Industrial Revolution: Second Edition

Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan “industrial music for industrial people”. In general, the style is harsh and challenging. The Allmusic website defines industrial as the “most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music”; “initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation”.[1]

The first industrial artists experimented with noise and aesthetically controversial topics, musically and visually, such as fascism, serial killers and the occult. Their production was not limited to music, but included mail art, performance art, installation pieces and other art forms.[2] Prominent industrial musicians include Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Boyd Rice, Cabaret Voltaire, and Z’EV.[2] The precursors that influenced the development of the genre included acts such as electronic group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, composers such as John Cage, writers such as William S. Burroughs, and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche.

While the term was initially self-applied by a small coterie of groups and individuals associated with Industrial Records in the 1970s, it broadened to include artists influenced by the original movement or using an “industrial” aesthetic.[3] These artists expanded the genre by pushing it into noisier and more electronic directions. Over time, its influence spread into and blended with styles including folk, ambient, and rock, all of which fell under the post-industrial music label. The most notable hybrid genres were industrial rock and industrial metal, which include bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, both of which released platinum-selling albums in the 1990s. Those two genres are often referred to as simply industrial.

Disc One:

Feurio/Remix [Einstenzende Neubauten]—-Although this track is all in German, this iconic band delivers a great mix of electronic aggressive dance sounds. Staying true to the Industrial movement, many of the underlying sounds on the song are aggressive and sometimes irritating, but manages to come off remarkably well. this is triumphant…one of my favorite German bands.

Winnebago Industrial Tapeworm/Remix [Pigface]—-Pigface is one of those Industrial Supergroups that involves a revolving cast of characters. In the past, the band has sported members from Ministry, KMFDM and Trent Reznor himself as well as My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. This release is super aggressive…the noises and abrasive sounds are all over the place. This is not really a favorite of mine, the saving grace is the huge bass line and the Jorgensen styled vocals that are put at the very back of the mix. This is nice…heavy and aggressive but at times a bit overblown.

Mr. 44 [Electric Hellfire Club]—-This has some nice soundbites as the intro and delivers the type of Industrial Dance you find from KMFDM or My Like With The Thrill Kill Kult. There is some nice airy ambience and the soundbites continue…giving the song an interesting and unique sound. I really rather like this…the synth line is driving and the bass is right in you face. This is superb and what Industrial was supposed to sound like.

Dig It [Skinny Puppy]—-Perhaps one of the most experimental of the Industrial Bands to emerge in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Skinny Puppy is back together and recording again…recently delivering the excellent Mythmaker. This has just enough noise to be interesting and just enough sound effects to really keep your attention. The vocal is convoluted and foreign…almost un-understandable at times…none the less, this is excellent. One of my favorite bands!!!

Succumber/Remix [Spahn Ranch]—-Coming alive with hyper driven machine sounds and great spoken word sound bites, this is another of my really favorite bands from this genre of music. This is so danceable that you sometimes forget it falls under this catagory…until you hear the magnificent machine distorted vocal that inspires anger and energy. This is magnificent!

Desert Storm/Remix [Klute]—-Driving with huge bass riffs and a noise that sounds like a hundred massive machines all running at the dame time, the vocal enters and you literally find yourself in the middle of war. The energy in this track is phenomenal and the sudden insertion of clean vocal words literally catch you off guard. This is so huge and noisy…you want to scream and break things…roll around on the floor and join every one else in their nervous breakdown. Phenomenal!

Codeine, Glue And You [Chemlab]—-Almost bordering on Industrial Muzak compared to some of the other things on this compilation, this band delivers music that is almost out of the realm of Industrial ideals. This is really nice when the chorus kicks in…if you heard this you would know it in a moment. this has some nice high points, but this is a bit mainstream for the genre.

Third Uncle [Brian Eno]—-Eno has seemed to have his hand in every crucial music innovation ever, so it is only appropriate that he is included on this compilation. this is rather odd and generic, the song sounds more ska influenced than Industrial, but I take it as it is. Eno has always been a huge innovator and conscience producer. For me though, this falls a bit flat!!!

Death To Censorship [Psychopomps]—-Beginning rather quiet, the silence is broken by huge squealing machines and a slow pounding bass line. the vocal is distorted and machine fed…sounding so much like Ministry I had to look twice at the song listing. This is angry, aggressive and just what this genre demands…music with a message and purpose…meant to provoke thought and energy. Magnificent.

In Penetration [Controlled Bleeding]—-One of my favorite bands ever, this song is full of the trademark sounds of Bleeding. the melody that runs through the underbelly of the song is incfredible…despite all of the noise going on you never lose that melody line. the vocal is so far back in the mix, you only catch bits and pieces…but the machine synths are so heavy and pounding you could move to this all night long. This is a masterpiece!!!

Division [Digital Poodle]—-This is awesome…I had forgotten about this song. Full of militaristic styled vocals, the music id driving and the voice comes at you more like orders than suggestions. The energy is phenomenal….even though the vocal is , as usual, pushed to the back of the song, you still catch the lyrics and fall into the general mood of the song as it calls for social disorder and chaos. Fantastic!

Figure Q-42 [Lab Report]—-Beginning rather quiet with slowly escalating machine noises and chaos, your brain suffers as you almost go crazy waiting for something to break loose and form an actual song. This never really happens, this has a noisy ambience that leaves you a bit disappointed. Where is the energy and the noise?

Disc Two:

Mindphaser/Remix [Front Line Assembly]—-Front line, for me, has always travelled in that fine line of Industrial and Dance…often confusing what they were aiming to be, This is magnificent…conataing all of the elements of great Industrial music that fits in perfect in the dark basement bars that cater to the darker crowds of individuals that eat this stuff up. This is emotional and aggressive, pleasant yet abrasive….danceable yet provoking indifference….incredible!!!

Reconciled/Remix [Penal Colony]—-Heavily synthesized and full of blips and bleeps, the vocal is an almost spoken word that tends to get on your nerves a bit…by the end of the first minute, the song really opens up and becomes a noise fest that literally takes over your entire brain. This is fantastic…I could do without the vocal, but the noise this band produces is fantastic!

United ’94 [Psychic TV]—-born out of the ashes of Throbbing Gristle and the genius of Genesis P-Orridge, this is a favorite song of mine that never gets old…even though it loses much of the progress that Throbbing Gristle made with the innovation of Industrial music. If anyone can be credited with the emergence of this genre, than it would be Genesis. This is brilliant, genius and timeless!!!

Shockneck [Pressurehed]—-Beginning right out the gate with abrasive and neck twisting energy, the vocal is a bit less than desirable. You have to overlook the lackluster vocal simply because the music to this track is so damn incredible…this is driving..almost pummeling…inspiring you to break things, rebel and otherwise be socially unacceptable. Magnificent!

Friendly Faction [Consolidated]—-With a nice progressing bass beat and some masterful spoken word soundbites, this almost defines the type of Industrial Music that I love. This is a lesson in the destruction of the human race…what we have created and questioning how we might possibly save ourselves. This is fantastic.

Walking In The Sky  [Nik Turner]—-This begins a bit to ambient for me to really consider this Industrial. although the beats pick up a bit, the mood is still a little too mainstream and lacks aggression that is necessary to allow this to play really well to an ‘Industrialized’ crowd. Not bad, but really not my thing.

Gubert Einer Nation [Laibach]—-Long a favorite band of mine, this is perhaps one of the bands best known and most accessible tracks. I love this band!!! This has huge synth lines, a masterful melody and a pure German Neo-feel to it. The vocal is dark and gruff…oipening the highway for bands like Rammstein to become huge. This is a masterpiece of a song…I love the bitterness of the language and the huge overblown music. This is brilliant!!!

In And Out/Remix [Executive Slacks]—-Full of all kinds of scratching and DJ manipulations, this song comes across as literally huge. I love this shit…the bass beat is incredible and the synth lines that run through the song makes me almost fall in love. The vocal enters and is delivered a s a staccato hit nd miss kind of thing…just alowing you to lose yourself in the incredible bass of the song. this is fantastic…a tour de force of noise….magnificent!

Antius [Laetherneck]—-With huge driving synth lines, this is fantastic. This has a perfect mix of energy and great vocals all coming together to capture a moment in time. this has always been a favorite track of mine…I love the chorus…this is huge, contagious and remarkable catchy. Incredible……wow…what memories.

Metal On Metal [THD]—-Heavily sampling Kraftwerk, this is brilliant! The familiar strains run through the entire song…only beefing up the more ‘metallic’ sounds of the song. This is a brilliant reworking of a classic song that NEVER gets old. Masterful!!!

Matrix [Test Dept.]—-Full of heavy bass lines and remarkable synth effects, this song falls perfectly in with the rest if this compilation. At times the vocal appears to be almost whispered…it is that removed. I love this stuff…..this has started a whole new revelation with me…reminding me how much i related to this genre of music…although I have moved away from this…much more involved in the Black metal scene at the moment, this really is a pretty close cousin. I have always said that you could not have one type of music without the other…this remains true with this as well.

The Legacy [?]—-I seem to be missing the artist from my song listing…help me out guys? This is nice…huge and bombastic…full of soundbites of Margret Thatcher…this borders on pure mayhem and mass hysteria. This is brilliant…damn…who did this song?

****1/2 out of 5


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