The Post-Punk Explosion Part 3: Industrial

03.24.2021 - By Ongoing History of New Music

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By the time we got to the mid-70s, rock had organized itself so that were rules…you did things this way and not that way…then came punk…

One of the great gifts of punk rock was a reminder that you didn’t always have to follow the rules…once this attitude took hold, things began to fragment, metamorphosize and mutate at an increasingly rapid rate…

The stratification and segmenting was astonishing…once punk began to cool, the environment it created coalesced into what became known as new wave, an approach that redefined what rock could sound like…

Then new wave itself began to fragment, thanks to technology…the new cheaper, portable, and more powerful synthesizer was a godsend…you really didn’t have to know much about music to operate one…you just fiddled around until you found some cool sounds and then organized those sounds into a song…

Like the original punks, attitude and a willingness to put your music out there was more important than musical ability—except this time, you did it with this new technology…synths instead of guitars…this was the foundation of what came to be known as techno-pop, which blew up at the end of the 70s…

And it didn’t take long for techno-pop to separate into different strands which appealed to different people…some burned out quickly…new variants emerged for a while and then disappeared…and then there were the mutations that turned into something robust and enduring to the point where they still exist today…

This episode is about one such strand that survived the post-punk explosion of the late 70s and early 80s…we call it “industrial music”…and word of warning: this show is going to be very intense, very loud, and very heavy…

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