Power electronics (music)
|Cultural origins||Early 1980s United Kingdom, mid-1980s Germany|
Power electronics is a style of noise music that typically consists of static, screeching waves of feedback, analogue synthesizers making sub-bass pulses or high frequency squealing sounds; with (sometimes) screamed and distorted vocals with hateful and offensive lyrics. The genre is noted for its influence from industrial.
Power electronics is generally atonal, like most noise music. There are no conventional melodies or rhythms, and as such, is closer to free jazz than industrial music. To match its sonic excess, power electronics relies heavily upon extreme thematic and visual content: whether in lyrics, album art, or live performance actions. It is a genre that often invites strong reactions from both listeners and critics, if not dismissed or ignored altogether. Power electronics is related to the early Industrial Records scene but later became more aligned with noise music.
Etymology and background
The name of the genre was coined by William Bennett (experimental musician and founding member of Whitehouse and Cut Hands) as part of the sleeve notes to the 1982 Whitehouse album Psychopathia Sexualis. Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine produced a compilation compact cassette tape called Power Electronics in 1986 that was curated by Joseph Nechvatal.
Death industrial is an industrial subgenre typified by a dense atmosphere, low-end drones, harsh loops and screamed and/or distorted vocals. It can be differentiated from power electronics by a slower, more atmospheric sound reminiscent of dark ambient, and a less abrasive sound. Acts described as death industrial include Brighter Death Now, Anenzephalia, Atrax Morgue, Aelia Capitolina, Author & Punisher, Genocide Organ, Ramleh, Hieronymus Bosch, Stratvm Terror and Dead Man's Hill.
- Emily Benjamin, "Whitehouse Asceticists Susan Lawly". The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. February 14, 2006.  Access date: March 15, 2009.
- Fight Your Own War: Power Electronics and Noise Culture, Jennifer Wallis (Editor), Headpress Books, 2016, pp. 4-5
- Whitehouse, Allmusic bio.  Access date: March 15, 2009.
-  Tellus #13 – Power Electronics (1986)