Abby's Inklings: Industrial music's rise - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Abby's Inklings: Industrial music's rise

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The Lookout Staff Writer Abby Cowels

Abby Cowels

By Abby Cowels (She/Her)
Staff Writer

Industrial, metal and noise music has been curiously making a comeback into the mainstream. Hidden under the post-grunge, then nu-metal inflation in the 1990s music industry, names like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh were pushed underground.

In the last few years, I have been taking advantage of the new boom in industrial music. I had been able to see Skinny Puppy off for one final tour and the band Health at a sold-out venue, El Club. Most recently, I saw a guitar and synthesizer duo, Author and Punisher, at the Sanctuary Theatre in Detroit.

I had listened to “Krüller,” Author and Punisher’s most recent album, about 40 times, though seeing it in concert adds a new vision of what is really happening within the music. Tristan Shone is the brains behind the industrial duo’s intense droning and pained reverberated screams.

Once a mechanical engineer, Shone had always had an affinity toward electronic and industrial music. He had a specific vision for how he wanted to make his own music, so he designed and fabricated his own unique instruments to fit this idea.

Having been to other industrial and noise metal shows, I fully expected there to be at least one person standing behind an elaborate set up of modulators and synths. Shone built his set up in the front center of the stage, and I was lucky enough to be about six feet away, giving me the best view of what was about to happen.

The idea of what exactly making electronic music looks like can feel very abstract. For many, they may claim that it is lazy, just pressing buttons for those who cannot learn a “real instrument,” as described by Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters at the 2012 Grammy Awards.

Grohl said, "… the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft … It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer.”

I could not disagree more with this statement after seeing Author and Punisher live. It was so physical. Shone was not simply pressing buttons, he was merging his body with machine; he was the heartbeat of the music. The absolute intensity was emotional and awe inspiring.

If you want to check out Author and Punisher’s latest album, “Krüller,” you can stream it on Spotify, Apple music, or wherever you like to listen. Check out the video at https://youtu.be/whtfSK5g6tw?si=hrPyK9kVrPZb982m.

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