#musicmonday : Front Line Assembly – Pulse Charge


Vancouver stalwarts Front Line Assembly provided the soundtrack to free-to-play real time strategy game AirMech. While the album sounds very much like a “video game soundtrack”, FLA manage to pull off fusing their classic brand of hard-edged-yet-dreamy electronica with post-dubstep wubs in a way that sounds unaffectedly modern.  Continue reading

Top 100 singles of all time: 88 – Front Line Assembly – Plasticity

I’m going to skip over number 89 – Madonna’s Nothing Really Matters – because we already covered it, and jump straight to 88. Plasticity was one of those singles that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. It was one of those songs that would instantly fill the dancefloor. The song you’d look forward to hearing. The song that would make you go clubbing so that you could hear it.

It was just so primal, that relentless synth bassline, the forbidding vocals. Cherish your hate.  Continue reading

The life and death of a genre


There were always old punks lurking at the local, or skulking in the nightclub, and we thought they were OK. Punk was old and dead, and the few wrinkly remainders trying to hit on women or men half their ages were smiled at like old WWII veterans. They might be a little out-of-place, perhaps a little embarrassing, but we wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for them, so there was a reverence there. We respected our elders. Nearly 20 years later, I see how young people today regard my own clubbing years. On Buzzfeed, a meme is going viral where fans are taking some footage of some terribly earnest-looking industrial fans dancing and overdubbing the music with ever more ridiculous novelty hits, with even more mischief to be found on Reddit. These fans are a laughing stock – and rightly so, because they are ridiculous.

What turns it from pathetic to outright upsetting is how little resemblance either the people or the music bears to the genre I loved with such a passion. It’s painful watching something you love die. Even when I was young, the old guard complained that Nine Inch Nails weren’t “real industrial”, and we smiled because things have to evolve and grow. But now there’s no trace of anything that ever made us love it in the first place. It hasn’t just evolved, it’s an entirely separate species, and it needs to be put out of its misery. Continue reading

30 day song challenge: day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event

Oooh, tricky one. OK, here’s one. I don’t remember “first hand” industrial music prior to the late 1980s – anything I heard that dates back further I heard many years later. There were many sub-categories, of course, but broadly if you asked me what “industrial music” sounded like I’d have said something like this: Continue reading