Acid Strength Industrial

I’d put the On-U project under some other heading.

Granted, I’m pushing things a bit here. But among all the industrial people I ever knew, On-U was crucial.

> And Neubauten.

Eh? They were on some bizarre. They were the weirder, Berlin counter-part to Test Dept. They dressed in overalls and took bnuildings apart with drills. They used to clock on and off and call each other “mate”. You don’t get any more industrial than that.

There’s a sort of industrial sub-genre of power-tool-weilding non-musicians — Test Dept, SPK, almost no-one else. There was a piece on the Tube about them and everything.

> And 23 Skidoo.

On Fetish records, same as TG later on. Part of the industrial funk sub-genre, with 400 Blows, Chakk, Hula, and the Ohio Players. No, I’m pretty sure they’re industrial, especially early on, before the went really good when Sketch from Imagination joined.

It was Imagination, wasn’t it? Someone correct me.

It wasn’t Freez was it? Christ, I hope not. Good single and all that but nothing compared to the lush electro-soul-dub brilliance of Imagination.

> And Joy Division.

Ah. Now this is tenuous, I have to admit. There IS a link but Joy Division are a genre unto themselves really.

> And Colourbox.

Now, I’m convinced ColourBox are intimately connected with all things industrial. But for the life of me I can’t remember why. Maybe it’s just my imagination. Just an Illusion. (Wow, that Imagination riff is really beginning to hit hard now…)

> And Cabaret Voltaire.

No way are the Cabs NOT industrial. They were mates with Gen right from the early days (1975 or thereabouts) and I’m pretty sure he put out an early tape album by them.

I saw Steven Mallinder at the Moloko gig here a couple of months ago and he did say, “Do tell anyone you know online that we were actually an industrial band”. Actually, he didn’t, we talked about Sheffield nightclubs instead.

> As for Lee Perry and Miles Davis!

Errrr yeah. It’s a conceptual link, rather than anything the, errr, artists themselves would have been aware of.

> it becomes a “greyer area”, greyer still with Killing Joke

Yeah, what genre are Killing Joke?* They’re not really industrial. They’re sort of post-punk aren’t they? Except, like the Stranglers, who I also like, they’re more prog-punk. Concept albums with short songs and distortion. Without sounding that much like Hawkwind.

* Are groups singular or plural? I’d have thought that, like companies, they should be singular, but no-one does it that way, not even the quality broadsheets. And what is the noun for whether a noun is singluar or plural?

If I was being naughty I’d ascribe this to another of those “Ha Ha look who else is claiming to have invented Techno” asides.

Oh, you’re right, there were lots of roads into acid house and ecstasy, and the industrial one is just the one I think about most. But there’s a big lineage there between industrial and acid — so far as I can tell the early Clink Street raves had a healthy contingent of people who had been into industrial / electronics, Onu-U, and dub. (I spoke at the funeral of one of them and talked about what he’d told me about it, FWIW.) And the Clink Street scene was important in fuelling the interesting, dark side of acid and what came after.

> there are similar moments when a whole range of interlocking factors suddenly click into position and
> produce a monumental reorganisation. “The Great Vowel shift” for one. It’d be a really cool project to
> do a “Pre-Energy Flash” tome, kind of like the Star Wars prequel, to Reynolds’s dance music book

That’s a really cool concept. I’d be interested in that kind of book.

How much common ground was created through ecstacy!

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