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Electronic Body Music

Electronic Body Music, more commonly known by its acronym EBM, is a musical genre combining elements of Industrial music and Electronic dance music. The genre's early influences run the gamut from the noisy industrial music of the time (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV[?]) to the Radical Dance scene (Portion Control, 400 Blows) and straight-ahead electronic music (Kraftwerk, DAF). The term was coined by the Belgian band Front 242 in the early 1980s to describe their music, and they are considered the first EBM band. Through the 1980s and early 1990s the style was characterized by harsh and often sparse electronic beats and became popular in the underground club scene, particularly in Europe. In this early period the most important labels were the European Pias and Antler and the North American Wax Trax; early bands besides Front 242 were Die Krupps[?], Nitzer Ebb[?], Borghesia[?], Neon Judgement[?], A grumph[?], Skinny Puppy, Severed Heads and Front Line Assembly, among others.

By the mid 1990s EBM began to borrow more and more heavily from synthpop, with the early releases of such bands as Covenant[?], Wumpscut[?], VNV Nation, and Funker Vogt[?] combining harsh industrial beats with synthesizer-driven melodies. By the late 1990s many of these middle-era EBM bands (notably VNV Nation and Covenant) were moving more and more towards synthpop, leading to some confusion and debate over the meaning of the term "EBM." While the term is still debated between "purists" who prefer to apply it to music more reminiscent of 1980s-era Front 242 and fans of a more modern style who allow for less adherence to its industrial heritage, today the term typically is used to refer to a sound similar to that of the middle-era bands. In any case, the genre is distinguished from plain synthpop and from the newly named futurepop by the retension of some degree of harshness and industrial elements. Notable among current EBM bands are Wumpscut, Funker Vogt, E-Craft[?], Bio-Tek[?], Suicide Commando[?], Feindflug[?] and Ionic Vision[?].

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