Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music Paperback – May 22 2013
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Assimilate succeeds in providing an absorbing and extensive introduction to the industrial scene. Rob Upton, University of Nottingham, Music and Letters Well-written and impeccably researched, Assimilate is worth a look not only by music fans looking to learn about this industrial wall of sound, but also by scholars of pop culture wondering why the kids feel the way they do. Electric Review
About the Author
S. Alexander Reed is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Florida. He has published and presented research on vocal timbre, embodiment, postpunk music, and the recordings of Nine Inch Nails, Laurie Anderson, Rammstein, and Tori Amos. Reed has released five albums with his own gothic-industrial band, ThouShaltNot.
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With that caveat, however, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anybody with an interest in the subject.
There are many fantastic and insightful song analyses which really helped my understanding of some dense music pieces. (I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds Nivek Ogre "unintelligible"!) I really like some of the questions Reed raises in the book, some of which you only find by reading between the lines. For example, is the genre Euro-centric and originating from a position of privilege, failing to address many of the questions a combative, challenging and sometimes "revolutionary" art form should? Lots to think about. I appreciated the emotional and intellectual honesty of the author, who even includes a snippet of his own rock journalist's diary, which I thought quite wonderfully shows his own credentials openly as a fan of the music.
In my Kindle edition the Notes section had split each note onto a separate page, which I found bizarre. I would've also liked more people interest stories by bands like Skinny Puppy, who pretty much could fill another third of the book with their original creativeness and engaging history. Otherwise, it was well presented. Now I'm going back on Spotify to track down all those interesting singles recommended at the end of many of the section headings...