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An electronic genre originating with influential group Throbbing Gristle in 1970's, on their own "Industrial Records".

The genre was created and defined by TG based off a phrase coined by Monte Cazazza, "Industrial Music for Industrial People". Consisting of abrasive lyrics, dissonant and relatively abstract distorted melodies, drum machines/samplers and gratuitous use of delay and other effects, Industrial music often draws upon transgressive and shocking themes while adhering with absolutely no fucking established musical conventions In other words, it is music theory's worst nightmare.

Although first wave Industrial artists are generally considered by Industrial historians to be the only "true" Industrial bands (and even that is sometimes reduced to just TG), the genre gave birth to dozens of genre that generally fall under the umbrella term of "Post-Industrial". This includes the Electro-Industrial genre, comprised of bands such as Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly, the EBM genre (Nitzer Ebb, early Ministry, Front 242, etc.) and the Industrial Metal/Industrial rock genres (later Ministry, Pigface, etc.) just to name a few (the commercially lauded and probably most known post-industrial band, Nine Inch Nails, dabbled in a handful of these genres, but mostly stuck with an Industrial Rock sound in later years).
Industrial-influenced artists pass on a legacy of being agressive, loud and creative, as well as hold some of the most brutal live shows you could ever attend (seriously, if you were in the pit of a show during the VIVIsectVI tour there's a fairly good chance you were either trampled or had ringing in your ears for weeks to come). If you've never listened to Industrial music at all, I suggest you grow a pair and listen to as much as you can.

Except for Ministry's recent album "Relapse" that shit is total fucking garbage and Al is a pathetic shadow of his former self.
by Rod_Jonse January 12, 2013
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The absolute best. Heavy Duty. Strong, Sturdy. Over the top. Fantastic
1. The industrial strength detergent cleaned better than the bargain brand.

2. I don't dance often; but, when I do it is industrial (slang for absolute best)

3. This saw is industrial quality.
by zantern January 17, 2012
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A style of music started in the mid-1970's by the seminal "band" Throbbing Gristle. Known for the painful noise and disturbed subject matter that seemed to spring eternal from their seriously crazed leader, Genesis P-Orridge (he was once threatened by the axe-murder Ian Brady... Prompting him to write a song about Ian), TG quickly claimed a name for itself. They were often described as "the wreckers of civilization." Industrial music was further explored by synth-whatever acts Suicide and Cabaret Voltaire, from New York and Sheffield respectively. Both shared a sort of skewed love for pop music, and both had a penchant for writing seriously weird songs, in the tradition of TG. Cab Voltaire especially was an enormous influence on the scene to follow. The Cabs were soon followed by the fledgling Einsturzende Neubauten, possibly the most notorious of the well-known industrial groups. With more members, no drum set, and a hatred for the guitar, Blixa Bargeld and his band of jaded Germans unleashed a wave of broken machinery and really cool-sounding German lyrics, and throwing in danceable beats, thus giving birth to (you can't blame 'em) the Holocaust that is modern-day industrial. With very little respect for the experimentation of their forefathers but a strong desire to somehow work machinery into their music, a whole host of over (I will NOT say über)-angsty Goths turned to the new genre of Industrial for sanctuary. Bands like Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, and many other groups who wore their hair like Goths but were really, REALLY angry, started coming out of the woodwork. J.G. Thirlwell was a notable exception, bringing some seriously needed humour to the genre with his whole host of aliases (most of them containing "foetus"). Things only went downhill from there, and before you know it, BAM! the Nine Inch Nails.
Just because it has the sound of a jackhammer in it doesn't make it industrial music.
by Owen July 23, 2003
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1 - A philosophy about music started in the later 1800's by supposed father of industrial music Luigi Russolo. The first recorded piece being "Corale" in 1921 by Luigi and his brother Antonio. The philosophy included using means other than the traditional means of creating music. With such devices as intonarumori, or noise machines.

2 - A short lived genre revived from a philosophy by Throbbing Gristle and continued by bands such as Einsturzende Neubauten, Laibach and Skinny Puppy.

3 - A term wrongly used to identify electronic and electronic rock music. Fits in with terms like techno and electronica. Industrial rock evolved out of this.

4 - Word associated with electronic music because of the artificial way it is made.

5 - Music beyond music.
That can't be industrial! They used traditional instruments. Not an experimental instrument to be found!
by pr0ph3t January 10, 2006
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A piercing of the ear that is composed of two holes connected by a long metal bar.
Q : Dude, that's an awesome industrial. Where did you get it done?
A : Oh, Micheal at the piercing parlor did it.
by Piercer November 07, 2004
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A class of music that manifested in the late 80s during the post punk era and defined by emerging underground bands such as Ministry (pre-heavy metal i.e. Twitch, Land of Rape and Honey) (and other Alien Jourgensen side project bands), Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Nitzer Ebb, Front Line Assembly, Front 242, Bigod 20, etc etc... mostly of American and European origins and became more refined by the early 90s. With a telltale trade signature characteristic of using samples of mechanical sounds found in real world industrial work places. Clanging sheet metal, grating circular saw and metallic crash sounds being typical. The drum machine, the sampler, the vocoder and the synth being tools of the business sometimes incorporating distortion amp/guitar as well. In addition the use of samples of well known movie sound bytes originating from old Outer Limits/Twilight Zone, horror movies, old westerns, cult films, etc etc were/are used. At times the pace of the songs are danceable i.e. clubby but at other times it is more of a mosh pit pace experience.
And was pretty much the music of a counter-culture group of stereotypes that were labeled as either punk, death-rockers or alternative; in addition to the anti-racist skinhead types.
Skinny Puppy's song "Smothered Hope"
industrial music, techno-industrial, death-rock industrial
by Night.Rider July 24, 2014
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The term "Industrial" first popped up in the 1970s, and is still used today to refer to experimental styles of music. The word Industrial was originally used to describe a style of noisy, experimental style of electronic music that draws on transgressive themes, but now it's a much broader term. Bands nowadays are fusing the industrial style with other genres like metal, rock, electro, etc. These styles are known as "post-industrial". The term is now simply used to describe and musical style that is experimental instrumentally and provocative lyrically.

The word Industrial also refers to the culture. The Industrial culture is quite similar to Goth culture, but there are many differences too. Goths (male or female) tend to go for androgynous clothing, wheras Industrialists almost always wear masculine clothing. Ideologically, Goths are usually more interested in smaller ethics (such as non conformity, creativity, being different) but Industrialists are often more political. Industrial is the masculine, angry, political, scientific side, and Goth is the dark, creative, romantic, bizarre side. One thing both cultures have in common is their love for shocking people.

Industrialists will usually listen to any experimental or noisy style of music, which is why rock and metal are very popular genres in the culture. Dress styles can be quite simple, but many industrialists will wear punk like clothing.

Long story short, industrial is fucking awesome
Person one: Look at that Goth over there. I didn't know Goths could be that masculine.
Person two: No, he's Industrial.

Person one: wtf is that
Person two: Basically a masculine Goth.
by Chazza2121 September 16, 2015
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