Wax Trax! Records co-founder Dannie Flesher dies
Chicago has birthed several genres of music—electric blues, house, juke. We can make a strong case for industrial, too, because of the work of legendary local label Wax Trax! In the early '80s, the pioneering dance imprint released early 12"s by Ministry, Front 242, Revolting Cocks and Coil. In 1992, the label declared bankruptcy and was bought out by TVT Records. Today we learned that Wax Trax! co-founder Dannie Flesher died of unknown causes. (His business partner, Jim Nash, passed away from AIDS-related complications in 1995.)
Industrial gets a bad rap. Most think of it as the sound of saws against sheet metal, as listened to by Germans with shaved heads. Wax Trax! put out many wonderful, seminal releases. My favorite has to be Underworld's dubnobasswithmyheadman, a hypnotic, dubby, psychedelic dance masterpiece. Like many American kids, seeing Front 242 at Lollapalooza in 1993 (not to mention Wax Trax! indebted Nine Inch Nails a couple years earlier) was my first exposure to electronic music played like rock ’n’ roll. In Trent Reznor, the Knife, dubstep, etc., Wax Trax!'s legacy lives on.