EBM

3 posts

Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – A Listener’s Guide

I’ve long had issue with how poorly bands from continental Europe are covered when the Anglo/American music journos cover a particular genre.  Even when the bands in question sing in English.  Bands singing in any other tongue are a particularly hard sell, but every now and again, a notable project breaks through.  And Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF from here on) stand out in this very small grouping due to the way they achieved a cult following in the UK a couple of decades before anyone had heard of Rammstein.  This achievement was not despite the fact that they sung in German, but in many respects because of it. 

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Nitzer Ebb – A Listeners Guide

The news that Nitzer Ebb were reforming as a live act was a cue for me to make them the subject of my fourth listeners guide, and my first to cover a British act. Indeed, they hail from Chelmsford, only a few miles from my own home territory on the Essex/East London borders. And a year working in their home city only proved the old adage that no prophet is hailed in their homeland. Not one of my colleagues had any idea who they were. OK, this may have been during EBM’s early 00s nadir, but I doubt any of them have become aware of these particular local legends since.

This wouldn’t be such disappointment if Nitzer Ebb’s influence had spread only to various German and Swedish copyists with the hermetically-sealed ‘industrial scene’. The existence of said bands is acknowledged about once a decade by the English-speaking electronic music press, who occasionally work out that EBM-and-techno-work-quite-well-together. But the Ebb’s influence has spread much further than that. I guess it’s down to me to tell the story. Again.

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Front 242 – A Listeners Guide

On one hand, I’m pleased that the shot-callers in the club scene have finally worked out and acknowledged the significance Electronic Body Music (EBM) had on the development of various contemporary dance music genres. But simply name-checking an early 242 single doesn’t make you an expert in the style.

Conversely, I once had a conversation with a noted goth/industrial/whatever-we-call-it DJ who simply wasn’t aware of any notable 242 tracks pre-Headhunter. Which was better than some DJs, who thought that one song was the only thing by them worth playing. Or the fact that my corporate social networking profiles all feature a ‘242’ in the username and no-one’s spotted the relevance yet.

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