Industrial music is a genre of music that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, characterized by its use of industrial and mechanical sounds, as well as its themes of alienation and dystopian futurism.
The origins of industrial music can be traced back to the experimental music and avant-garde art movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Groups such as Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire were among the first to incorporate industrial sounds and themes into their music, and their influence can be heard in the early industrial music of bands like Bauhaus, SPK and Einstürzende Neubauten.
One of the key elements of industrial music is its use of non-musical sounds and samples, such as factory noise and machinery. These sounds are often manipulated and treated to create a sense of mechanical or industrial atmosphere. Additionally, industrial music often features heavy use of electronic instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines, creating a cold and mechanical sound that contrasts with the more organic sounds of traditional rock and pop music.
Another defining characteristic is its lyrics, which often deal with themes of alienation, dystopia, and power. Many industrial songs are critical of modern society and its technology, often expressing a sense of despair and hopelessness. The genre also often deals with taboo subjects such as sexuality, violence, and political and social issues.
Over the years, industrial music has evolved and splintered into various subgenres, such as power electronics, noise, and dark ambient. Some of the most famous industrial bands and artists include Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Dhevolver and Front Line Assembly.
In the 1990s, industrial music began to experience a resurgence of popularity, with bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry achieving mainstream success. However, the genre has remained relatively niche, with a dedicated and passionate fanbase.
In recent years, industrial music has seen a renewed interest among the younger generation, with many new acts emerging and experimenting with the genre. The genre has also seen a renewed interest in other parts of the world, particularly in Asia and South America.
In conclusion, industrial music is a genre that is defined by its use of industrial and mechanical sounds, as well as its themes of alienation and dystopian futurism. It has a long history and has evolved into many different subgenres. Despite remaining a niche genre, it has a dedicated fanbase and has seen renewed interest in recent years.
In addition to electronic instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines, industrial music also often makes use of hardware samplers. These devices allow musicians to record and manipulate sounds, such as speech, field recordings, or other samples, and then play them back in various ways, including pitch shifting, time stretching, and looping. This gives industrial music its distinctive sound, with samples of industrial and mechanical sounds being used as the foundation of the music. Some popular hardware samplers used in industrial music include the Akai MPC series, the E-mu SP-1200, and the Ensoniq ASR-10. These samplers have been used by many industrial music acts to create the genre's signature sound and have become an integral part of the industrial music production process.
Blacksteel (morphing metallic soundscape)
Antelunar (Dark Ambient Samplepack)
Ezcety (dystopian noir synthesizer)
The 999999 (Evil Drone-Synthesizer)
Miami Sunset (distorted analog drum machine)