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Industrial music

 This article is part of the
Electronic music series.
 Electronic art music
 Musique concrete
 Industrial music
 Synth pop
 Techno music
 House music
 Trance music
 Drum and bass

Industrial music is a term that describes a wide range of music, generally mixing rock with samplers and electronic instruments.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Notable industrial music artists


Industrial music grew as an offshoot of electronic music known as musique concrete, which was made by manipulating cut sections of recording tape, and adding very early sound output from analog electronics devices. The term Industrial Music was originally coined by Monte Cazazza as the strapline for the record label Industrial Records, founded by British art-provocateurs Throbbing Gristle. These original artists have very little musical connection with modern "industrial music". Although contemporary to punk rock in the mid-to-late 1970s such as the Sex Pistols, industrial music was more hard hitting and thought-provoking and less easy to swallow (being basically noise music).

The term was meant by its creators to evoke the idea of music created for a new generation of people, previous music being more agricultural.

First wave of industrial music

The first wave of this music appeared in the late 1970s in the UK with bands like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and SPK. Blending electronic synthesisers, guitars and early samplers, these bands created an aggressive and abrasive music fusing elements of rock with experimental electronic music. Like their punk cousins, they enjoyed the use of shock-tactics including explicit lyrical content, graphic art and Fascist imagery. The label Industrial Records controversially used an image of a gas chamber as its logo.

Later, across the Atlantic, similar experiments were soon to take place. Boyd Rice (aka NON) released several albums of noise music, with guitar drones and tape loops creating a cacophony of repetitive sounds. In San Francisco, performance artist Monte Cazazza began releasing albums of atonal rock. In Germany Einstürzende Neubauten were performing daring acts, mixing metal percussion, guitars and even jackhammers in elaborate stage performances that often damaged the venues they were playing.

In the early 1980s, advances in sampling technology and the popularity of synthesised new wave music bought some industrial musicians greater exposure. As much as some new wave bands were informed by the experiments of the industrial bands, the original industrial groups also began to refine their sound. Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle experimented with dance beats, and the Cab's (as they were known by fans) album The Crackdown (1983) was released on Virgin Records to some success.

Industrial rock

In the 1980s the more experimental side of industrial music became subsumed into dance and rock music. Psychic TV, formed from the remnants of Throbbing Gristle, released early albums of Acid House music, such as Jack The Tab (1988). In North America, bands such as Skinny Puppy and Ministry mixed shock-rock performances with electronic samples and heavy metal guitars to create a genre often referred to as "industrial rock". Other notable artists in this genre enjoyed widespread mainstream success in the 1990s, including but not limited to Front Line Assembly, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Fear Factory.

Modern industrial music is generally sequenced, making heavy use of FM & digital synths. It is characterized by a deadened snare drum sample and a heavy bass drum sample to a rock or techno beat. Vocals are often distorted and can feature tortured lyrics. The auto-arpeggiate feature of modern synthesizers is used often, to create complex sounding multiple simultaneous arpeggiations from multiple synthesizers which are synchronized with drum machines via MIDI. Reliance on heavy distortion pioneered by heavy metal also typifies the genre. Contemporary industrial music tends to be, but not exclusively, club-oriented

Notable industrial music artists

See: List of industrial music artists

See also: No Wave