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May 18, 2012 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Ad·ver·sary responds to sexism and racism in industrial music: We Demand Better.

Industrial bands Ad·ver·sary + Antigen Shift included this special video at the end of their set at the Kinetik 5.0 festival in response to Nachtmahr and Combichrist, who were also performing there.
posted by Theta States (62 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 


Wait a minute... Industrial music is still a thing?
posted by smackwich at 11:52 AM on May 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


A member of Ad.ver.sary is a mefite.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:53 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Very well-said. Also, I'm surprised that industrial music has a sexism and racism problem now. Guys in mesh shirts spouting rednecky epithets and making T&A videos? Woulda never thunk it.
posted by ignignokt at 11:54 AM on May 18, 2012


Also, that video is NSFW. Just FYI.
posted by kbanas at 11:57 AM on May 18, 2012


Neat! Also, Combichrist sort of stinks in general!
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:58 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, I came across this the other day, and it made 100% of my day:

This is a little routine that goes through my head at certain shows.

WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!

“Industrial Music Sir!”

INDUSTRIAL MUSIC?! YOU CALL THAT INDUSTRIAL?! SON THE BEST PART OF YOUR ACT SOUNDED LIKE BRITTNEY SPEARS SLOWED DOWN 400%! WHAT IS YOUR NAME PRIVATE?

“Decrepit Irradiation Sir!”

DECREPIT IRRADIATION? THAT’S THE KIND OF NAME PUSSY-ASS METAL BOYS WHO JERK OFF TO YNGWIE MALMSTEEN SOLOS WOULD USE. DO YOU JERK OFF TO YNGWIE MALMSTEEN SOLOS PRIVATE?

“Sir No Sir!”

WELL YOU SURE AS SHIT BEEN BEATING YOUR MEAT TO SOMETHING CAUSE YOU GOT NO SPUNK LEFT. YOU ARE NOT EVEN WORTH OF A PUSSY-ASS METAL NAME. YOUR NAME FROM NOW ON IS PRIVATE KEINE EIER! DO YOU KNOW WHAT KEINE EIER MEANS?

“Sir No Sir!”

OF COURSE YOU DON’T, BECAUSE YOU DON’T SPEAK ANY GERMAN! HELL, I BET YOU NEVER EVEN READ ANY EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN LINER NOTES! BUT I WILL TELL YOU! KEINE EIER MEANS “NO BALLS”! BECAUSE YOUR MUSIC HASN’T GOT ANY! SAY THANK YOU FOR YOUR NEW NAME, PRIVATE KEINE EIER!

“Sir Thank You Sir!”

YOU ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE SPAT ON BY MONTE CAZZAZZA MAGGOT! SAY THANK YOU LIKE A REAL INDUSTRIAL MUSICIAN PRIVATE KEINE EIER!

“Sir Danke Schoen Sir!”

WHAT IS THAT?! WHAT IN THE SHIT IS THAT?! IS THAT A GODDAMN STROBE LIGHT?!

“Sir Yes Sir!”

WELL ISN’T THAT CUTE. DID YOU BRING ENOUGH STROBE LIGHTS FOR EVERYONE PRIVATE KEINE EIER?!

“Sir No Sir!”

OF COURSE NOT, BECAUSE YOU ARE THE KIND OF PASTY FACED DAVID TIBET WORSHIPING SHITBAG WHO THINKS THAT A SINGLE STROBE LIGHT FLASHING AT 2HZ IS A LIGHT SHOW. I WILL ENLIGHTEN YOU, PRIVATE KEINE EIER, IT IS NOT A LIGHT SHOW IT IS A GODDAMN PSEUDO FASCIST CIRCLE JERK JUST LIKE YOUR SAMPLE OF JONESTOWN IS! YOU GET UP HERE AND PLAY A SINGLE LOOP THROUGH DISTORTION FOR 10 MINUTES WEARING A GODDAMN GAS MASK IN A VAGUE EVOCATION OF CONTROL SYSTEMS AND EXPECT US TO GIVE A FLYING FUCK! WHAT IS YOUR NAME PRIVATE?!

“Private Keine Eier Sir!”

IS YOUR NAME CHRIS CARTER?!

“Sir No Sir!”

IS YOUR NAME F.M. EINHEIT?

“Sir No Sir!”

IS YOUR NAME GENESIS GOD DAMN P-ORRIDGE?

“Sir No Sir!”

THEN YOU CANNOT GET AWAY WITH THIS HALF-ASSED SHIT! GET THE HELL OFF OF MY STAGE!!!

NOW, FOR THE REST OF YOU MAGGOTS, PRIVATE KEINE EIER HAS EARNED YOU ALL A LESSON. REPEAT AFTER ME! “THIS IS MY ACCESS VIRUS! THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT, BUT THIS ONE IS MINE!”
posted by mhoye at 12:03 PM on May 18, 2012 [54 favorites]


Yes! PowerPoint presentations shaming people who try transgressive art with no brains in their heads are APPROVED!!
posted by SharkParty at 12:06 PM on May 18, 2012


Speaking of actual transgressive art: remember how awesome Skinny Puppy's "Spasmolytic" [NSFW] was? Low-fi cheesy grubby scary awesome.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:11 PM on May 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


In Chicago at least, a couple of the big punk and industrial night spots started out as gay clubs. When industrial music first started, it was a weird combination of the LGBT community co-opting fascist imagery and straight kids adopting leather culture. It's no wonder young people drawn to more recently are confused. I wonder what they make of Wax Trax! releasing the first Divine record.
posted by hyperizer at 12:15 PM on May 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ah, man..."Sarge" just nailed my dark ambient stage show to a fucking T.
posted by malocchio at 12:21 PM on May 18, 2012


This is always a tough one. I mean, in one of the interviews of one of the bands being criticized, the band member describes what he's doing is playing a character. So you have this soup of people playing dress up because "ooo, scary nazis, obviously violence against women is wrong isn't it titillating?" versus the people who are actually doing it under complete seriousness. The nazis might have a whole bunch of vile ideology tied up with them, but they're also a sort of cultural punchline, and all the Hugo Boss tailoring and menacing pins amounts just as much to putting on a mask with fangs and going 'Grrrrrrr!' It looks silly.

I'm really not happy with a culture that doesn't separate exciting (but bad) ideas from their non-consensual application to other people, among many things because people who play (fictional) bad guys are as necessary as people with hero fantasies, but I sometimes wonder if it would kill anyone creating any sort of artistic product to include a sticker/liner note/legal boiler plate version of "no animals were harmed in the making of this film" like "Keep ideologies out of cultural norms, actually we think X".

It works on kinky porn, if you want to write an unrealistic, unsafe story; to intro with a sort of warning notice that actually keeping a non-consenting human as a love slave is a stupid idea.
posted by Phalene at 12:33 PM on May 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh cool, this is here! I just shared this on FB, which I found Here along with an interview from Jarius of Ad-ver-sary. Here's what I wrote to go along with it:
I never listened to Ad-Ver-Sary, but maybe I should start.

I'm not going to highroad here and pretend like I don't listen to a great deal of music with pretty awful lyrics and imagery, (across several genres not limited to industrial) but Combichrist is the most embarrassing thing to come from this 'genre' since Manson, and the surging popularity of it amongst my 'peers' is downright disheartening.

I will say that after reading the article, I respect Andy's reflection, that while he wrote CC's songs as from the viewpoint of the "character" of CC, that he sees the effect it's having on people, it's tired, and unhealthy, and is trying to move away from it in the future (though I still find their music and associated bands/styles/too many of their fans/etc. to be a reflection of a much more disturbing trend: watching my "peers" turn into the same kind of callous bullies and tough-guy shitheads that we all came to these clubs and flocked to this music to get away from.) Frankly, I'd like to see the whole thing go the way of Skrewdriver; I'm not above trolling or offensive lyrics/imagery, but I'm 30, this kind of "Fuck you mom, I'm OFFENSIVE!! LOL" is tired and unnecessary.

Predictably, at the very end, Thomas Rainer comes across as a petulant shit. It's a shame seeing such fucking garbage coming from someone who was part of one L'ame Immortelle, one of my favorite female-fronted G/I bands, because I guess you have to lean pretty hard on the "bitch-slappin' militaristic badass" persona to overcompensate for being the emo guy in a goth band. Fortunately I have little trouble abstaining from buying Nachtmahr records, as they're fucking terrible all on their own.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:34 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


That should have read "drawn to it."
posted by hyperizer at 12:39 PM on May 18, 2012


Hi everyone!
In Chicago at least, a couple of the big punk and industrial night spots started out as gay clubs. When industrial music first started, it was a weird combination of the LGBT community co-opting fascist imagery and straight kids adopting leather culture. It's no wonder young people drawn to more recently are confused. I wonder what they make of Wax Trax! releasing the first Divine record.
I wonder what they think of Genesis P-Orridge's transformation into a pandrogynous gender-fuck.
posted by Jairus at 12:41 PM on May 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Your favorite band is misogynist. :-)

I actually like some of what Combichrist has put together, but I totally agree about some of the negative misogynist crap mixed in with it. Fortunately, not all of their output is that negative. I don't find combichrist nearly as bad as gansta rap, because it's more clearly divorced from reality, but I can see them going there really damn quickly in some of their songs. So that *does* makes me wary.

But it's like any other band, you take what you like and decide whether you can stand the rest. I don't take the imagery or the music too seriously. I find old and new electronic music "performances" tedious and unnecessary and the videos pretentious, but I like the sounds.

This, unfortunately, will probably end up as another talking point for the snobbish crowd to criticize popular music they are too insecure to appreciate, rather than as a real point to be made about the subject matter. Even the presentation decided to characterize all of combichrist's music as formulaic bullshit, which is rich from yet another industrial band. It's a genre, deal with it.
posted by smidgen at 12:43 PM on May 18, 2012


Even the presentation decided to characterize all of combichrist's music as formulaic bullshit, which is rich from yet another industrial band.
What I said in the video was 'reject formulaic bullshit'. If you think I was referring to the entirety of Combi's discography, that's on you, not me.
posted by Jairus at 12:47 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys in mesh shirts spouting rednecky epithets and making T&A videos?

Sounds kind of like the Revolting Cocks.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:50 PM on May 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Although I would like to think that Ministry would be have been above this sort of thing.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:51 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I said in the video was 'reject formulaic bullshit'. If you think I was referring to the entirety of Combi's discography, that's on you, not me.
No. You are the one on stage. You have the responsibility to make yourself clear. Perhaps you didn't get your point across clearly, but you cannot refer to "the two following acts" at the start and "reject formulaic bullshit" at the end and not have people draw that conclusion. Sorry.
posted by smidgen at 12:51 PM on May 18, 2012


Ah, this is a great thread, it reintroduced me to 1000 Homo DJs...
posted by KokuRyu at 12:53 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


No. You are the one on stage. You have the responsibility to make yourself clear. Perhaps you didn't get your point across clearly, but you cannot refer to "the two following acts" at the start and "reject formulaic bullshit" at the end and not have people draw that conclusion. Sorry.
The videos/lyrics I showed in the video are formulaic bullshit. At no point in the video did I characterize all of combichrist's music in any single way at all. I made a criticism of specific works, not of either artist's body of work, or even of the artists themselves. I spun Combichrist for years as a DJ before he got so heavy in the misogyny.
posted by Jairus at 12:56 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it is important for people inside of subcultures to speak up about racism, sexism, etc within those subcultures. Criticism from outside is too easy to ignore by appealing to the special snowflakiness of your own subculture. So I'll applaud Ad·ver·sary and Antigen Shift for doing this.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:15 PM on May 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is ... weird for me, because the first strong association between a band and a cause that I ever experienced was Skinny Puppy’s stance on animal exploitation. I was aware of artists getting together and singing songs about how, y'know, hunger in Africa is bad, but Skinny Puppy was the first band I ever knew to ardently and consistently really dig their heels in over a subject and hammer away at it.

From there to the Ministry/RevCo family of bands, and Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV, and Front242 and PWEI... my early industrial fandom pretty much implanted me with the idea that industrial musicians were forward-thinking technologists, generally anti-fascist, generally animal-rightsish, generally anti-capitalist, generally gender-bent and gender-exploratory and accepting and more all-round evolved than the general public.

All pasty white boys, true, but I never mapped that as "racist," just... there's a certain class and culture that results in young people with $500 keyboards in their basements trying to work out their problems with girls, and it tended to map onto sub/urban white kids fairly strongly.

So... whaaaaa? Can somebody catch me up on what... happened?
posted by Shepherd at 1:20 PM on May 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


So... whaaaaa? Can somebody catch me up on what... happened?

Wait, did you miss that whole "flirtation with fascist imagery" thing that kinda sorta existed for a short while?
posted by Theta States at 1:24 PM on May 18, 2012


Jairus, I think that what you have done here is amazing, it needed to be said. Thanks. The defense of violent sexism as "it's a character" I think is pretty weak - if the character being presented is a) convincing enough that the viewer can mistake it for your actual self, and b) is spouting an attitude that has the potential to be hurtful to so many people, then I think the artist has some responsability to clarify their moral position. Just stepping back and saying "well, I'm not going to do that character that much anymore" dosen't make it all better - there's still all that harmful material out there - if he is admitting that maybe it was wrong, I think he should try to make it right, and not just try to sweep it under the rug.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:27 PM on May 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I also like the "We Can Do Better/We Deserve Better/We Demand Better" formulation, because it seems to me that it is not saying "you guys are doing bad shit, shame on you" so much as "we are tolerating bad shit, shame on us; we, all, of us have a responsibility to fix this," which seems like as inclusive a way to call someone out as there is.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:28 PM on May 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


The videos/lyrics I showed in the video are formulaic bullshit. At no point in the video did I characterize all of combichrist's music in any single way at all.
You might actually believe this, but that is definitely not how it comes across. And I don't think it's all "on me". That's mainly what I was reacting to. I understand the form isn't going to allow for copious footnotes, but you really can't put it all on the audience like that -- it isn't honest. This is precisely the excuse Andy makes, for instance, for some of his audience treating his "character" as a model for behavior.

Anyway, I'm not interested in debating this further because it's is tangential, and minor, and I don't want to tear down the larger point with it. I hope people take the right message from it (although I'm worried that they won't). I appreciate you for doing this, and I largely agree with your intended point -- that the music in general doesn't need to go there and can do better.
posted by smidgen at 1:41 PM on May 18, 2012


I understand the form isn't going to allow for copious footnotes, but you really can't put it all on the audience like that -- it isn't honest. This is precisely the excuse Andy makes, for instance, for some of his audience treating his "character" as a model for behavior.
Right, and at the end of the day, I do agree with your earlier post: When you're on stage, it's your job to work to make it perfectly clear what the meaning is of what you're doing.
posted by Jairus at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2012


I like Andy as a person, more or less, and I still dig that first (mostly instrumental) Combichrist album. Also, I am friends with the guitarist for L'ame Immortelle (the "main" project of the guy behind Nachtmahr).

That said, I pretty much agree with Jairus here, and I think a lot of the latest examples of this kind of stuff ("Industrial cyber-sluts! Nazi whores!") is lazy, rather than transgressive. Although for some reason Uberbyte never gets mentioned, and I think they're the worst offenders and the least interesting, musically speaking (as I said, I like some of Combichrist's stuff, and I find Nachtmahr to be problematic at best, but certainly no worse than "average" as far as cranking out generic club tracks).
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:56 PM on May 18, 2012


Incidentally, how ridiculous is the thread about this on the Side-Line forums?

That's not a rhetorical question; I'm honestly asking. I can't really stomach that place anymore.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:11 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, Side-line forums. The trolliest troll-cave of trolldom for trolling trolls.

HOINH!!!!
posted by daq at 2:12 PM on May 18, 2012


I'd never noticed the sexism and racism in industrial before now. To be honest, I'd never really noticed anything but the beats because when I hear industrial I'm too busy waving my arms around and making shapes.

I'm impressed this is a FPP. Mostly because I'd always assumed that this kind of industrial music only really appealed to 15 or 16 people the world over.

Though to take anything in a Combichrist song seriously seems silly to me. I mean, look at their output. Its properly laughable goth pop music. I once read that Andy LaPlegua was from East Poland (which I think was a miss print) and remember thinking "is East Poland harder than West Poland?". Anyways, didn't Marilyn Manson already do all this?

Also infinitywaltz, I agree about Uberbyte. I like how they all wear the same coat as each other when they perform, as though Cyberdog had a sale.

For non industrial music fans, it should be noted that, from my observations, the whole genre basically brown noses Ronin from VNV Nation. Who really don't have sexist, racist or even aggressive lyrics. Going backstage at an industrial gig you hear lots of people telling you how well they know Ronin and about how Andy may or may not have shagged a transvestite in America once.

Big ups Dr T for taking me back stage and also apologies for no doubt embarrassing you infront of your peers
posted by 13twelve at 2:14 PM on May 18, 2012


Actually, I just went over the the side-line forums and they're nothing but spam now. I mean, like, hardcore, every post has been spammed hard. Someone forgot to patch their forum software and got sql jacked I think.
posted by daq at 2:15 PM on May 18, 2012


Wait, did you miss that whole "flirtation with fascist imagery" thing that kinda sorta existed for a short while?

The Industrial scene started as art house music that examined the evolving natures of power and control. It seems like it would be remiss if that art didn't try to address Facism-- and Facist imagery was a part of Industrial music more or less from the get-go. Front 242 and Laibach both come to my mind as acts that played that game pretty early. Hell, even the wikipedia article on industrial music mentions the importance of totalitarian imagery to industrial music.

Even bands that did not use facist or totalitarian imagery explicitly in their art were obviously aware of and participating in the same space. Once I was at an Einsturzende Neubauten show once, and there was an audience member that was making an ass of himself. Blixa Bargeld (singer/frontman for EN) stopped the show, and started calling out the guy for being an ass, and eventually proceeded to call out the crowd. I paraphrase, but not much: "The audience is responsible for itself, if someone can't act appropriately the audience should discipline him". I don't think it was meant in earnest, but there was something chilling about his implication, which I read as "I'm going to stop the show if this guy keeps being an ass and the audience doesn't beat him".
posted by elsp at 2:31 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The problem with ironically toying with controversial imagery is the risk that you'll succeed beyond your initial fan base, and your new fans (or the fans of the guys who follow you) won't get the ironic subtext.
posted by acb at 2:32 PM on May 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


How'd it go over with the mob?
posted by codswallop at 2:35 PM on May 18, 2012


I'm very glad to see this. It would be great if someone within the neofolk scene did the same thing. Sick of the juvenile flirtation with far right imagery around say Death in June. If you don't want people calling you nazis it might make sense not to use a totenkopf as your logo...
posted by spectrevsrector at 2:44 PM on May 18, 2012


If you don't want people calling you nazis it might make sense not to use a totenkopf as your logo...

The difference is that I'm pretty sure Death in June's Douglas P. doesn't seem to mind people calling him a Nazi all that much. It generates controversy, and if he gets picketed or his concerts get cancelled, he can play victim.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:54 PM on May 18, 2012


Wow, I haven't really tuned into the scene since the late 90s and was unaware that industrial music had drifted so far into Southern metal imagery with more makeup. This is some ugly shit! It's great to see other bands calling it out, rather than waiting for parents' groups to get upset.

And fyi---it is totally *not* the person on stage's obligation to be clear! It is the person on stage's obligation to communicate, but that's not the same thing at all.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:57 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once again, Jairus Khan: you are a thoughtful man and I enjoy your creative output.

ID:UD's follow-up with the artists was an interesting read. Andy is a bit more thoughtful in his response than Thomas is (maybe there is a 2nd language/ translation thing at play there). Sometimes you have enemies because you are repellent, or possibly play a repellent character. Which is not to say that AdVerSary set out to make enemies here. I think the position taken is one of encouraging thoughtfulness in consumption and creation, as the end of the presentation says.
posted by boo_radley at 4:08 PM on May 18, 2012


You might actually believe this, but that is definitely not how it comes across.

Nope. That's actually exactly how it came across for me; I've been a huge fan of Combichrist for many years, and to be quite honest, I'd never given a second thought to this sort of thing. I know the discography in question, and the video was absolutely properly sequestered in its statements as far as my internal dialogue went. But as you say, moving on...

I'm not so familiar with the other band, and am hesitant to judge too harshly from a position of such ignorance (context is hugely important when you're discussing transgressive art; whether this is actually transgressive art or not is not a debate I'm interested in), but I can definitely say the video clips elicited more than a minor sneer of disdain for me. When you compare that imagery/atmosphere with the campy absurdity of Manson, it becomes pretty clear who's doing it as a schtick and who might NOT be doing it as a schtick.

That said, it reminds me of a story I probably read here on Metafilter many years ago, about an industrial/whatever band that was becoming the victim of protests by Jewish anti-racism groups. The band was heavily wrapped up in militaristic/fascist imagery (I forget if they were actually nazi or just made up symbols) but made a point of constantly decrying and speaking against actual historical and contemporary racism and bigotry. THAT situation made me sad, whereas CC's "I'm just playing a character" thing seems like a huge bullshit copout to me.

Great post, and I'm going to seriously rethink constantly posting "Happy Fucking Birthday" on FaceBook every time someone's special day comes around. And anyway, I have this as a rather delightful substitute.
posted by GoingToShopping at 4:11 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks to a youtube comment, I now look forward to a cover of "Ketchup on Your Beets" being the first breakthrough industrial/childrens music crossover hit. Annoying and intentionally grating music for children to listen to is nothing new, but here is an opportunity to expand that aspect for sure.
posted by idiopath at 4:12 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


GoingToShopping: "The band was heavily wrapped up in militaristic/fascist imagery (I forget if they were actually nazi or just made up symbols) but made a point of constantly decrying and speaking against actual historical and contemporary racism and bigotry."

I'm not familiar with the exact story that you're talking about, but this was almost certainly Laibach.
posted by boo_radley at 4:16 PM on May 18, 2012


"What is this a rejection of?"

Uh, uh, let me guess... what the Norwegian political theorist Anders Breivik called “Cultural Marxism”. Am I right?

I wouldn't be surprised if the iPod Breivik wore whilst killing those kids had some Combichrist or Assemblage VNV or similar on it.
posted by acb at 5:44 PM on May 18, 2012


acb: "I wouldn't be surprised if the iPod Breivik wore whilst killing those kids had some Combichrist or Assemblage VNV or similar on it."

Clint Mansell's "Lux Aeterna", actually.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:51 PM on May 18, 2012


Nope. I googled it, and here you go: "Vocal elektronika (vocal trance) but also classical music and pop. Armin van Buuren, John O'Callaghan, Marcus Shossow with vocals like Audrey Gallagher, Emma Hewitt, Sarah Howells, Sheryl Dean, Helene Bøksle, Saga etc. I also appreciate classical music. Opera: Wagner, Verdi, Mozart"

Via. Nice try though. I don't think anyone is terribly surprised at the Wagner.
posted by GoingToShopping at 6:18 PM on May 18, 2012


(that was towards abc, btw, more here )
posted by GoingToShopping at 6:23 PM on May 18, 2012


Laibach used to be one of my favorites back in the day. They were the masters in terms of subverting Socialist Realism in their visuals, so much so that any other band should immediately stop with the fascist/communist imagery since they'll probably never even come close.

Back to the original topic, I listened to my fair share of idm and related in the early 90's but even then, there was just too much of this rigid "we've gotta be scary/harsh and we love serial killers, yay!" thing going on and after I heard my first Merzbow, which brought the noise and dropped the pretensions, I was over it. Digital Hardcore stuff from the late 90's was also a nice, quite noisy break. These days, when I'm the mood for that sort of style, Witch House is quite fun and at least feels moderately modern, and not rehashing the same sounds from 20-30 years ago.

But, I'm glad someone's started addressing their issues in that community.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:41 PM on May 18, 2012


after I heard my first Merzbow, which brought the noise and dropped the pretensions, I was over it

Let's not even get in to the bullshit racist/sexist/tortureporn posturing of the European power electronics scene... uggh.
posted by Theta States at 6:48 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah I'll choose actual sonic violence with progressive politics over fashionable "ironic" reactionary posturing to a distorted disco beat any day.
posted by idiopath at 7:38 PM on May 18, 2012


infinitywaltz: " Although for some reason Uberbyte never gets mentioned, and I think they're the worst offenders and the least interesting, musically speaking."
There's tons of stuff vying for the bottom, though. Maybe it's inherent to third/ fourth generation music in a genre? I've said elsewhere that Nachtmahr


infinitywaltz: "I find Nachtmahr to be problematic at best, but certainly no worse than "average" as far as cranking out generic club tracks)."
Yeah, the music is pretty generic, but one of the videos that started all this (Nachtmahr's "Can you feel the beat?") is hard to reconcile with. There's the obvious violence to women, which is ehh and the pointless betrayal at the the end (you did watch this thing to the end, right?), and finally there Thomas Reiner's appearance as the leader. He's young, sorta pudgy, and looks a bit like Skrillex. Who would follow him? So the whole thing is five minutes of Gary Sue nonsense (sexy lesbian torture! or is it sexy lesbian recuperation? Directing people! Directing sexy women to kill! ) by a repressed haircut in a trenchcoat.
posted by boo_radley at 7:54 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Jairus. It desperately needed to be said and to continue to be said. Plus, I like the track, I'm going to have to look you guys up.

Re: Breivik's iPod : let's not do the "and they probably played violent video games" thing here. The musical preferences of a deranged man are not incriminating, and there are plenty of firsthand-source issues to be getting on with.
posted by Errant at 8:23 PM on May 18, 2012 [3 favorites]



GoingToShopping: "Nope. I googled it, and here you go: "Vocal elektronika (vocal trance) but also classical music and pop. Armin van Buuren, John O'Callaghan, Marcus Shossow with vocals like Audrey Gallagher, Emma Hewitt, Sarah Howells, Sheryl Dean, Helene Bøksle, Saga etc. I also appreciate classical music. Opera: Wagner, Verdi, Mozart"

This is a bit of a rabbithole, but hey. From the Telegraph:
In his 1500-page manifesto, the Norwegian Right wing extremist disclosed that he planned to put a composition called Lux Aeterna on repeat on his iPod and listen to it at the maximum volume while murdering the young people at a summer camp.
acb: "what the Norwegian political theorist Anders Breivik called “Cultural Marxism”. Am I right?"

Not quite. I feel like I need to break this down a bit, too, just to be clear.Read the lyrics to the songs and you'll see that they're not really...rejecting anything. To paraphrase someone else on AdVerSary's video, they're intense versions of sexism and violence in a society that is largely sexist and violent. Ipso facto, they can't reject those aspects of society. It's hollow style at best.Here's another set of Nachtmahr lyrics from "War on the Dancefloor":
Shiny boots of leather / Sweat on naked skin
Moving in the trenches / On the battlefield of sin
Following the orders / Of the DJ in command
Dancing in the strobe lights / Taking a final stance
So there's pretty much nothing to Nachtmahr. If there was a manifesto, I think it'd be about getting mad fetish pussy. AdVerSary's complaint is about this objectifying of women. Let's compare Nachtmahr with some neo-folk bands, which do have fascist ideologies and semi-mystical spirituality surrounding them. And they look, well, conservative. Like brokers or For instance, Von Throhnstal (a band I do not listen to) which does reject multi-culturalism and tolerance and does advocate a return to power of a pan-European state throught violent means. Some lyrics:
Germany failed to protect all her borders
She had grown soft with the American dream
The men from the steppes delivered their vacuum
A new kind of freedom
Freedom's a chain
Maybe I'll find love when there's nothing to do
Finally, compare the quotation from Thomas at the end of the linked ID:UD article to an interview with HERR (another band I don't listen to)
In Europe , for example, the twin profanities of Americanisation and liberal democracy are eating away at the very soul of our civilisation. Individualism has replaced individuality, economics are taking priority over ideas, and the mass consumer society rides roughshod over polytheism, identity and diversity.
A bit more coherent and cogent than Nachtmahr's response, don't you think? Worlds away from Combichrist and Nachtmahr.

So the world of industrial dance music does have issues, yes, but here they are literally worlds away from what you're trying to associate them with.
posted by boo_radley at 8:55 PM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


In his 1500-page manifesto, the Norwegian Right wing extremist disclosed that he planned to put a composition called Lux Aeterna on repeat on his iPod and listen to it at the maximum volume while murdering the young people at a summer camp.

Yeah, that particular song is specifically mentioned in one of the links I posted, and by another poster. Apparently he had the retooled Lord of the Rings version, as opposed to the original Requiem for a Dream version.
I was just pointing out that not only was acb's trying to make something irrelevant seem relevant, he was factually incorrect: Crazy guy liked classical, pop and trance music.
posted by GoingToShopping at 9:29 PM on May 18, 2012


Waitaminute, the Lord of the Rings version, rather than the "original" Requiem for a Dream version? Yo, Kubrick's 2001 4 Lyfe, man---even deranged neo-Nazi child killers can appreciate quality cinema, not that elfs'n'hobbits stuff, right? Right?
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:50 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Icon Of Coil. It does what it needs to, and they were great live.
But CombiChrist?
The music is just fucking awful and hateful, as the lyrics attest in the video.

I was never a huge industrial fan, especially towards the end of the '90s, but what it has (partially) turned into is gut-churning.
posted by Mezentian at 12:33 AM on May 19, 2012


In Chicago at least, a couple of the big punk and industrial night spots started out as gay clubs.

There are two clubs that i know of in the Twin Cities that have goth/industrial nights. One, Ground Zero i have a hard time even going to when i want to. The other is at a gay bar called the Saloon, and it's on a monday, one of my favorite clubs i've ever been to (other than the Warehouse in LaCrosse back in the day). The fact that one half of the bar was still a gay bar on Hard Mondays, meant that it was a LOT better about a lot of these things, and i've had female friends tell me it was also their favorite as they rarely got hit on there (meanwhile, i got hit on there more, but i'm good with that). Being a gay bar also seemed to scar off the worst of the scene. Bonus.

Combichrist (silly ass name) was fun to dance to, songs that didn't have lyrics mostly, but what i loved more was Wolfshiem, Apoptygma Berzerk, and the more, i don't know what it's called, emotional? music of the scene. I've heard it called EBM, but it rejected a lot of the symbolism that bands like Combichrist used. I never got the whole fascist look thing that goth and industrial latched onto, even though i've known a transgendered person who wore it.

Kind of off track, but it's been annoying me, it's painful when you find out people you enjoy the creations of turn out to be not only douchebags, but finding out Frank Kozik is essentially a tea party guy (made the mistake of following his facebook) really made me regret buying any of his labbits (and i have... a... shit ton.). Some creators have outwardly questionable, but when you dig you find out it's to mess with the thing they pretend to be. Not as good to find out they are worse than you imagined.
posted by usagizero at 1:00 AM on May 19, 2012


Combichrist (silly ass name) was fun to dance to, songs that didn't have lyrics mostly, but what i loved more was Wolfshiem, Apoptygma Berzerk, and the more, i don't know what it's called, emotional? music of the scene. I've heard it called EBM, but it rejected a lot of the symbolism that bands like Combichrist used.

You want stuff that usually gets labeled as either "Futurepop" or "synthpop." Traditional EBM is more mechanical and robotic, though not usually as harsh as Combichrist, which is sort of somewhere in between EBM and power noise. You might like some traditional EBM, though, especially Front 242; their best stuff is a great blend of flattened, mechanical rhythms and dry yet melodic vocals ("Quite Unusual" and "Masterhit" being a couple of my favorites).
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:39 AM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


but what it has (partially) turned into is gut-churning.

well, the thing is that there's so much really amazing industrial music being made, but for some incomprehensible (to me) reason, it's the formulaic crap like combichrist that is the most popular lately. listen to some ad.ver.sary! it's good shit.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:47 AM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


More instrumentals! Less lyrics (ill-considered or not)!
posted by Twang at 10:02 AM on May 19, 2012


listen to some ad.ver.sary

I just listened to No Exit on YouTube, and aside from sounding exactly like Bela Lugosi's Dead's melody (it can't be me?) with some glitchy-clanging-doof over the top, I already like it more than any CombiChrist song I have ever heard.
posted by Mezentian at 11:00 PM on May 19, 2012


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