Tuesday, August 21, 2018


cool super in-depth piece by Holly Dicker for Resident Advisor on the history - and contemporary influence / resurgence - of EBM  - aka Electronic Body Music

I often used to de-abbreviate the term incorrectly as European Body Music - which i actually think is a better term, given the ancestral role of DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses, Die Krupps, etc

if I was to do Energy Flash again, one of a bunch things I'd add is more on the non-disco, non-American, Euro-industrial prehistory of rave

it's there implicitly and name-checked with the coverage of Belgium, gabba etc - but there is more to say about this other dance-oriented club culture of the Eighties that was going on at the same time as the black street sounds like electro, synth-funk, freestyle, early minimalist rap and proto-house - a scene / sound that was stompy, Euro, and descended out of industrial if veering often into a sinewy sort of fun

mind you, i never found it easy to dance to industrial -  i remember going to a place with the Stud Bros and Stubbs (champions of Front 242, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, a; grumh, et al at Melody Maker), right in the centre of London - it might have been a particular at Gossips now I think about it - and it was dedicated to industrial and EBM - and recall finding that the beat got tiring quickly -  too hard stomping, too nail-gun regular  - there was something missing, a shimmy that house added

an old piece of mine about what I called "industrial disco" circa 1991


Unknown said...

EBM was extremely important in places like the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for the house and techno scene evolving in the late 1980s. Pretty much all the soon-to-become big DJs used to play this stuff, alongside US (and UK) house, or stuff like Bomb the Bass. Germany's legendary dance/electronic music magazine "Frontpage" started as a EBM/Industrial magazine in 1989. Of course, EBM got looked down on by "serious" music critics - possibly bc it was very rigid sounding, but also bc EBM partly had militaristic, almost fascist in a way, aesthetics.

Simon said...

yeah it walked that line between Constructivist and Fascist aesthetics - cult of muscled manly body.

Tim 'Space Debris' said...

That's all a bit funny I recently bought Assimilate which is an old book now and have been listening to me old Skinny Puppy and FLA records.

I didn't realise it was trendy. In fact I thought it was probably the complete opposite ie. very not cool.

Wasn't there a bit of interest in EBM 5 or six years back? Maybe when Gesaffelstein released Aleph?