Electro-industrial is a music genre drawing on EBM and post-industrial that developed in the mid-1980s. While EBM has a minimal structure and clean production, Electro-industrial has a deep, complex and layered sound. The style was pioneered by Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, and other groups, either from Canada or the Benelux. In the early 1990s, the style spawned the Dark electro genre, and in the mid-/late-1990s, the Hellectro/Aggrotech offshoot. The fan base for the style is linked to the Rivethead subculture. Characteristics
After the EBM movement faded in the early 1990s, Electro-industrial increasingly attained popularity in the international club scene. In contrast to the straight EBM style, Electro-industrial groups use harsher beats and raspy, distorted, or digitized vocals. In contrast to Industrial rock, Electro-industrial groups mostly avoid guitars.
Electro-industrial was anticipated by 1980s groups such as SPK, Die Form, Klinik, Skinny Puppy, and Front Line Assembly.
Prominent Electro-industrial groups of the 1990s include Mentallo and the Fixer, Yeht Mae, Velvet Acid Christ, and Pulse Legion (U.S.); Numb and Decoded Feedback (Canada); X Marks the Pedwalk, Plastic Noise Experience, :wumpscut:, Haujobb, Controlled Fusion, Forma Tadre, and Putrefy Factor 7 (Germany); Leæther Strip Denmark; and early Hocico, Cenobita and Amduscia from Mexico.
In the mid-1990s, some Electro-industrial groups added guitars and became associated with industrial metal; other groups, e. g. Download, Gridlock and Haujobb, have incorporated elements of drum and bass and IDM. Influences
Skinny Puppy took inspiration from Nocturnal Emissions, Portion Control, and The Legendary Pink Dots. Critic Jason Ankeny has also noted Skinny Puppy's debts to Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, and Cabaret Voltaire Conceptual elements
Electro-industrial groups tend to feature themes of control, dystopia, and science fiction. Electro-industrial groups sometimes take aesthetic inspiration from horror films, including The Exorcist and the work of Roman Polanski, and the science fiction films Blade Runner and Alien. Dark electro
Dark electro is a similar style, developed in the early 1990s in central Europe. The term describes groups such as yelworC and Placebo Effect, and was first used in December 1992 with the album announcement of Brainstorming, yelworC's debut. The style was inspired by the Electro-industrial of The Klinik and Skinny Puppy. Compositions included horror soundscapes, and grunts or distorted vocals. yelworC were a music group from Munich, formed in 1988. They laid the foundations of the Dark electro movement in the early 1990s, and were the first artist on the German label Celtic Circle Productions. In subsequent years, Dark electro was displaced by techno-influenced styles such as Aggrotech and Futurepop. Other groups to practice the style included amGod, Trial, early Evil's Toy, Mortal Constraint, Arcana Obscura, Splatter Squall, Seven Trees, Ellhelios, Tri-State, GGFH (Disease), Ice Ages.
Aggrotech (also known as Hellectro,) is a derivative form of Electro-industrial with a strong influence from the hardstyle/hardtrance music (straight Techno bassdrum and 3xOsc sounds, especially SuperSaw leads from Roland JP-8000) that first surfaced in the mid-/late-1990s.
Aggrotech regularly consists of harsh song structures, aggressive beats, and explicit, pessimistic, militant lyrics. Typically the vocals are distorted and pitch-shifted to sound harsh, and synthetic. Aggrotech musicians include Aesthetic Perfection, Hocico, Dulce Liquido, Suicide Commando, X-Fusion, Tactical Sekt, Amduscia, Agonoize, Psyclon Nine, Combichrist, Virtual Embrace, DYM, Psyborg Corp, Funker Vogt, Unter Null, The Retrosic, Nachtmahr, Reaper, God Module, Aslan Faction, Grendel, Tamtrum, Feindflug, C-Drone-Defect, Panic Lift, Cenobita, Dawn of Ashes, Detroit Diesel and Alien Vampires, Project Silence.