MI0000289100Kerry McCarthy MP chooses her top 10 eighties industrial dance songs exclusively for Louder Than War.

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Soundtrack for the factory floor

Disappointed to hear that Factory Floor will be playing at the 50th anniversary party at the Arnolfini. Disappointed because they’re brilliant, it’s five minutes walk from my flat, it’ll be a fantastic venue for them and…. it’s Saturday September 24th, which means I will be on my way to Liverpool for Labour conference. OK, technically conference doesn’t start till Sunday afternoon, but the train service is different on the Sunday and looks like a journey to avoid if possible. So this is very annoying. I am still toying with should I, shouldn’t I….

A couple of months ago I caught the end half of a short Factory Floor set at The Great Escape in Brighton. Absolutely amazing… Rooted in electronic/ industrial/ dance music of three decades ago, which I was into at the time but think I like even more now. The perfect soundtrack for the bleak times we’re living in…

Here are some of the best…. A few notes. Cabaret Voltaire get two mentions because its quite a leap from Nag Nag Nag to Sensoria, but both great. The video for Sensoria is one of my favourites. And yes, Simple Minds weren’t always pompous stadium rock. And I remembered late last night that I’d forgotten someone really obvious, but have now forgotten again… So apologies, whoever you are.

PS… It’s a great soundtrack to late night motorway driving. Playlist it!

Cabaret Voltaire: Nag Nag Nag

Joy Division: Isolation

Simple Minds: I Travel

D.A.F. Der Mussolini

A Certain Ratio: Do the Du

Human League: Being Boiled (Fast version)

Cabaret Voltaire: Sensoria

23 Skidoo: Coup

Clock DVA: Beautiful Losers

Chakk: Out of the Flesh

Test Department: Compulsion

Mark Stewart and the Mafia: Hysteria

And here’s some Factory Floor for those of you who haven’t stumbled upon them yet. The second one is very different from the first, and yes, it’s very Fall-ish. But I like both.

Factory Floor: Wooden Box

Factory Floor: You Were Always Wrong

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  1. Nearly all excellent choices, possibly stretching the ‘industrial dance’ boundry a bit too far to include Simple Minds – they were once quite good, but never industrial dance…
    Replace them with EBM masters Front 242, or Frontline Assembly and your getting there.
    So many to choose – remember The Erotic Dissidents ‘Move Your Ass’ or SPK’s ‘Metal Dance’ – and lets not forget Nitzer Ebb or Shock Corridor

    Have to do my own Pt2 at this rate!!

    • With respect, isn’t the point of this list that it ISN’T EBM or, in the case of Erotic Dissidents, Belgian New Beat? Also I certainly remember “I Travel” (and also “Theme For Great Cities”) being played alongside many of the other artists above at some of the first clubs nights – or ‘Alternative Discos’ , as they were known then – I went to.

      Surprised at the inclusion of Factory Floor, however. They’re just derivative, hipster crap.

  2. As ace music journalist Simon Price said on Twitter last night, I love knowing that someone in the Commons is listening to this, “it’s like My People have infliltrated” – and I know what he means. Some absolute quality stuff there. A little before my time originally but still stalwarts of the alternative clubs in my later-part-of-80s teenage years. On the subject of “Der Mussolini” I love the fact that every couple of years or so one of my younger friends will independelty discover this tune and proclaim it one of the best records ever made – a true cult classic.

    Interesting(ish) Chakk fact: Dave Taylor, one time manager of Chakk and their FON studio, now manages British Sea Power. Still knows where it’s at :) I didn’t know this when I first met him (via BSP). I think he still finds it rather bewildering how mildly in awe I am of stuff he did 30-odd years ago (even if I personally prefer Cabaret Voltaire). Which brings me to comment that anyone at all interested in early 90s Sheffield music who hasn’t yet seen the documantary “Made In Sheffield”, do so at the earliest opportunity… httpss://www.sheffieldvision.com/aboutmis.html

    Finally, I also absolutely love the comment at the end that “it\’s a great soundtrack to late night motorway driving”. I completely get where you’re coming from there Kerry. I listen to lots of types of music myself, but for late night motorway driving it absolutely has to be electronic / industrial / techno based. Singing and guitars kept to an absolute minimum.(at which point I can almost hear John asking me to do a late night motorway playlist blog… I’ll get onto it, give me a few days).

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  6. Kerry, come & see Factory Floor in Sheffield – home of Industrial dance music – next weekend, they’re playing with Lonelady in a semi-derelict Art Deco cinema, the perfect venue basically!

    Excellent playlist btw – v. pleased to see DVA, Chakk, & the brilliant “I Travel” in there. :)


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