Saturday, 13 April 2013

Encyclopaedia of Industrial Music Volume 3


Years ago, back in the early 1980's the UK music weekly Sounds had a section called (I think) "Wild Planet". It ran for about a couple of months and was an A-Z of experimental DIY / Industrial / Electronic (call it what thou wilt) bands and projects. It was about half a page and was a "cut out and keep" type feature. It was written by, compiled and edited by a chap called Dave Henderson. Dave was himself in one of the "Wild Planet" bands being a member of Club Tango, and later on released a double LP of bands featured in "Wild Planet" called "The Elephant Table". Dave later went on to create a great label called Dead Man's Curve and release classic vinyl by Smegma, Last Few Days and Portion Control...but that's not important right now. I cut out and collected all the "Wild Planet" issues and discovered the sounds of Metamorphosis, Lemon Kittens, O Yuki Conjugate and their like.
Shortly after came the B.George masterpiece "International Discography Of The New Wave". An A-Z listings of just about every independent, major and DIY release from 1976-1983. Project title, sometimes a brief description, band members and (most importantly) a full discography. It is a thick and mighty tome. It is known as "The Bible".
I am addicted to print. I love to read about music, all types. his week I have bought the book "45" by Bill Drummond (99p in Oxfam), "Hooleygan" by Terri Hooley & Richard Sullivan and "Encyclopedia Of Industrial Music Volume 3" by Rafal Kochan.

Encyclopedias on music are a necessity, I have attempted on many occasions to write one myself, always based around my record and tape collection. Now I just catalogue. The last half decent encyclopaedia I got was the "All Music Guide To Electronic Music:The Definitive Guide To Electronic Music" edited by Vladimir Bogdanov and published by Backbeat Books. It had good informative writings on Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Merzbow etc but also has entries by the likes of Madonna, Herbie Hancock & Michael Jackson. (I am not mentioning books like Alex Ogg's "No More Heroes" or Martin Lilleker's "Beats Working For A Living". Both are excellent tomes but not quite encyclopaedias).
In 2010 came the first volume of "Encyclopaedia Of Industrial Music" by Rafal Kochan (Rafal also runs the Polish based label Impulsy Stetoskopu) and three years later we are on to volume three. Each volume being alphabetical. Volume three lists projects / artists from letters J-N.
As mentioned, encyclopaedias are a necessity especially printed ones, these volumes could so easily of been an appendage on the Impulsy Stetoskopu website. There are a couple of minor faults with these books. The discographies are far too complicated, and they are not full discographies. Rafal also lists former projects, side projects and collaborations in with the main projects body of work. Let me explain. Volume Two features bands / artists / projects lettered D-I and has an entry on Dieter Muh. I supplied some of the information for Rafal including a full discography. Rafal was not going to list the 1999 "Bjorn Tapes" cassette release on Xerxes but instead list the 2003 CDr  re-issue on Italian Balde Records, also our CDr "Cari Saluti" on EE Tapes does not get a mention but the re-release on Functional Tapes does. Why? Because CD rules over vinyl rules over CDr rules over cassette rules over any other format. Also Rafal does not list compilation albums. Not only does the discography feature these oversights (anomalies) but goes on to list my releases from the mid 1980's when I was a solo artist known as The Streetcleaner and A:A:K and as a member of Ideas Beyond Filth and Muhviertel. All these projects had no and bears no relation to the output of Dieter Muh. Dieter Muh is a completely separate entity. It just becomes a mess, a confusing mess. I can't see why Ideas Beyond Filth could not have a separate entry and the cassette label Carnifex Recordings have an entry too. (It is how I would have dome it)...The Dilloway discog is just a bloody mess. Anyway. The print is far too small for it to matter. Industrial Music is probably the wrong umbrella too as some of the entries have no connection to the genre, and then artists that do are noted by their omission. But the aboves are just minor gripes as the encyclopaedias are a mammoth project and one that should be greatly applauded. Its' strengths are in the broad church approach and includes entries by the artists in the fields of experimental, electronic, avant grade, power electronics, noise, HNW, psychedelic, post punk and yes ... industrial. The volumes are packed with great pictures too....I don't think I have ever seen a picture of Metabolist live before.
Each volume comes with a CD. Sort of ironic as the encyclopaedias don't list compilation titles. Volume one has a double CDr.
Now I have the first three volumes I will carry on a collect to the end, I expect Rafal is stuck to a format now that can't change, but if had only had a glance at "The International Discography Of The New Wave" and gone with their format and layout the book(s) would be so more pleasing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Stephen for this review, with critical notes. It must be explained this book(-s) offers new definitions about INDUSTRIAL MUSIC and its subgenres. There can not be attached full discographies, especially with compilation releases (as you know there are hundreds of them) and I can not split up many entries which comes from one composer/project etc. As I wmentioned, veri big thanks for your support and this interesting review.

    Rafał Kochan