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AssimilateA Critical History of Industrial Music$
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S. Alexander Reed

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199832583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199832583.001.0001

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Body to Body

Body to Body

Belgian EBM 1981–1985

(p.157) 10. Body to Body

S. Alexander Reed

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the Electronic Body Music (EBM) that emerged from Belgium from 1981–1985. Musician Luc Van Acker is both historically important and a good example of what sort of efforts laid the groundwork for EBM. Van Acker is a founding member of Revolting Cocks and a hired hand for Shriekback, Arbeid Adelt, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult. His desire to participate in music culture at a very young age was influenced by the journalistic and technological tastes that he and his family, as Belgians, had access to. He was also affected by Belgium’s peculiar milieu of artistic isolation at that time. The chapter then turns to the EBM’s most formidable name, Front 242. More than any other industrial act, Front 242 analytically embraced the unspoken expectations that machine design placed on humans. In this way, they differed somewhat from earlier industrialists who celebrated technical ineptitude and rule breaking. This is followed by a discussion of kinetic exertion as a predominant theme in EBM.

Keywords:   industrial music, electronic dance music, Belgian bands, Electronic Body Music, Luc Van Acker, Front 242

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