In 1980 he founded the record label Sterile Records, releasing the first records by John Balance, Maurizio Bianchi and Lustmord, among many others. In 1987 he formed the Earthly Delights (record label), specialising in audio works and big explosions that examined the technological landscape and the psychic effect of sound.
Ayers' sound art work is rooted in assemblage and collage. Years before digital sampling became commonplace, his recordings used thousands of edited "found" and specially recorded sound samples. His interest in the psychological effects of sound, and in particular the recombination of sound to affect perception of time and space is reflected in CD titles such as "Practical Time Travel" where sound functions as snapshots of memory forming new associations as it passes into a simulated dream world.
He is also interested in eroding the concept of individualised artistic personality using digital technologies to enable multiple authorship. This is exemplified in the remixable sound sample libraries he has released as a sound developer in the commercially released sample libraries for Sony’s ACID Pro and Propellerhead’s Reason (software).
In his sound installations, such as Soul Zodiac (2006) and The Planetarium Must Be Built (2007) he has explored the possibilities of digital remixes in both time and space, using everyday equipment such as multiple CD boomboxes.
- Mind Invaders: A Reader in Psychic Warfare, Cultural Sabotage And Semiotic Terrorism Stewart Home Ed. (Serpent's Tail London, 1997). ISBN 978-1852425609
- International Who's Who in Popular Music (Routledge, 2007). ISBN 9781857434170
- Bodmin Moor Zodiac (2007).
- The Control You Gain. The Power You Rule. (2009).
- NETWORK NEWS (Nocturnal Emissions, 2009).
- Lusitania (Earthly Delights, 2010).
- S. Alexander Reed Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music (Oxford University Press USA, 2013). ISBN 0199832609 ISBN 978-0199832606
- Electronic Resistance (Amaya Productions, 2021). ISBN 0578978202 ISBN 978-0578978208
- Fernando Cerqueira, Antibothis Occultural Anthology Vol.3 p.72 (Thisco Portugal, 2010), ISBN 978-989-95447-9-6
- Torreano, Bradley. "Nocturnal Emissions Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Features | A Quietus Interview | No Commercial Value: Nigel Ayers Interview". The Quietus. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Nocturnal Emissions Interview from EST#1". Media.hyperreal.org. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Nigel Ayers: Viral Emissions". Brainwashed.com. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "BBC - The Virgin's Nipple". BBC News. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2020.