Portion Control (band)

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Portion Control
OriginLondon, England
GenresElectronic, industrial, EBM
Years active1979–1987
LabelsLadelled Music, In Phaze Records, Third Mind Records, Illuminated Records, Rhythmic Records, Dead Man's Curve, Catalyst, Sigsaly Transmissions, Other Sounds, Minimal Maximal
Associated actsSolar Enemy
MembersDean Piavani
John Whybrew
Past membersIan Sharp

Portion Control are a British electronic and industrial band from South London, formed in 1979.[1] The original incarnation of the group existed until 1987; they reformed in 2002.

The band pioneered the use of sampling and were acclaimed for their use of the Apple II computer based Greengate DS3 sampling and sequencing system.[2] They have been cited as an influence on Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Orbital and Nine Inch Nails.[3]


Portion Control formed in 1979 with a line-up of Dean Piavani, Ian Sharp and John Whybrew.

The trio's first release, the cassette-only A Fair Portion (including Andy Wilson of the Passage on bass), was issued in 1980 by Ladelled Music, followed by three further cassettes on In Phaze Records, Gaining Momentum and Private Illusions No 1 (both 1981) and With Mixed Emotion (1982).

Author S. Alexander Reed, in his book Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music, said that Portion Control's early sound "blends innocuously with the moodier moments of Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle", and at times "demonstrated a gift for gritty, teethgrinding distortion, not unlike Esplendor Geometrico".[1]

Their first full-length vinyl release, I Staggered Mentally, was released 22 November 1982 by In Phaze.[4] Further albums included ..Step Forward (1984, Illuminated Records) and Psycho-Bod Saves the World (1986, Dead Man's Curve).[4]

In January 1984, Portion Control recorded a Peel Session.[5]

In 1987, the band ended. All three founding members reorganized in 1990 as Solar Enemy, releasing two albums before splitting in 1993.

Piavanni and Whybrew reformed Portion Control in 2002, and self-released their first reunion album, Wellcome, in 2004.[4]


Current members
  • Dean Piavanni (1979-1987, 2002–present)
  • John Whybrew (1979-1987, 2002–present)
Former members
  • Ian Sharp (1979-1987)
  • Andrew Johnson (1979-1980)


Studio albums[edit]

  • A Fair Portion cassette-only (1980, Ladelled Music)
  • Gaining Momentum cassette-only (1981, In Phaze Records)
  • Private Illusions No 1 cassette-only (1981, In Phaze Records)
  • With Mixed Emotion cassette-only (1982, In Phaze Records)
  • I Staggered Mentally (1982, In Phaze Records)
  • Shot in the Belly cassette-only (1983, Third Mind Records)
  • ..Step Forward (1984, Illuminated Records)
  • Psycho-Bod Saves the World (1986, Dead Man's Curve)
  • Wellcome (2004, self-released)
  • Dissolve (2004, Catalyst)
  • Filthy White Guy (2006, self-released)
  • Onion Jack IV (2007, self-released)
  • Slug (2008, self-released)
  • Violently Alive (2010, Sigsaly Transmissions)
  • Pure Form (2012, Other Sounds)
  • Unrest in the Grime (2014, Minimal Maximal)


  • "Across the Fence" flexi-disc (1981, In Phaze Records)
  • "Raise the Pulse" 7"/12" (1982, Illuminated Records)
  • "Rough Justice" 12" (1984, Illuminated Records)
  • "Go-Talk" 12" (1984, Illuminated Records))
  • "The Great Divide" 7"/12" (1985, Rhythmic Records)


  • Dining on the Fresh cassette-only (1981, In Phaze Records)
  • Surface and Be Seen 12" (1982, In Phaze Records)
  • Hit the Pulse 12" (1983, In Phaze Records)
  • Purge 12" (1986, Dead Man's Curve)
  • Code 11 digital (2003, self-released)
  • Stansted 7"/CD (2005, self-released)

Live albums[edit]

  • Assault (1986, For All and None)
  • Live in Europe (Spain⦁UK⦁Sweden) (1987, Big Noise in Archgate)
  • Live Granada 1985 (2014, Wet Dreams)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Simulate Sensual (1983, In Phaze Records)
  • The Man Who Did Backwards Somersaults (1994, T.E.Q. Music?)
  • Archive (2006, self-released)
  • Solar Enemy vs. Portion Control (2008, Bastet Recordings)
  • Crop (2009, Sigsaly Transmissions)
  • Progress Report 1980-1983 (2010, Vinyl-on-demand)
  • Progress Report 1982-1986 (2015, Vinyl-on-demand)


  1. ^ a b Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music by S. Alexander Reed
  2. ^ "Variegated Menace". Timesquotidian.com. 9 January 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  3. ^ http://louderthanwar.com/portion-control-pure-form-album-review/
  4. ^ a b c https://www.discogs.com/artist/26168-Portion-Control
  5. ^ BBC John Peel Sessions - Portion Control. Retrieved 4 November 2006.

External links[edit]