Notes From the Industrial Underground: July 1991


New from Nettwerk Productions Ltd. is the Attitude video compilation, as a special treat for all you fans of Nettwerk artists. The video styles are as diverse as the bands on the label and feature acts such as Skinny Puppy, Consolidated, Severed Heads, Moev and Manufacture.

Leading off with the spooky “Dig It” video from Skinny Puppy, the video works its way through horror, art, pop and winds up with Hilt’s highly stylized, Eastern interpretation of “Stoneman.”

Some of the most interesting pieces on this video are the Skinny Puppy works, which, due to large amounts of blood and terror, have been banned from mainstream video programs like MTV. Their anti-vivisection clip of “Testure” is especially gruesome, with scenes of animals from experiments gone wrong performing vivisection on human subjects. Tied up and shot full of syringes of indistinguishable chemicals, the human “guinea pig” is tortured and bled as scenes from actual animal experimentation fade in-and-out over the mock experiment. Skinny Puppy takes a stand and their point is not lost when shown in full technicolor. Add to this an ogre covered in blood and crawling through the street in “Stairs and Flowers” and the frenzied grave-digging of “Dig It,” and you have Skinny Puppy at their best. Too bad there’s not a collection of all the Puppy videos.

Other videos of interest are the two Severed Heads pieces, which use live actors interspliced with computer generated images. Severed Heads have long been video pioneers with their innovative video sampling machine, manipulating video in the same way many bands use sounds, to create completely new and unique images. Even if you don’t appreciate their more “pop” sounding music, you’ll enjoy the audio sensation.

Attitude is a must for your music video collection and is a rare chance to see artists that won’t get played on cable video shows due to obscurity or controversy. If you like these, then you may also want to check out two other Nettwerk videos: Skinny Puppy’s “Ain’t It Dead Yet,” and a collection from Severed Heads.

And it’s finally out! After months of waiting, Cyberaktif’s full-length Tenebrae Vision has been released by Wax Trax! The album contains the two singles “Temper” and “Nothing Says” as well as “Ruptured Freaks,” “The Road Kill” and “Paradiessiets.” More mellow than Leeb’s Front Line Assembly and Key’s Skinny Puppy, Cyberaktif is moody, pumped up beats with all the great industrial noise adding depth. There’s also a special appearance from Blixa Bargeld of Einstuerzende Neubauten, German noise masters.

Hilt has released a new single, “Orange Pony,” on Nettwerk. Hilt is another Puppy offshoot. From the single cover you can tell that this one’s going to be different from their previous releases. “Orange Pony” is a psychedelic rave song with all the groovy beats and such. But still, it’s not something that you’d hear coming out of Madchester, no Happy Monday bullshit. This single grooves with a vengeance.

Now available at the coolest record outlet is the steamy, disco-erotic of “Sexplosion!” from My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. You dark, scary people will have to give this one a chance before you cast it off into your rubbish pile. Sure, its got disco grooves, Black Box vocals interplays and throbbing bass licks, but it also has that trademark Thrill Kill humor in lyrics and samples “Why did they tie you up? / Cause I said I was leaving / Didn’t somebody tie you up the other day? / Yeah I was forced to to stay some place like a slave” and lots and lots of sex, “Sex / Sex is perverted and sick.” Groovy man has finally earned his name. So turn on the disco ball, and put on your favorite spandex outfit and work it!

More disco-erotica from Wax Trax! as Chris & Cosey’s new album Pagan Tango hits your favorite record outlet. Still chock full of pumping, grinding, rhythms wish Cosey Fan Tutti’s sensual vocals, this is a great record and a must for your collection…More English pip than Revco rehash is Chris Connelly’s “Whiplash Boychild.” If you remember Connelly from his days with Finitribe you’ll really tune into this record. Vocals are smooth and reminiscent of late ’70s Bowie. Connelly has really made a break from the Cocks and has laid himself open to more vulnerable, pop-orientated music. Another one to listen to with an open mind.

Another one for the hardcare Industrialist is the new Zoviet France release. If you missed them on their short U.S. tour you’ll want to hear them at home.

One last note—Legendary Pink Dots will be playing in Phoenix on the 30th of July. The Dots were refused entrance into America because of doubts to their artistic merit, some new bullshit in the land of the free and home of the brave. So see the Dots live while you have the chance. Phoenix is much closer than Europe any day. 


For more from the SLUG Archives:
Tape and Record Reviews February 1990

Skateboarding: Or “Play With Your Toys in The House”