If you really want to upset an alternative electronic musician, one of the easiest ways to do so is to tell them their music is/isn’t Industrial. There’s an odd stigma attached to the description in some circles, even as the stark, throbbing percussion and dark tones much identified with it are seeing a resurgence in more mainstream techno clubs and beyond…
I’m not sure such a genre even exists any more, given that bands as acts as diverse as Throbbing Gristle, Helena Hauff and Ministry get the label attached to them, despite being musically very dissimilar other than their reliance on a heavy, primal beat.
The end result is that no one will probably ever agree on what is or isn’t Industrial. Life would be boring though if we agreed on things, eh?
Tony Iommi says that originally Black Sabbath considered describing their sound as Industrial, influenced as it was by the sounds, rhythms and noise of the factories around them in the Black Country – similar to what fed in to TG’s pioneering sound, first in Hull before flowering later in the East End in London.
Ultimately, Iommi and co. settled on Heavy Metal as a useful tag on which to hang the sound – if not, musical history could have been very different – Hair Industrial anyone?
I can imagine some people will be annoyed or incredulous at some of the tracks included here, as well as some of the omissions. For me at least, the boundaries between EBM, techno and Industrial are fairly fluid, others would disagree.
It’s mainly bands I like and that I regard as falling under the widest definition of Industrial. And as for Chakk? I included them as they are vastly underrated.