Noise pollution girl style now

I never thought I’d ever see my two favorite music scenes, riot grrrl and industrial, intersect more than than when I saw Bonfire Madigan open for Laibach in 2004. There she was, pink hair in pigtails and stripey socks and her screeching cello, with ominous black banners of gear-contained NSK crosses hanging on either side. But that very special industrial-meets-riot-grrrl moment was matched (if not surpassed) when I received a link from a group called Experiment Haywire this morning:

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Does that sound like Kathleen Hanna’s long-lost EBM project or what? It’s not polished, but neither was riot grrrl, and that’s exactly what made it charming. The musician behind Experiment Haywire, Rachel, has also started a record label called machineKUNT. While I’m not crazy about the name (I just hate that spelling! I hate it!), the idea is great. Their first release, a compilation called “Extreme Women from the Dark Future,” features various female EBM musicians. It’s a nice contrast the dumb, misogynistic “Shut Up and Swallow” bullshit of bands like Combichrist.

The idea of women in industrial music isn’t new; they were there from the very beginning. Most female EBM musicians who came before, such as Shikhee from Android Lust, deliberately made their gender a non-issue in interviews. That was a powerful and positive statement of a different sort, but it’s interesting to see someone, perhaps for the first time, make gender the primary focus of their industrial/EBM project.

And just because I love it, since we’re on the topic of riot grrrl, here are Jem and the Holograms performing Le Tigre’s Deceptacon:

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23 Responses to “Noise pollution girl style now”

  1. Uhh Says:

    Experiment Haywire is embarrassingly bad. And cliche. And awful.

  2. Nadya Says:

    “Uhh” – judging from the link attached to your name, even the scene drama of this band sounds like the scene drama that the riot grrrl scene had, minus the DMCA threats. :) My comparison becomes even clearer!

    Of course I don’t know the exact details of your situation because I wasn’t there, but I will say that DMCA threats will, forever and ever, make me think of Michael Crook’s face, which is a bad association to have.

    Thanks for providing the other perspective!

  3. Verity Says:

    Reminds me a bit of Hannin Elias’s stuff and Atari Teenage Riot in general. Thanks for this. I’m always on the look out for girl fronted industrial bands that hark back to my riot grrl past :-) Not enough of them IMHO.

  4. Mer Says:

    Hee. Even the trolls on CH are more articulate than most. Cheers.

    When the vocals kicked in, I could have sworn it was an Edith Massey sample and I got really excited!

  5. Uhh is right Says:

    This is where she originates from, internet wise:

  6. Shay Says:

    bla bla bla. Rachel is great.

  7. Shay Says:

    Also: Jem! omg.

  8. Milly von Hilly Says:

    Mmmm popcorn.

  9. the daniel Says:

    Verity – i thought the same thing. Frankly, I’ll take ATR. I only got about 30s into the first vid (though industrial is not my strong point).

  10. Mer Says:

    While this particular band ain’t my thing, I do wholeheartedly agree with Nadya that EBM could use a bit more girl power, not to mention an IQ boost. The legions of repressed homosexual jocks in vinyl pants who enjoy writing and/or grunting along to songs like “This Shit Will Fuck You Up” seem like just about the most hateful, lowest common denom dingleberries on the sartorial spectrum to me. It’s a long way from Throbbing Gristle or Monte Cazazza. Ah tell you whut.

    Also, the more I think about it, the more my urge grows to start an powernoise side project that exclusively uses samples from John Waters movies:
    *oonch oonch oonch*
    *pow pow pow*
    *garbage disposal gargling*
    *Nord modular synth chord*
    *oonch oonch oonch*

    Seriously, that would be awesome. Let’s really emphasize the BM aspect of EBM.

  11. Mike Jennings Says:

    Re: Jem —

    Forgive my ignorance about the riot grrl scene (heard a few records, liked them, but didn’t investigate further)… Does this make Polly Styrene from X-Ray Spex a proto-girrl?

  12. Shay Says:

    Personally, I feel that EBM today has very little to do with industrial music. If anything, techno is a much closer spiritual successor (hell, even dubstep is probably a better candidate). The music which is called EBM today (and IMO also has very little to do with the music that was called EBM 20 years ago, besides a certain degree of common aesthetics) has its roots firmly grounded in early 90s goa trance and full-on, with a superficiality associated with industrial culture.

    Not that I can’t enjoy the occasional Funker Vogt track, but I’m not kidding myself that that is industrial. The music is shallow and the lyrics are a joke.

  13. Mer Says:

    Oh, the semantics of oonchy music. I can’t keep it all straight in my wee brain. ;)

    Mike, I think it’s safe to say Polly Styrene qualifies as proto-riot grrrl. Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, Kathy Acker and Kim Gordon have also been cited as such. Rawr!

  14. Shay Says:

    Oh, I’m a complete music snob. Having said that, I learned everything I needed to know about electronic music from Ishkur’s Guide.

  15. Vivacious G Says:

    I love Jem! Haywire Experiment is very cool, too, I like. Great post!

  16. Nadya Says:

    So many fun things to respond to here:

    -EDITH MASSEY! John Waters samples!
    -Shay, your Venn Diagram is geat
    -I agree about how EBM sucks today but industrial is still my favorite music ever
    -X-Ray Spex Rox
    -“legions of repressed homosexual jocks in vinyl pants” YES

    I’m in the mood for some midget-punching!

  17. Paul Komoda Says:

    “Let’s really emphasize the BM aspect of EBM.”

    That’s quote of the night for me.

    Hell, if there really was John Waters Industrial, I’d certainly find ample motivation to dust off my ratty vinyl pants, and cut a rug.

  18. Milly von Hilly Says:

    For the record, even Dave Mustaine has an encyclopedia dramatica entry.
    *punches a midget*

  19. Mer Says:

    Ah, Encylopedia Dramatica. Pinnacle of credibility and integrity. I always feel like I’m the laughing damned when I read that stuff.

    Tch. Dave Mustaine. Poor bastard.

    ps: Nadya, that Jem/Le Tigre mashup makes me really happy.

  20. Russen Says:

    I’d like to officially back up everything that the encyclopedia dramitica has to say about Acidexia/Haywire/Rachel.

    Her now defunked Acidexia LJ account used to boast 3000+ comments per post, and she traveled back and forth around the country on her government stipend for being crazy (medical disability).

    A general note of advice: When driving through the West Virginia mountains reading random passages from the Necronomicon with a self proclaimed kaos magician, don’t be surprised when you run out of food and money on the wrong side of the Canadian border.

  21. Violaine Says:

    @ Russen: “Defunked?” LOL. Guess her journal ain’t funky no mo’

  22. Rachel Haywire Says:

    Thanks for the love and hate!

    “Acidexia” is now a book.

    Enjoy the drama once again.

  23. BloodyFlamingHole Says:

    I love Rachel Haywire and Experiment Haywire. Whoever believes in Encyclopedia Dramatica is lower than an idiot, and whoever defines themselves by Anti-Anything-Deviant-Already is someone to laugh at.

    Its like those anti-feminists. Whats the point of being an anti-feminists when Normality is anti-feminist, and that feminists are deviant from normality?

    Or like anti-communists. Whats the point of being an anti-communist when society already is?

    Why hate or be against something that’s not even popular enough, normal enough? Also, the industrial scene is beginning to be filled with clogged-anus-closed-minded-elitists.

    Honestly, who cares about genre anymore? There are so many subcatergories and spin offs, that the smartest thing to do would be listen to anything that makes you think, move or function. I’m not saying listen to Britney Spears, I’m saying who cares about what KIND of dark electronic music it is? If it sounds good, if it inspires you, shut up and dance, or write, or enjoy, whatever, its music.

    I love Skinny Puppy, I also like KMFDM, and Angelspit, or I can like Emilie Autumn, Experiment Haywire, maybe even Funker Voigt, Hocico, Grendel, Ayria, heck, Vocaloid trance!

    So yeah, I’m dying to get myself a printed copy of Acidexia :D

    Also, read zines, it was punk before the hipsters got to them. Who gives a flying fuck? Go read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights while you’re at it, or maybe The Communist Manifesto, or The Vindication of the Rights of Woman.