Once upon a time, there was Wax Trax Records!
Wax Trax was a Chicago based, independent record label that was the major producer of post-Industrial music in the late 80s and early 90s. Wax Trax signed KMFDM, Ministry, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and others. Unfortunately, I was too young to experience Chicago during that period of time when the scene was being born and some of my favorite Industrial bands were living and playing in the area. Around the early 90s, Wax Trax entered bankruptcy and was bought up by TVT records, the label that originally signed Nine Inch Nails. While the post-Industrial scene reached its zenith in the mid to late 90s and many new bands found fame and fortune, with the death of Wax Trax records, bands like KMFDM and Ministry began relocating elsewhere and we saw less Industrial acts coming out of Chicago. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this except to say that I’m proud that some of the forefathers of modern Industrial rock once had their home here in the Windy City.
Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid. I love this band.
KMFDM was founded in Germany in 1984 by frontman Sascha Konietzko. He was later joined by En Esch and Gunter Schultz as well as frequent collaborator Raymond Watts, frontman of the band PIG and sometimes member of KMFDM. Initial KMFDM music resembled poppy techno more so than their current incarnation, but somewhere along the way, maybe around Naive or Angst, KMFDM was coming into their sound. Virus, Drug Against War, Light, Godlike. Around the time of Nihil, the group had already hit its stride and many fledgling industrial acts were being influenced by their direction.
By the time I had discovered KMFDM, they were on the verge of splitting up. They put out their Symbols album and a little while later said, “Adios,” and went their separate ways. While En Esch and Gunter Schultz left to form the band Slick Idiot, Sascha formed MDFMK with some other musicians to experiment with a different style. Eventually MDFMK split and KMFDM was reborn. Sascha remained and the new members included some former members of the band PIG and Lucia Cifarelli.
Since the band reformed, I’ve seen KMFDM play a few times and I think they’re in better shape than ever. It seemed to take the new members a little while to gel properly, but Hau Ruck may be my favorite album of theirs with the exception of Nihil. They’ve also put out some solid songs on Tohuvabohu and Blitz. I saw them for the third time at the House of Blues on October 4th and all the elements were together.
Lucia and Sascha were both belting out their vocals from their respective podiums, effectively commanding the audience. They hit some of the classics, playing Light, Godlike, Megalomaniac, and Drug Against War, but probably played more of their newer stuff which neither the crowd nor I seemed to mind. They did two encores (by the way, how can you not love a band who made an song poking fun at themselves titled, “SUCKS,” and do encores when the whole crowd chants “KMFDM SUCKS!”). These guys are still one of the hardest working bands out there and continue to put out great music.
Keep it coming KMFDM, More and Faster.