Author : Brett D. Woods
Description:Industrial music was born in 1976 in London, England with the creation of Industrial Records. Originally, industrial music referred to the musical output of the label, which included a variety of experimental, electronic, often noise-oriented compositions, altered instruments, and music-accompanied performance art. The first artists that recorded at Industrial Records were Throbbing Gristle, Non (Boyd Rice), Cabaret Voltaire, The Leather Nun, Surgical Penis Klinik, and Clock DVA; each sharing a similar anti-bourgeois rejection of mainstream culture and social order. Since those early days (often deemed the first wave, 1976c.1982) industrial music has come to represent any underground electronic music either directly tied to or influenced by Industrial Records as well as those musicians who share in the cultural and musical aesthetic of industrial. In the second decade as the genre grew in relative popularity (referred to as the second wave, c.1982c.1990), several sub-genres emerged and many bands began to change the shape, sound, and style of the genre as the fan base became more populous and diverse. This thesis examines the elements that comprise this broadly-encompassing music genre, the influence it has had throughout history, and its current concepts and practice in order for a well-informed and contextually working definition to become evident. What follows is a look into the history of industrial music since its inception three decades ago, as well as a genre-based approach to music. The focus of this study is three-fold. First, the ambiguity of industrial music will be addressed by discussing the history and development of the genre. Second, the textual versus contextual aspects of industrial culture, and of the music itself, will be explored. Lastly, the nature of genre in music will be addressed. This thesis will look at genre in the theoretical sense, as it represents communication in culture. In communication about musicstylistic elements, genre classification, influences, history, and soundgeneralized speech become part of a dialogue which consists of shared understanding about issues of text and context concerning the music. In industrial culture we can see an example of how these issues can generate debate regarding the nature of genre, as well as how genre studies can reveal an understanding of the music not only through its purely musical features, but through communicative elements of culture.