List of post-industrial music genres and related fusion genres

List of post-industrial music genres and related fusion genres

The term Industrial music was first used in the mid-1970s to describe the then-unique sound of the Industrial Records label artists, a wide variety of labels and artists have since come to be called "Industrial".

There is much disagreement between members of the industrial music scene as to how to categorize the different artists and bands into different subgenres. There is also much disagreement regarding the current state of industrial.

The Industrial movement (1975-1981)

Industrial began as an intellectual movement to challenge the idea of what music can be. The first wave of industrial musicians began performing in the mid-seventies. There are still a number of artists who create music in a fashion very similar to the original philosophies of Industrial Records. These genres all stem directly from industrial.

Popularized by Industrial Records, this sound first defined the term "industrial", but bears little resemblance to what is often called industrial music today. By modern standards, most of this would better be described as experimental music with a noisy bent. Featuring tape loops, cut-ups, vocal and instrumental experimentation, this first incarnation of industrial music would be considered very difficult listening for many of those familiar with modern industrial, but was widely considered to be the defining sound of industrial in the 70s. In contrast to the modern crop of EBM/synthpop styled music now passing under the banner, it tended to be abrasive and confrontational, its philosophy frequently involving a willingness to shock its audience into questioning their definitions of music, among other things.

: Artists: Throbbing Gristle, Coil, SPK, Einstürzende Neubauten,Cabaret Voltaire, NON: Labels: Industrial Records, Mute Records, Sterile Records.

Post-industrial developments

Power electronics

Power electronics was originally coined by William Bennett as part of the sleevenotes to the Whitehouse album Psychopathia Sexualis, and is related to the early industrial records scene but later became more identified with the noise music scene. It largely 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. Deeply atonal, there are no conventional melodies or rhythms in power electronics. : Artists: Whitehouse, Consumer Electronics, Sutcliffe Jügend, Genocide Organ, The Grey Wolves: Labels: Come Organisation (UK), Broken Flag (UK), Freak Animal (Fin). Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine (USA) (Issue #13)

Harsh noise


Martial industrial

Martial industrial, also known as "military pop", is a music genre originating in the early and mid-1980s with the music of Laibach and In the Nursery. It often borrows musically from classical music, neofolk, neoclassical, traditional European marches and from elements of industrial and dark ambient.: Artists: Allerseelen, Blood Axis, Death In June, Der Blutharsch, Laibach, Puissance, Von Thronstahl, Wappenbund


Neofolk originates from esoteric music circles who started using the term in the late 20th Century to describe music influenced by musicians such as Douglas Pearce of Death In June, Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus and David Tibet of Current 93 who had collaborated heavily for a period of time. These musicians were part of a post-industrial music circle who later on incorporated folk music based upon traditional and European elements into their sound.: Artists: Death In June, Sol Invictus, Current 93, , Changes: Labels: World Serpent Distribution, Tesco Organisation

Fusion genres

Electronic body music

EBM (short for "electronic body music") was coined by Ralf Hütter of the German electronic band Kraftwerk in 1978 to explain the more physical sound of their album The Man-Machine.(2007-11-25) "Klein, MJ" [ WSKU Radio (Kent - Ohio) - Ralf Hütter - 19/06/1978] (retrieved on 2008-01-28)] The term was later used in its current sense by Belgian band Front 242 in 1984 to describe the music of their EP No Comment, released in the same year.(2004-06-20) "Monsoon, Jon" [ EBM - A revolution in progress] (retrieved on 2007-08-03)] It denotes a certain type of danceable electronic music, a mixture of electropunk and industrial music. EBM beats are typically 4/4, often with some minor syncopation to suggest a "rock" rhythm. Heavy synths are usually prominent, and the vocals are often militaristic. This style was widely considered to be the defining sound of industrial in the 80s. In recent years, however, there has been somewhat of a schism within the EBM scene, and it is now not uncommon to hear electro-industrial and futurepop artists referred to as EBM. For this reason, many EBM fans have begun to refer to this earlier style as "old-school EBM". : Artists: Armageddon Dildos, A Split-Second, Bigod 20, D.A.F., Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, Spetsnaz, The Weathermen: Labels: Play It Again Sam (Belgium), Antler Records (Belgium), Wax Trax (USA), Zoth Ommog (Belgium)

Industrial rock

With its roots in American rock music, Industrial-Rock fused rock sensibilities with the hardness of industrial dance. Known for their live performances, studio releases by these acts often employed rotating and shared lineups due to the frequency of improv and jam sessions. Much of this style's musical output was very aggressive, with confrontational lyrics and samples. This aesthetic was furthered by the larger-than-life stage presence of many acts, which often involved costumes, pyrotechnics, elaborate sets, and horror-inspired makeup.: Artists: Ministry, Big Black, Godflesh, Young Gods, Pigface, KMFDM, The Genitorturers, Nine Inch Nails, Chemlab, Intricate Unit, 16 Volt, Acumen Nation, Hate Dept., Out Out, Sweat Engine, Iron Lung Corp., Cyanotic: Labels: Wax Trax! (USA), Invisible Records (USA), Re-Constriction Records (USA), Fifth Colvmn Records (USA). If It Moves (USA).


Electro-Industrial is a typical 1990s movement. Whereas EBM was generally straightforward in structure and production, electro-industrial became known for its deep, layered sound. Typically this is a darker form of EBM, however this can often refer to acts that combine EBM with another subgenre (for example Haujobb, who combine EBM with IDM).: Artists: Aghast View, Feindflug, Front Line Assembly, Haujobb, Klinik, Numb, Recently Deceased, Skinny Puppy, Suicide Commando, : Labels: Off Beat (Germany), Zoth Ommog Records (Germany), 21st Circuitry (USA), Pendragon (USA), Metropolis Records (USA).


Aggrotech is an evolution of electro-industrial and dark electro with a strong influence of techno music that first surfaced in the mid-1990s, but has been revitalized in recent years. Also referred to as "Hellektro" and "Terror EBM", its sound is typified by somewhat harsh song structures, aggressive beats and lyrics of a militant, pessimistic or explicit nature. Typically, the vocals are distorted to sound hoarse, harsh and without tone. Artists also frequently use atonal melodic structures.Fact|date=December 2007

: Artists: Aghast View, Aesthetic Perfection, Amduscia, Agonoize, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor, Combichrist, Hocico, Virtual Embrace, Tactical Sekt, Funker Vogt, Grendel, Aslan Faction, Tamtrum, Feindflug, Cenobita, Dawn Of Ashes, Suicide Commando, Vigilante, X-Fusion, Wumpscut, Cruciform Injection: Labels: NoiTekk (Germany) Out of Line Music (Germany)

Power noise

Power noise (also known as rhythmic noise) takes its inspiration from some of the more structured and distorted early industrial acts, such as Esplendor Geométrico. There are also certain techno and technoid influences. The term "power noise" was originally coined by Raoul Roucka, who records as Noisex. Typically, power noise is based upon a distorted kick drum from a drum machine such as a Roland TR-909, uses militaristic 4/4 beats, and is usually instrumental. Sometimes a melodic component is added, but this is almost always secondary to the rhythm. Power noise tracks are typically structured and danceable, but are known to be occasionally abstract. This genre is showcased at the annual Maschinenfest festival in Krefeld, Germany, as well as at Infest in Bradford, UK.: Artists: Winterkälte, Imminent Starvation, Axiome, Converter, Greyhound, Terrorfakt, Pneumatic Detach: Labels: Ant-Zen (Germany), Hands Productions (Germany):: Media:Converter-DeathTime-Sample.ogg|Sample of "Death Time" by Converter


Technoid acts take inspiration from IDM, experimental techno and noise music. The end result is usually diverse IDM-influenced rhythms with varying levels of noise and industrial influence. Artists will often use non-conventional sounds within their music, such as field recordings of natural phenomena, dated 8-bit electronic equipment, or samples from artists of a wildly different genre. It is not uncommon for two albums by the same artist to have drastically different sounds and structures, resulting in a number of acts that have evolved a great distance from where they were only years ago. German label Hymen Records is largely responsible for the term and the style.: Artists: Gridlock, Black Lung, Somatic Responses, Xingu Hill: Labels: Hymen (Germany), Mirex (Germany), <UNIT> (USA)

ee also

* Noise music
* Alternative electronic
* Post-industrial (music)
* Schaffel beat


Further reading

*John Cage, "The Future of Music: Credo" (1937) in "Silence: Lectures and Writings" (1973) by John Cage, Wesleyan University Press []
*Henry Cowell "The Joys of Noise" in "Audio Culture. Readings in Modern Music", C. Cox & D. Warner (eds), pp. 22- 24, Continuum, New York
*Alec Foege. "Confusion is Next: The Sonic Youth Story" (1994) New York: St. Martin’s Press
*Thomas J. Harrison, "1910, the Emancipation of Dissonance" (1996) Berkeley: University of California Press
*Paul Hegarty, "Full With Noise: Theory and Japanese Noise Music", pp. 86-98 in "Life in the Wires" (2004) eds. Arthur Kroker & Marilouise Kroker, NWP Ctheory Books, Victoria, Canada
*Paul Hegarty, "Noise/Music: A History" (2007) Continuum International Publishing Group
*Douglas Kahn, "Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts" (1999) MIT Press
*Brandon LaBelle, "Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art" (2006) New York and London: Continuum International Publishing
*Dan Lander and Lexier Micah, (eds.) "Sound by Artists" (1990) Toronto: Art Metropole/Walter Phillips Gallery
*Alan Licht, "Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories" (2007) New York: Rizzoli
*Thurston Moore, "Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture" (2004) Universe
*Joseph Nechvatal, "Towards a Sound Ecstatic Electronica" (2000) The Thing []
*Amanda Petrusich, [] Pitchfork net Lou Reed Interview
*Jim Samson, "Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900–1920" (1977) New York: W.W. Norton & Company
*Piero Scaruffi, "Japanese Noise-Core" (2003) []
*James Tenney, "A History of "Consonance" and "Dissonance" (1988) White Plains, NY: Excelsior; New York: Gordon and Breach
*Brett Woodward (ed.), "Merzbook: The Pleasuredome of Noise" (1999) Melbourne, Cologne: Extreme

External links

* [ Heathen Harvest] - Illuminating The Post-Industrial & Noise Underground
* [ alphamanbeast's noise directory] An information base with literally hundreds of links to artists and labels of the broader noise music genre, as well as miscellaneous related resources.
* [ Insurgent Inc]
* [ Paganik Radio]
* [] The Birth of Experimental Music (pop music/experimental)

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