis although many other artists were experimenting with similar sounds at the time. It is related to the early Post-Industrial scene but later became more identified with Noise music. It consists of screeching waves of feedback, analogue synthesizers making sub-bass pulses or high frequency squealing sounds, and screamed, distorted, often hateful and offensive lyrics with often beat-less music. In many ways it aims to show the most pessimistic views of humanity in all its forms through it's art (both music and the often provoking album art) and to push the boundaries by focusing on subjects that are often unpleasant and socially reprehensible. Death Industrial shares similar aesthetics but is slower, more atmospheric sound reminiscent of Dark Ambient, and a less abrasive sound. Brighter Death Now and The Grey Wolves are credited with pioneering the style as is the Cold Meat Industry music label. There are few clear divisions between the two and often appeals to the same core audience.

Power Electronic suspects:


An Amusing Article about Power Electronics


RYM Ultimate Box Set > Power Electronics / Death Industrial. A history list of important releases. Additional sources as well.