Books — June 10, 2013 at 7:30 am

New book ‘Assimilate’ billed as ‘first serious study published on industrial music’


With his new book “Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music,” author S. Alexander Reed — a University of Florida music theory professor and frontman of gothic-industrial act ThouShaltNot — has compiled what is being billed as both the “first serious study published on industrial music” and the “definitive treatment of the genre.”

The 376-page book, published last week by Oxford University Press, is based on dozens of artist interviews in an attempt to trace the genre’s evolution from its initial marriage of punk ethos and electronic noise in the ’70s to becoming mainstream pop music in the ’90s via groups such as Nine Inch Nails.

According to the publisher’s description of the book:

“Industrial” is a descriptor that fans and critics have applied to a remarkable variety of music: the oildrum pounding of Einstürzende Neubauten, the processed electronic groans of Throbbing Gristle, the drumloop clatter of Skinny Puppy, and the synthpop songcraft of VNV Nation, to name just a few. But the stylistic breadth and subcultural longevity of industrial music suggests that the common ground here might not be any one particular sound, but instead a network of ideologies. This book traces industrial music’s attitudes and practices from their earliest articulations–a hundred years ago–through the genre’s mid-1970s formation and its development up to the present and beyond.

The book features a forward penned by Cabaret Voltaire co-founder Stephen Mallinder, and also includes chapter-by-chapter playlists that highlight tracks both well-known and obscure.

“Assimilate” currently is available through, where you can also sample some of the chapters.



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