"Industrial Music: A Mini-Essay"
By Roughly Enforcing Nostalgia

One of the most commonly asked questions that we at REN recieve is why we place so many of our songs in the "Industrial" genre at www.acidplanet.com; this question has been posed to us (quite understandably) by several Planeteers, including Lingus, e_r_b, EnVision, SIIXX, and other fine artists there, and we felt perhaps it would be best to explain our reasons before it gets any later in the day.

Most of the younger generation that makes up Industrial fans today probably don't even own a Throbbing Gristle or RevCo album, but I'm sure that many of you still remember when Industrial music was made up of sampling, found-sounds, and thrashing beats (eg, Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music", etc); in its own right, even David Byrne's "The Forest" classical album or Bjork's "Selmasongs" or the Dadaists of the 20's (with their "honkers, wackers, and grinders") are more in the vein of Industrial music than the gamut of Nu-Wave-Metal / Clown Rock that dominates the majority of what's passed off today as "cutting-edge Industrial". At some point (perhaps the early 90's, I suspect), Industrial's definition got watered-down from sampling found-sound/industry sounds to simply using a keyboard sampler and screaming a lot. We believe that one of the major original concepts behind Industrial at its inception was the idea that the genre was not so much a matter of how loud your guitars were or how heavy your Metal vocals were, but in fact what instruments you chose to use behind that "Death Disco" beat; the very name "Industrial", to us, implies that the basis of some (if not all) of the instrumentation would be created with found objects, such as drills, aluminum bats, analog synths, broken drum tins, press machinery, hammers, dialogue samples, movie score snippets, etc. Much of that early pioneering work was done using those very objects, and were continually implemented into the fabric of the songs as late as 1994, near as we can tell. At around that point, a subtle but important shift in Industrial music's philosophy occured, at which point sound collage pioneers such as Meg Le Chin and her Pigface compatriots were considered outside the norm of Industrial taste, while more fly-by-night outfits like Static X or Chainsaws.And.Children (just to name two so-called Industrial acts whose presence has been felt to a fairly negative degree on ACIDPlanet) became the new Industrial definition: that is, a slightly heavier form of Gothic Rock, but without the willfull experimentation and quirky genius that dappled Industrial music's outset.

Swan and I are from the Chicagoland area, and were heavily influenced by those original ideas, so much so that we've used all sorts of broken bottles, ladders, worn-out octotoms, bike seats, garage door trackings, and much more in several of our tunes as percussion: some of these REN songs include "Hey Napsters!", "Jericho Road", "Urban Struggle", "The Misheard Music", and several others uploaded onto ACIDPlanet. This is closely related to the found-sounds style of Tropicalia from South America, but as you can see, there's no Tropicalia genre that we can select on the Planet, so we picked the nearest brother genre. We just wanted you to know exactly why we chose what genres we did for each of our tracks uploaded on AP, and hope that there's enough room in this genre for bands and artists that don't neccessarily fit into the "loud-hard-fast" aesthetic usually associated with Industrial music. Please feel free to e-mail us with any further questions as to what kinds of sounds we use to create our music with, 'cause there's few things we enjoy discussing more than what samples are used in a song, whether its ours or yours.